Parnell eager to get a crack at save chance

NEW YORK -- All spring, the Mets touted Bobby Parnell as their new closer, officially handing him the job after Frank Francisco sustained a setback in his rehab from right elbow surgery. The Mets were excited to see what Parnell might be able to do in the role.

A week in, they're still waiting. Parnell was one of only two big league closers not to see a save situation over the first week of the season, joining Houston's Jose Veras. The difference, of course, is that the Astros won just one of their first six games, while the Mets won four.

"I'm ready to get out there in a save situation, but I just want to win," Parnell said. "It doesn't really matter to me."

Parnell has appeared twice in lower-leverage situations, protecting a four-run lead with two outs in the ninth last Wednesday, then firing a perfect inning in another four-run game Saturday. But the Mets have yet to provide him with an official save chance, most often defined as a lead of three runs or fewer.

"I'm definitely ready for a save opportunity, but it's not a big deal as long as we're winning," Parnell said. "We're winning. I'm pitching. Opportunities are going to come."

As for Francisco, the former closer played catch Monday in Port St. Lucie, Fla., as he continues to work his way back from surgery. The Mets have no timetable for his return.

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