Mets Closer Parnell Tears Elbow Ligament During Opening Day Loss

New York Mets relief pitcher Bobby Parnell suffered a ligament tear in his throwing elbow during the team’s opening day loss to the Washington Nationals yesterday that might require surgery.

Parnell, who allowed one run in the ninth inning to surrender the Mets’ 5-4 lead, complained after the game of tightness in his right forearm, the team said today in an e-mailed statement. Testing revealed an incomplete tear of the medial collateral ligament in his right elbow.

The 29-year-old closer was prescribed two weeks complete rest, the team said. After that break they will determine whether to have elbow surgery.

Parnell was 5-5 with a 2.16 earned-run average and 22 saves last year, his first as the team’s full-time closer. In a seven-year Major League Baseball career spent entirely in New York, he’s 18-24 with a 3.57 ERA and 8.2 strikeouts per nine innings.

Mets reliever Jose Valverde retired all four of the batters he faced yesterday, three by strikeout. The 36-year-old led the American League in saves with the Detroit Tigers in 2011, when he converted all 49 of his opportunities. He also led the National League in saves in 2008 with the Houston Astros and 2007 with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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