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NEW YORK -- Jose Valverde, named the New York Mets closer when Bobby Parnell was lost for the year with an elbow injury, didn't even make it through April before losing the job.
|Jose Valverde is out as the Mets' closer.|
Manager Terry Collins announced Sunday morning that veteran right-hander Kyle Farnsworth is his new closer, after Valverde allowed four home runs in his last three appearances. Farnsworth didn't make the team out of spring training, but has allowed just one run in his eight appearances since joining the Mets on April 2.
The 38-year-old Farnsworth has 54 career saves, including two last season with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Valverde has 288 career saves, including two this season and a major league-high 49 with the 2011 Detroit Tigers.
Valverde didn't seem upset by Collins' decision.
"I'm never disappointed," he said. "If I'm not doing my job, someone else has to do it. ... [I'm a] happy guy. I stay happy."
Collins said that he told Valverde he would like to see him use his split-finger fastball more often, and Valverde agreed that might be a good idea. Valverde threw five straight fastballs to Justin Upton in the ninth inning Saturday night, and Upton hit the fifth one deep over the center-field fence for a three-run home run.
Valverde wasn't pitching in a save situation Saturday, but Upton's home run ended up being decisive in a 7-5 Atlanta Braves' win over the Mets. Earlier in the week, Valverde allowed home runs to Raul Ibanez of the Los Angeles Angels and Aaron Hill and Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Farnsworth allowed a run in his first Mets appearance, but none in his last 6 1/3 innings.
"You've got to take the opportunities you get and run with them," he said.
Collins also made another move Sunday, removing struggling Curtis Granderson from the cleanup spot. Granderson, who signed a $60 million contract last winter to become the Mets cleanup hitter, will bat second for now.
Daniel Murphy is the Mets cleanup hitter for Sunday's game against the Braves.
Granderson is batting .140 with just four RBIs in 16 games.