Francisco penned up until next week

July, 18, 2012
WASHINGTON -- Frank Francisco, who landed on the disabled list June 23, and whose rehab assignment was abandoned last week when his left oblique strain remained cranky, is expected to resume throwing bullpen sessions Monday in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Terry Collins said the hope is for the closer to throw the pen sessions Monday and Wednesday and enter a rehab game next Friday. He will need two to three minor league appearances, at least, before being activated from the disabled list, the manager added.

"The other day, when he was throwing, the fact that he hadn't thrown in so long off the mound, he felt a little awkward," Collins said. "So that's why they backed him off."

Bobby Parnell has blown his past two save chances in Francisco's absence.

As for Parnell's struggles in the interim, Collins said: "When you've got that kind of stuff, you've got to make the hitters a little bit more uncomfortable than he's made them. I just told him today, 'I think you've got to pitch inside a little bit more.' ...

"I think he's got it in him to do it," Collins continued about Parnell as a closer. "You chart his last two games, his fastballs are away. One day he didn't use his breaking ball very much in Atlanta. Last night he used his breaking ball and it was effective, but the fastballs -- everything was away from the hitter, away from the hitter. Frankie is one of those guys that works both sides of the plate with his fastball. It keeps them a little more off-balanced."
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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