Parnell, 32, has totaled 21 innings with the Royals’ Triple-A affiliate in Omaha, pitching to a 4.71 ERA with 17 strikeouts against 13 walks with a 42.2 percent ground-ball rate. Opponents actually aren’t hitting Parnell all that hard (.244/.354/.305, no homers allowed), but his control issues and a poor 61.8 percent strand rate have haunted him thus far.
The former Mets closer tallied just 30 1/3 innings in the Majors over the past three seasons combined due to myriad injuries, including 2014 Tommy John surgery. Prior to that TJ operation, Parnell had risen from middle reliever to setup man to closer in Queens, pitching to a 2.79 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 across 213 innings from 2010-13. He’s yet to be able to approach that form in any of his comeback attempts, however, and Parnell’s once-97 mph heater was averaging a diminished (but still solid) 94 mph in his brief big league stint with the Tigers last year.