With 'pen thriving, Parnell taking his time in rehab

With 'pen thriving, Parnell taking his time in rehab

MIAMI -- Most nights in Port St. Lucie, Fla., once he is finished with his daily rehab, Bobby Parnell fires up the Mets broadcast on his phone. In that manner, he has taken notice of a bullpen that entered Monday's play second in the National League in ERA, despite the absences of Parnell, Vic Black, Josh Edgin and Jenrry Mejia. Jeurys Familia in particular has thrived in the closer's role that used to belong to Parnell.

"Like I said from the beginning, we've got a good bullpen," Parnell said Monday, making the short drive down to Marlins Park to reunite with teammates. "We've got good arms down there. It really benefits me from a selfish standpoint, because I know these guys can do it. I can take my time and be 100 percent when I get here. If they were struggling and I had to come up here early, it would be detrimental to me. But they're pitching their butts off. Familia's throwing outstanding. It's fun to watch."

Parnell hit a snag in his rehab late last week, going for testing after a bout of right forearm "achiness we couldn't shake." Relieved to find that there was no structural damage in his arm, Parnell nonetheless ceased throwing, with plans to resume off flat ground Thursday. If all goes well, he said, the setback should not keep him out much longer than he originally planned.

"It's not what I wanted," said Parnell, who underwent Tommy John surgery in April 2014, and is due back in May. "But it is part of the rehab."

For most of Spring Training, the Mets downplayed Parnell's relative lack of velocity, delivering fastballs in the upper-80s and low-90s instead of his customary 95-plus. Parnell feels that by resting now instead of forcing his way through rehab, he will rediscover that velocity sooner rather than later.

"Deep down, I feel like it really wants to get out," Parnell said. "I feel like after these next few days, it's going to show itself. I'm confident."

In the meantime, Parnell will watch Familia and the rest of the Mets' bullpen do their thing. For the next few days, at least, he will have company in Port St. Lucie. Third baseman David Wright arrived there Sunday night to begin rehabbing his strained right hamstring, with the goal of returning as soon as this weekend.

Like Wright, Parnell plans to stay in Florida for as long as it takes to return to full strength -- not some fraction of it.

"I want to be here for sure, but the goal is to be here and help the team in the end," Parnell said. "It's how you finish, not how you start."

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.