This is not an April Fool's joke: After blowing the save in yesterday's loss against the Washington Nationals, New York Mets closer Bobby Parnell reported forearm tightness. After an MRI this morning, he was diagnosed with an incomplete tear of the medical collateral ligament in his pitching elbow, according to the Mets.
Parnell received a platelet-rich plasma injection, and the plan moving forward is to rest for two weeks and then begin a throwing program to determine whether or not he needs surgery.
This spring, Parnell sported a 2.57 ERA in seven outings, but his velocity had dipped from the mid-to-upper-90s last year into the high-80s. At the time, Parnell himself didn't seem concerned and was focused on getting back into pitching shape coming back from neck surgery in 2013.
"The velocity is not there yet," Parnell said. "We've still got a little work to do. I don't want to peak in spring training anyway, so that is part of the game plan."
This news comes at a time when the Mets already have several question marks in the bullpen. There is no word yet on who will close games in his absence, though all signs point to veteran Jose Valverde.