If you thought it was odd when Bobby Parnell threw three innings in Wednesday’s blowout game against the Cardinals, then this might help explain it. Parnell could be in line to pitch as a starter when Niese’s spot in the rotation comes up again.
Jerry Manuel has said he did indeed give Parnell three innings to pitch to help stretch him out. Parnell was more than up to the task, pitching three scoreless innings, striking out three and allowing only one hit. He needed just 30 pitches to navigate those three innings. He even got his first hit and run scored in his first Major League at-bat, in addition to getting his first Major League save.
Parnell was actually a starter in the minors before he was called up, but he didn’t have a great record. He was 27-30, with a 4.04 ERA, in 92 starts. At least he has the mindset of a starter.
It’s a decent thought to have Parnell start. What could it hurt? He probably can’t do any worse than Nelson Figueroa did against the Rockies on Monday or in a couple of the games when Livan Hernandez allowed five or six runs in the first few innings he pitched. Give him his shot. Who knows? Maybe they’ll find a diamond in the rough, or the mound.