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Mets Morning News: Bobby Parnell wants to close upon his return

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Your Thursday morning dose of Mets and Major League Baseball news, notes, and links.

Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Meet the Mets

Bobby Parnell expects to resume closing once he is fully ready to return from elbow surgery, but also indicated he was not directly promised this. He is expected to miss the first few weeks of the season.

Adam Rubin posited five reasons for optimism and five reasons for pessimism. Chief among the reasons for optimism is the Mets' strong pitching. While among the reasons for pessimism, the notion that David Wright may be in decline stands out.

Terry Collins left camp due to the death of his father. He was 95.

Matt Ehalt wrote about the improvement of the Mets' bullpen. In recent years, the bullpen has been a revolving door, but that is changing with an influx of young, hard throwing pitchers.

Around the NL East

Matt Williams is looking forward to the challenge of guiding the Nationals back to the postseason. He is especially excited about the new additions that general manager Mike Rizzo has brought in.

The Marlins are likely not making any more significant additions to the bullpen. Among those who were in consideration were Joba Chamberlain, Phil Coke, and Francisco Rodriguez.

Cole Hamels told Bob Nightengale that he wants to be traded to a contender. John Stolnis doesn't think Phillies' fans should be mad at him for that.

The Braves have expressed some interest in Jackie Bradley Jr.. The Red Sox could look to move him due to having a crowded outfield and Bradley having disappointed thus far in his career.

Around the Major Leagues

The Red Sox are engaging in neuroscouting in which they attempt to assess the pitch recognition skills of potential draftees and prospects through cognitive tests. The team has been running these tests for several years, a notable success of the program was identifying Mookie Betts.

In the midst of prospect ranking season, Dave Cameron discussed risk in prospects versus veteran players. While the failure rate for prospects is very high, Cameron points out that veteran players can be similarly volatile.

J.R. Moehringer wrote a long piece about Alex Rodridguez for ESPN. In it he discusses what Rodriguez has been up to since he incurred the longest suspension in league history.

Tim Hudson is behind in his rehab schedule. He is recovering from an ankle surgery that he had in January.

Yesterday at AA

Jeff was on MLB Network? Jeff was on MLB Network!

Steve Schreiber kicked off our season preview series. First up: Juan Lagares and Lucas Duda.

Today in Mets History

On this day in 1962, the Mets  began their first spring training. This team would go on to lose 120 games.