|New York Mets – No. 39|
September 8, 1984 |
Salisbury, North Carolina
|Bats: Right||Throws: Right|
|September 15, 2008 for the New York Mets|
(through 2013 season)
|Earned run average||3.55|
Robert Allen Parnell (born September 8, 1984) is an American baseball pitcher for the New York Mets. He was drafted by the Mets in the ninth round of the 2005 MLB Draft after attending college at Charleston Southern University.
Parnell worked as a starter for the minor league teams in the Mets organization, pitching for the Brooklyn Cyclones, St. Lucie Mets, Binghamton Mets, and New Orleans Zephyrs. In three different leagues, Parnell has been named a mid-season All-Star. He earned the honor in the New York-Penn League in 2005, the Florida State League in 2007, and the Eastern League in 2008.
Parnell earned Eastern League All-Star honors again in 2008. Despite having a poor record since being promoted to the Triple-A New Orleans Zephyrs, Parnell was rewarded with a call-up to the New York Mets on September 1, 2008. He made his Major League debut on September 15.
Parnell earned a spot in the Mets bullpen to start the 2009 season. He got his first win May 8, 2009 against the Pirates; he pitched a scoreless eighth inning. On August 5, he got his first major league hit in his first career at-bat, as he pitched three innings for the save. After Mets pitcher Jon Niese suffered a season-ending injury in the same game, Parnell was tabbed to replace Niese in the rotation. He made his first Major League start on August 8 against the San Diego Padres. He earned his first Major League win as a starter in his second start on August 14, pitching six innings, giving up only three hits, and striking out seven. Parnell was terrific on September 4, shutting down the Cubs that battered him in his last start. Parnell pitched a career-high seven innings, shutting out the Cubs on five hits while striking out seven.
On July 8, 2009, against the Dodgers, Daniel Murphy assisted on a play to first base by throwing the ball behind his back to Bobby Parnell, who was on first base and made the catch to complete the play. It received the number one web gem of the day.
On June 29, 2010 Mejia was sent back down to Double-A Binghamton and the Mets called up Parnell to take his spot in the Mets bullpen.
Parnell, in his short major league career, has already developed a reputation for being a flamethrower. His fastballs consistently touch the high-90s, sometimes eclipsing 100 MPH. On August 18, 2010, in a game against the Houston Astros, Parnell hit 102.5 MPH on the radar gun, the fastest pitch in the Major Leagues in 2010 up to that point. Cincinnati Reds rookie Aroldis Chapman set the new mark on August 31, 2010 at 103 MPH.
On September 21, Parnell was shut down for the remainder of the 2010 season with an inflamed pilca in his right elbow.
He returned to the Mets. But on April 21, 2011 he was placed on the DL due to a clot in his finger also on that same day Ángel Pagán was also placed on the DL due to a rib injury.
On June 29, 2011 he made a relief appearance against the Tigers. His pitches clocked: 100, 101, 103, 103, 102, 102, and a 93 mph slider in an at-bat against Miguel Cabrera.
To begin the year Parnell was used as a middle reliever, yet as injuries mounted he was tabbed to be the closer. On June 28, 2012, Parnell recorded his first save of the year against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Parnell has experienced success in the closer role and has had a career year.
After a fan brought a sign to the April 13, 2013 game against the Minnesota Twins calling Parnell "The Centerpiece", the nickname became widely used within the locker room by fellow players. Relief pitcher Latroy Hawkins was quoted in a local media report, stating that "it (The Centerpiece) was just too perfect for the guy, so we're committed to keeping it around until the national media run with it."
Parnell throws primarily a hard four-seam fastball in the mid-to-high 90s with strong tailing action. His secondary pitch and main breaking ball in 2011 was a high-80s slider, but in 2012 he has mostly dropped the pitch in favor of a mid-80s knuckle curve. He has also toyed in the past with a splitter, but he rarely uses it. For 2012, he has also developed a two-seam fastball.
- LeBlanc, Jay (August 28, 2008). "Prospect Q&A – Bobby Parnell, Mets". The Washington Times. Retrieved August 31, 2008.
- DiComo, Anthony (August 31, 2008). "Niese to make Mets debut Tuesday". MLB.com. Retrieved August 31, 2008.
- Noble, Marty (August 5, 2009). "Parnell replaces Niese in Mets' rotation". mlb.com. Retrieved August 14, 2009.
- Britton, Tim (September 4, 2009). "Parnell, big eighth beat Cubs; Win displays best and worst of Mets' eventful season". MLB.com.
- "Wright leads Mets past depleted Dodgers". Mets.com. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
- "PITCHf/x Player Card: Bobby Parnell". BrooksBaseball.net. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)