The road back to the majors starts tonight for two of the Mets' top bullpen arms, as Bobby Parnell and Vic Black are set to start their rehab assignments with the High-A St. Lucie Mets. Parnell’s return can't come soon enough for the Mets, who recently lost Jenrry Mejia to a suspension for eighty games.
Parnell saved 22 games in 26 attempts as the Mets' primary closer in 2013 and was the incumbent closer heading into the 2014 season. But after appearing on Opening Day, he missed the rest of the season after having Tommy John surgery.
Black is coming off of a shoulder injury, but unlike Parnell, he pitched for the Mets last season. Since the Mets acquired him in the Marlon Byrd trade, Black has been solid out of the bullpen. Last year, he appeared in 41 games for the Mets and had a 2.60 ERA and 1.30 WHIP with 32 strikeouts in 34.2 innings, and he held opposing hitters to .207 batting average.