New York Mets

Morning Briefing: Bad news even on day off
April 2, 2014 5:44:15 AM PDT
By Adam Rubin

NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: There was no relief for the Mets on Tuesday’s off-day, either.

Bobby Parnell was diagnosed with a partial tear of the medial collateral ligament in his right elbow. He received an injection of platelet-rich plasma and will be idle for two weeks. After that, Parnell will be reevaluated and a decision about Tommy John surgery may be made.

Now, Jose Valverde appears the team’s closer. Fellow veteran Kyle Farnsworth, who had been ticketed for Triple-A Las Vegas, has been added to the big-league bullpen with Parnell landing on the disabled list.

The Mets will need to drop a player from the 40-man roster in order to clear a spot for Farnsworth. Right-handed reliever Ryan Reid, a waiver claim during the offseason, is one logical possibility.

Meanwhile, Bartolo Colon makes his Mets debut on Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. as the Amazin’s look to rebound from a 9-7, 10-inning loss on Opening Day.

Colon, who signed a two-year, $20 million deal in early December, opposes Washington Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez.

With a southpaw pitching for the Nats, Josh Satin is expected to get the start at first base for the Mets.

Whether Chris Young makes his Mets debut remains to be seen. He was sidelined on Opening Day with a right quadriceps strain, which he suffered during the weekend in Montreal.

Wednesday’s news reports:

Daniel Murphy, whose wife Tori gave birth to eight-pound, two-ounce son Noah on Monday in Florida, will be placed on paternity leave Wednesday. That will allow the Mets to add Wilmer Flores in Murphy’s absence, which is now permitted to be one to three days.

Jonathon Niese allowed four runs (two earned) in 4 2/3 innings in a minor-league intrasquad game Tuesday night in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Niese threw 76 pitches. The southpaw’s next appearance should come Sunday, when he is activated from the disabled list to face the Cincinnati Reds in the homestand finale. Niese now has pitched twice in game-like settings since receiving a cortisone injection in his left elbow.

• Columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post labels the loss of Parnell a challenge. Writes Davidoff:

The well-run teams cope, particularly when it comes to fallen closers -- a position more replaceable than you might think. Last year’s Red Sox lost two such pitchers, Joel Hanrahan and Andrew Bailey, to season-ending injuries, and rode third choice Koji Uehara all the way to a parade. The 2012 Giants saw their bearded wonder Brian Wilson succumb to Tommy John surgery in April, so they turned to Santiago Casilla and then Sergio Romo to pick up their second title in three years.

The 2011 Cardinals lost on Opening Day when veteran closer Ryan Franklin blew a save opportunity in the ninth inning and the Padres scored two more in the 10th. A total of eight pitchers recorded saves for St. Louis that season, Jason Motte running the final lap, en route to winning it all.

Now, no one will proclaim these Mets to be as strong or deep as any of the past three champions. Yet all three overcame their early adversity thanks also to unshakable managers, resourceful general managers and flexible owners.

Experienced closers Ryan Madson and Hanrahan are available as free agents if the Mets are so inclined, CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman tweets. Hanrahan may not be ready until June, though, as he returns from Tommy John surgery.

Read more on Parnell’s injury in the Times, Post, Daily News, Journal, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday and MLB.com.

• Frank Viola is due to undergo open-heart surgery on Wednesday morning. The issue had been flagged during a physical at the start of spring training. Viola had been slated to serve as Las Vegas pitching coach.

• Read more on Colon’s looming Mets debut in the Post.

• Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos has a broken hamate bone in his left hand that requires surgery and is due to miss four to eight weeks, The Washington Post reports. The newspaper reported Ramos suffered the fracture on a foul tip on Opening Day.

• Oddsmaker Bovada has Terry Collins tied for third on its board of most likely MLB managers to be fired. The leading candidates:

John Gibbons, Toronto, 2-1

Kirk Gibson, Arizona, 5-2

Ned Yost, Milwaukee, 5-1

Collins, Mets, 5-1

Bo Porter, Houston, 7-1

Mike Scioscia, L.A. Angels, 12-1

From the bloggers … Mets Police would like the Mets to use numbers, not dots, for the ball-strike-out count on the scoreboard.

BIRTHDAYS: Former Mets reliever Hisanori Takahashi turns 39. ... Infielder Al Weis was born on this date in 1938.

TWEET OF THE DAY:

Can't thank everybody enough for all the kind words and support! Will get through this surgery and be back soon. Good luck all affiliates!!

— Frank J. Viola, Jr. (@FrankViola16) April 2, 2014

YOU’RE UP: How do you believe Jose Valverde will perform in the closer’s role?

Tags: New York Mets, Morning briefing, Terry Collins, Daniel Murphy, Jon Niese, Bobby Parnell, Wilmer Flores, Chris Young, Bartolo Colon, Washington Nationals, Mike Scioscia, Frank Viola, Josh Satin, Wilson Ramos, Jose Valverde, Ryan Madson, Gio Gonzalez, Joel Hanrahan, John Gibbons, Ryan Reid, Kyle Farnsworth, Kirk Gibson, Ned Yost, Bo Porter

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