Robert Allen Parnell
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 4", Weight 200 lb.
- School Charleston Southern University
- High School East Rowan High School
- Debut September 15, 2008
- Final Game July 8, 2016
- Born September 8, 1984 in Salisbury, NC, USA
Bobby Parnell posted ERAs of 6.82 and 8.86 his last two years of college. But the New York Mets drafted him in the 9th round of the 2005 amateur draft. Signed by scout Marlin McPhail, who had been tracking him since high school, he made his pro debut that summer.
Parnell reached the majors with the Mets at the end of the 2008 season, pitching in 6 games in relief. In 2009, he went 4-8, 5.30 in 68 games, including the only 6 starts of his career. He then went back to minor leagues and the AAA Buffalo Bisons to begin the 2010 season. After 24 games there, he was recalled to New York in June and finished the year with the Mets, going 0-1, 2.83 in 41 games. he then began to take over more important duties in the bullpen starting in 2011, when he went 4-6 with 6 saves and a 3.64 ERA in 60 games. He pitched 74 times in 2012, going 5-4, 2.49 with 7 saves then started 2013 as the team's closer. He did quite well, with 22 saves, a 5-5 record and a solid 2.16 ERA in 49 games, but a neck injury cost him the last two months of the season.
Parnell re-claimed the closer role during spring training in 2014, but the Mets' management was concerned about his health and brought two veterans with closing experience, Jose Valverde and Kyle Farnsworth, to spring training in case he was unable to shoulder as much burden as the team would like during the year. The first warning signs came in his last appearance of spring training, when he blew a save opportunity against the Toronto Blue Jays at Stade Olympique on March 28th and did not look sharp at all. On Opening Day, March 31st, when he allowed the Washington Nationals to tie the game in the 9th (the Nats eventually won, 9-7, in 10 innings). The next day, the Mets announced that he had been diagnosed with partially torn ligaments in his pitching elbow and would need to go on the disabled list, with Tommy John surgery following shortly afterwards.