Thursday, September 8, 2011

Mets Morning News: Schwinden's Debut, Evans Making Most Of PlayingTime, Parnell As A Closer

Chris Schwinden, who wasn't even an afterthought for the Mets prior to this season, makes his first Major League start in game one of today's double header with Atlanta. How did Schwinden go from being a non-prospect to the Major Leagues?
His rise on the organization’s radar began thanks to the fragile right shoulder of Chris Young. Young’s first trip to the disabled list in April forced Pat Misch to the majors, which created a void in the Buffalo rotation. Schwinden threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings, and figured his cameo was soon over. Then Bisons starter Boof Bonser blew out his elbow. Schwinden would stay.
Speaking of afterthoughts, since taking over at first base, Nick Evans has quickly shown that he could be a serious contender to make the opening day roster next season. Of course the question then becomes, where would he play? That's a story for another day.
The first baseman's performance down the stretch this season, Collins said, will give him a Spring Training advantage that he did not boast last March, when he was the victim of a roster crunch and left off the Opening Day roster. Though Evans has hit consistently at every level of the Minor Leagues -- he owns a career .822 Minor League on-base plus slugging percentage -- he has received nothing but sporadic big league opportunities since first cracking the Majors in 2008.
Apparently manager Terry Collins is tired of seeing Bobby Parnell blow saves as well. Collins told reporters yesterday that with Parnell's recent struggles on the mound, expect to see others thrown into the role occasionally.  Parnell said he is comfortable in his role as closer, and he knows what he needs to work on.
"It’s close to the same thing, it’s just a different inning," Parnell said about closing. "The big thing is I feel comfortable there in the ninth inning. I really do. I think my biggest downfall is I’m trying to do too much and make it bigger than it really is. I need to relax and just go after the hitters and do what I’ve been doing all year. I’m out there trying to throw 100 (mph) and make some nasty sliders, and really all I’ve got to do is go out there and do what I’ve been doing...I’ve got a lot of adrenaline. Usually when I get in trouble is from overthrowing."

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