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Thursday, February 7, 2013
TC on Frank: He'll earn closer job if healthy

By Adam Rubin

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Terry Collins in recent days has walked back Sandy Alderson's comments about Frank Francisco not having a firm hold on the closer's job. So what's the bottom line?

Collins figures the management comments are designed as motivation for Francisco, who underwent surgery in December to remove a bone spur from his pitching elbow. Francisco is playing catch but not yet throwing off a mound. He drove up from Miami to throw for Mets coaches on Wednesday. He plans to return to the complex on Monday, when pitchers and catchers officially report.

Said Collins: “I told him the same thing yesterday. I said, ‘You’re the guy. We haven’t signed another close, per se. Bobby Parnell is here. I heard [Brandon] Lyon is going to have a physical. [Scott] Atchison is here. We’ve got candidates. But you’re the guy. But we’ve got to get you ready. And if you’re not ready, I’ve got to find somebody else.'

"And that’s kind of what Sandy is saying. This guy, with what’s happened last year, with his elbow issues, he’s got to go out and earn a job. If he’s healthy, he will earn the job, in my opinion.”