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2015 Sleeper Series: Bobby Parnell

There is a good chance Bobby Parnell gets most of the save opportunities for the Mets in 2015

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Bobby Parnell missed almost all of last season after needing Tommy John surgery. Prior to that, Parnell had surgery on his neck to fix a herniated disk. He hasn't been fully healthy since the middle of 2013 and won’t be ready for the start of the season, but Mets manager Terry Collins says that once he’s healthy, the closer’s job will be Parnell’s to lose:

The Mets might have various options at closer, but manager Terry Collins doesn’t consider the job wide open heading into next season.

Despite Jenrry Mejia’s success in the ninth inning in 2014, the job is Bobby Parnell’s to lose.

"I think Bobby is going to be the guy," Collins said Monday at the winter meetings.

Collins says that Parnell has looked "absolutely tremendous" physically this off season:

"Wait until you see him," Collins said. "You can tell he's been out working out. He's big and strong and we're anxious to get him back on the mound, because I think he's going to be a huge piece before the season's over."

Parnell’s velocity was down last spring after losing a lot of strength and muscle due to the neck procedure he had in 2013. This may have contributed to him blowing out; Parnell may have tried to over compensate with his arm to increase his lost velocity.

If Parnell is fully healthy, and has regained his lost mass and strength this offseason like Terry Collins says, there’s a good chance he’ll be an effective reliever this year. Parnell was fantastic in 2012 and 2013:

Year

ERA

FIP

xFIP

K%

BB%

GB%

2012

2.49

2.99

3.15

21.2%

6.9%

61.5%

2013

2.16

2.33

3.05

22.2%

6.1%

51.8%

Because Parnell has been gone for so long, he’ll likely be forgotten about by many fantasy owners. The emergence of Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia at the end of the Mets bullpen will also divert attention away from Parnell. But if you take Terry Collins at his word, Parnell has the best chance of getting the most save opportunities in 2015. He's a strong sleeper candidate for this reason, and if you can stash him on a DL spot until he's ready to return, you can reap the benefits later in the season.