Still, for Parnell, much work remains between now and Opening Day on March 31. Mets closer Bobby Parnell, who underwent Sept. But that is why Parnell came down to Florida in mid-January, more than a month before the Mets' official report date Parnell, who converted 22 of 26 save chances last season before being shut down for the season on July 30, is expected to return to the closer's role. Parnell was examined in California in late December by Dr. Robert Watkins, the surgeon who performed the closer's procedure. “There’s plenty of time between now and opening day at the end of March to get healthy and get in shape. He plans to begin doing so in Florida under the watchful eyes of Mets trainers, but will not be able to perform squats or his usual lower-body routine.