Reliever Bobby Parnell to pitch in Toledo
Lakeland, Fla. – Bobby Parnell, the right-handed reliever who earlier this week was cut by the Tigers, is back with the Tigers.
Parnell, 32, has decided to stick with Detroit and will report next week to Triple A Toledo. He had the right to opt out of a minor-league contract he signed last month and would have been free to join another big-league club after the Tigers informed him Monday he would not make the 25-man Opening Day roster.
Parnell instead has agreed to pitch for the Mud Hens as he attempts to build strength and regain some of the old power-pitching fire that in his earlier years with the Mets featured a 100-mph fastball.
Parnell had Tommy John surgery two years ago and remains in a relative state of recovery. The Tigers signed him in February with the promise he would receive a full audition during spring camp.
In Sunday’s game at Joker Marchant Stadium, Parnell struck out two batters, the last on a 96-mph called strike, in a lone inning of work.
But he was not showing sufficient command to have earned a roster spot for Opening Day, which for the Tigers will arrive Tuesday at Miami.
Parnell acknowledged that Toledo could be his best and fastest ticket to Comerica Park and to reuniting with a team he believes is best for him.
"I like it here,” Parnell said Wednesday as the Tigers got ready for a trip to Sarasota and a 6:05 p.m. game against the Orioles. “I think it’s just a matter of getting in some innings.
“I pushed a little this spring and walked some guys (eight in 9⅓ innings). But my arm’s good. Now it’s just a matter of getting my work.”
Parnell had an 8.68 ERA in 10 appearances. He struck out eight.
Another player signed to a minor-league contract and likewise cut Monday, infielder Casey McGehee, has also agreed tentatively to play at Toledo and perhaps rejoin the Tigers at some point in 2016.
The Tigers roster will remain at 38 players, two beneath its maximum number.