Mets demote struggling Valverde, make Farnsworth new closer
NEW YORK (AP) — Three weeks into the season, the New York Mets are trying their third closer.
Mets manager Terry Collins said Sunday he is promoting setup man Kyle Farnsworth to the ninth-inning role in place of struggling right-hander Jose Valverde, who has given up four home runs in his last three outings.
Valverde got the job when Bobby Parnell went down with an elbow injury after blowing a save on opening day. Parnell had Tommy John surgery and is out for the season.
Valverde has two saves in three chances and a 5.40 ERA. Farnsworth has a 1.23 ERA in eight appearances, throwing 6 1-3 scoreless innings in his past seven games.
Both veterans were signed to minor league contracts in February and added to the big league roster to shore up a suspect bullpen. Valverde broke camp with the team and Farnsworth was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas when Parnell went on the disabled list April 2.
Collins said Valverde understood the move and he wants the three-time All-Star to start using other pitches besides his fastball. The 36-year-old Valverde, who has 288 career saves, agreed that he might need to throw his splitter more often.
The 38-year-old Farnsworth has 54 major league saves, including two for Pittsburgh last year and a career-high 25 with Tampa Bay in 2011.