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Mets closer Bobby Parnell sees bump in velocity

Bobby Parnell of the Mets walks off the

Bobby Parnell of the Mets walks off the field after the ninth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. (July 22, 2013) (Credit: Jim McIsaac)

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Mets closer Bobby Parnell believes he could pitch in a big league game right now.

“I feel like I’m there,” Parnell said on Friday, when he threw two shutout innings in a minor league game against the High-A Cardinals. “My stuff’s there. I let a few go today a little more and just worked on getting the arm strength up. But my stuff’s there. And I feel like if I need to, I can settle down and throw strikes. Or if I need to, I can let it go right now. So, I feel good.”

Parnell has progressed steadily from neck surgery that ended his season last July. In his two innings on Friday, Parnell threw 29 pitches while allowing just one hit. His fastball topped out at 94 mph, a few ticks up from his previous outing, and closer to his average of 95 mph last season.

“It felt like the velocity was probably better,” Parnell said. “It was good. The ball’s coming out good. The second inning was easy, easier than I thought it would be.”

Reliever Jose Valverde followed with a scoreless inning of his own.

Earlier in the day, rehabbing righthander Matt Harvey moved to 75 feet in his long-toss throwing program. 

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