Bobby Parnell isn't giving up the closer role when Frank Francisco returns. Not immediately, anyway.
Frank Francisco has pitched on consecutive days with Class A St. Lucie, signaling he is moving closer to being activated from the disabled list. Sandy Alderson said Francisco should have at least another appearance in the minors as part of a rehab assignment, although Terry Collins was unsure if that would be at St. Lucie or a higher level such as Double-A Binghamton.
What happens when Francisco returns from the bout of elbow inflammation?
No surprise: At least initially Bobby Parnell will remain the closer.
"Frankie has got to show us that he can pitch back-to-back days up here -- that he's strong enough," Collins said. "We're talking three days in a row. Can he do that? The one thing I don't think we're ready to do is start to juggle our bullpen at this particular moment when Bobby has done such a good job. We'll wait until Frankie gets here to make those determinations."
As for Francisco's Sunday and Monday appearances in the Florida State League, Collins said: "The reports are his velocity has been good, his command has been pretty good."
Francisco's maximum 30-day rehab assignment began on April 17 with St. Lucie, so he almost definitely is within 10 days of returning.