As if this already hasn’t been a crazy year with at least 17 closer jobs changing hands for one reason or another, now we have another prized job to keep an eye on. Frank Francisco of the New York Mets has been struggling of late. In his last four appearances, Francisco has given up six runs in 2.2 innings, 1/2 in saves, and two strikeouts. His control has been off the charts with three walks and eight hits over that span.
Francisco has been known for his bouts of inconsistency and he’s going through one of them now. He can get far too emotional in games and lose control of his pitches. When that happens, back things happen. When Francisco is on, he is one of the better closers out there. In his nine saves this season, he has only surrendered six hits and two runs. However, manager Terry Collins has considered replacing Francisco as closer, but then decided to give him a vote of confidence.
When it comes down to it, the Mets don’t have a lot to go to after Francisco. While Jon Rauch has closer experience, he is no better than Francisco and that would be like fixing one broke part with another broke part. If Collins were to make a change, it would be Bobby Parnell. Parnell has been the sharpest pitcher out of the Mets bullpen with a 2.00 ERA and 18 Ks in 18 innings. Last season he saved six games for the Mets filling in as closer, so the team knows he can do it.
If I were manager Terry Collins, I’d leave Frank Francisco at closer. Right now, the Mets have a solid 1-2-3 punch for the 7th inning on and removing Francisco could seriously disrupt that. However, managers get pressured by front office peeps and media, so one more bad outing for Francisco and expect Bobby Parnell to take over for the New York Mets.