The New York Mets’ bullpen was roughed up on Monday, and things just got worse with the team announcing that closer Bobby Parnell has a partially torn ligament in his throwing elbow.
Fantasy baseball owners would be wise to consider other options on their waiver wires.
Parnell, 29, saved 22 games for the Metropolitans last year, his first as the team’s full-time closer. In his six-year career — all with New York — the North Carolina native has compiled a 3.57 ERA and 1.39 WHIP with 54 holds.
The team is saying that he will receive platelet-rich plasma injections and then rest for two weeks before beginning a throwing program, but that seems overly optimistic. In most cases, this is an injury that requires surgery, and if that were the case, Parnell would be sidelined for the remainder of the season.
Fantasy baseball owners should be adding setup man Jose Valverde, as he pitched well in spring training and has the best track record of anyone else in the Mets’ bullpen.
From 2007-11, Valverde (0.5 percent owned on ESPN.com) was one of the most prolific closers in all of baseball, saving 191 games. At one point, he recorded 51 consecutive saves, which is the second-longest streak of all-time, trailing only Eric Gagne, who had saved 84 straight games from 2002-04.
Vic Black would be the next man to garner save opportunities, and is worth a look in NL-only and very deep leagues.
The 25-year-old Black was widely considered to be a dark horse for the position, but his poor spring (5.79 ERA in 9.1 IP) got him sent down to Triple-A. The Mets want him to eventually get that chance to close, so this may be the shove he needs to get his act together. Black is available in 100 percent of ESPN.com fantasy baseball leagues.