DENVER -- Bobby Parnell pitched one scoreless inning Monday in the first game of a Minor League rehab assignment with Class A St. Lucie, walking a batter and throwing 12 pitches. Though Mets manager Terry Collins said Parnell could rejoin the Mets as soon as this week, he first wants to see the right-hander pitch in a cooler climate before activating him.
"Darn right," Collins said, "because if that finger is affected by the cold weather, that's an issue."
Parnell's next assignment, then, should come at Triple-A Buffalo, with the aim of testing the right-hander's circulation. Hitting the disabled list on April 21 with numbness in his right hand, Parnell pitched from 94-97 mph last weekend in extended spring training.
Joining him in Port St. Lucie, Fla., on Monday was fellow right-handed reliever Pedro Beato, who recently landed on the DL with right elbow tendinitis and is set to begin his rehab.
Parnell's activation may also hinge upon the performance of Mike O'Connor, who has recently given Collins a second left-handed option out of the bullpen. One of the last pitchers cut in Spring Training, O'Connor has not allowed a baserunner over 2 2/3 innings.