Frank Francisco has been shut down just a mere 24 hours after pitchers and catchers reported for Spring Training, due to lingering elbow inflammation. Francisco was shut down in September of 2012 with a similar issue. If Francisco is unable to pitch by Opening Day, Collins told the press that Brandon Lyon and Bobby Parnell would get first crack at the ninth-inning role.
This may not be bad news for the 2013 Mets, as Francisco struggled throughout his 2012 campaign, posting a 5.53 ERA and walking a batter every other inning. But it does seem odd that Terry Collins gave Francisco the ol' vote of confidence while the reliever was unable to pitch and with no clear timetable for his return.
As always, Amazin' Avenue's own James K sums things up perfectly:
Frank Francisco is a shut down reliever— James Kannengieser (@jameskann) February 12, 2013