Frank Francisco for an indefinite period. According to Terry Collins, Francisco's condition was not unexpected after he underwent surgery to remove a bone spur in his right elbow last December. Francisco attempted throwing last week, but was unable to continue. The training staff subsequently advised him to cease all pitching activities until the inflammation subsides. There is no word on when he might be able to resume throwing again.
Collins indicated that he and pitching coach, Dan Warthen, would be monitoring Fransisco's condition closely. While he said he believes Francisco can still be on track to open the season as the Mets closer, they want to be sure that he gets in enough innings during spring training to be ready for the stress of the season. In the event that Francisco is not fully ready, Collins stated "we'll have to look in other directions." When asked at a press conference televised on SNY about those other directions, Collins responded “Well we have Brandon Lyon who we brought in, and we still have Bobby [Parnell]. Both of them have closed at this level before. Maybe Josh Edgin can get some save opportunities this Spring. He could also be a possibility.”
Mike Puma of the N.Y. Post stated that Collins went further, stating to him that “he wants Bobby Parnell to take over as the team’s closer.” According to Puma, Collins said “We keep talking about 2014 … why not get a head start? . . I’m not panicking, but you’ve got to get somebody ready, and Bobby to me is that guy.” When questioned by Adam Ruben of ESPN New York, pitching coach Dan Warthen was quoted as saying “His last 11 outings, he [Parnell] didn’t give up anything. I thought his maturity changed. I thought he and Niese both had breakout years last year. And I think he’s there. I think he’s ready to close.”
Could this situation eventually cost Francisco his job as the Mets' closer? From the talk we are hearing, it certainly sounds like it.