Frank Francisco is suffering from right elbow inflammation and has been shut down, a development that leaves Bobby Parnell positioned to become the Mets’ closer.
“They thought it might happen,” Collins said of Francisco, who underwent surgery in December to repair a bone spur in the joint.

“We just want to quiet the swelling down before he starts playing catch. Frank told me last week, ‘I’ll be ready (for Opening Day).’ ”
Collins explained that he and pitching coach Dan Warthen have targeted some dates for Francisco to resume throwing. If Francisco meets those dates, he could be ready for Opening Day.

“If he doesn’t, we’ll have to look in other directions,” the manager said.
In his first media briefing of the year, Collins said that if Francisco was unavailable, he would use either Parnell or veteran Brandon Lyon in the ninth inning. But later in the afternoon, he had a different message on WFAN.
“This is between me and you right now, I tell you, because I haven’t talked to anybody else, but tomorrow I’m going to go to Bobby Parnell and tell him that he’s going to be the guy we’re going to gear up to pitch the ninth inning,” Collins told the station.


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