Frank Francisco's first spring in a Mets uniform is going from bad to worse.

The team's closer planned to have an MRI exam on his left knee yesterday after encountering swelling in recent days. Francisco said his knee had been an issue earlier in spring training.

"Early in camp I felt a little sore in there and it went away," Francisco said. "But the last three days I've felt soreness in there again, and that's it."

If Francisco needs a disabled-list stint, Jon Rauch would likely move into the closer's role, though Bobby Parnell might warrant consideration based on a spring in which he has a 0.00 ERA over 11 appearances. Ramon Ramirez and Manny Acosta would be other possibilities.