NEW YORK -- Once considered an option to return in early May or even late April, former Mets closer Bobby Parnell has experienced enough of a setback to make such a timetable unrealistic.
The Mets have shut Parnell down for a week due to a bout of forearm soreness, general manager Sandy Alderson said Friday. He will not throw a ball for five days, halting his official Minor League rehab assignment.
Since undergoing Tommy John surgery in April 2014, Parnell has struggled to regain his mid-90s velocity. He topped out in the low 90s throughout Spring Training, then again during rehab appearances with Class A St. Lucie.
Parnell last pitched regularly in 2013, compiling a 2.16 ERA and 22 saves as the club's primary closer. The Mets entered this year with plans to give that role to Jenrry Mejia, who went on the disabled list after Opening Day and subsequently received an 80-game performance-enhancing drug suspension. As a result, Jeurys Familia has assumed the role, entering Friday's play with a Major League-leading eight saves in eight chances.
Former setup man Vic Black also suffered a setback recently while rehabbing from a shoulder injury, meaning the Mets will proceed for the immediate future with the same bullpen arms that produced a 2.79 ERA over their first 16 games.
"It does underscore the importance of everybody down there," manager Terry Collins said. "So far, they've done a great job, and they're going to have to continue to do a great job, because they're the guys we're going to turn to. They don't need to look over their shoulder about who's coming, because they're it."
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.