New York Mets closer Frank Francisco has hit the disabled list with a left oblique strain, and the 15-day DL trip is retroactive to the 22nd of June. He first felt the effects of the injury after netting a save in the first game of the Subway Series and has not pitched thereafter.
Bobby Parnell is the new closer for the Mets after this injury to Frank Francisco, and he could take over the closing job if he performs well enough. Francisco, an offseason signing, has been underwhelming this year, so a strong string of performances from Parnell could vault him up to the CL spot.
This season, Parnell has been worth 0.4 WAR with a 3.09 FIP in 31 innings, and he’s probably the best reliever on the team. He is coming off of a good 0.6 WAR year in 2011 and is an underrated reliever overall. While he might not be a “good” closer, he would be average to decent. Parnell isn’t thought of as somebody with the ability to close, but he gets a lot of grounders and strikeouts that make up for a subpar walk rate.
Frank Francisco was overpaid this offseason like most closers who hit the market, but he was never that bad. Francisco came off of an average 2010 season and a string of quality performances with the Texas Rangers. His 3.71 FIP tells a better story of how he has been doing this season in 29 innings, and he has been unlucky with a .330 BABIP.
Still, Parnell is better than Francisco, and he can put it into use by getting the closer job. Being a closer is overrated, but I won’t get into that and play along with the notion that being a closer is the most important thing.