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PARNELL STRONG IN SPRING START

Bobby Parnell, an All-Star for Brooklyn in 2005, made a strong Spring Training start for the Mets on Wednesday against the Florida Marlins.

Parnell tossed five scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and a walk, while striking out five batters.

With Pedro Martinez slated to start against the Marlins in a week, the Mets would rather keep Pedro's stuff under wraps, and will instead send Parnell to the mound.   Beginning with his pro debut in Brooklyn, Parnell has turned himself into a  pitching prospect in the Mets organization.

In 2005, he  led the New York-Penn League with a 1.73 ERA, and started the league's first-ever All-Star Game (held at Brooklyn's KeySpan Park).  Parnell allowed two or less earned runs in 13 of his 15 appearances for the Cyclones (14 starts), and walked less than three batters in all but one, while striking out 67 and holding opposing batters to a .185 average.

A self-proclaimed "small-town boy," Parnell was introduced to big-city life during his time with the Cyclones, possibly preparing him for another taste of the Big Apple somewhere down the road.


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