MIAMI - After a setback in his rehab from Tommy John surgery, Mets reliever Bobby Parnell can take solace in one fact. He won't have to rush back, thanks to a bullpen that has overcome injuries.

"It really benefits me from a selfish standpoint because I know these guys can do it," Parnell said Monday, when he joined the Mets for three games against the Marlins. "I can take my time and be 100 percent when I get here."

Forearm soreness prompted the Mets to shut down Parnell, who had been on a rehab assignment. The righthander is scheduled to begin throwing on flat ground by Thursday.

"It was just achiness we couldn't shake," said Parnell, who played down the setback.

His velocity dipped during his rehab, steadily declining after he had gotten it up to 94-95 mph. He insists that the time off will help him get it back and hopes it can do some good for his curveball, which he described as "a little bit of a spinner."

"The goal is to be here to help the team in the end," Parnell said. 'It's how you finish, not how you start."

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On the brink

Michael Conforto's surge to start the season has put him in line for a promotion about a month ahead of schedule.

The 22-year-old Conforto has dominated at high Class A Port St. Lucie with a slash line of .348/.439/.652.

Because opponents have started pitching around the former first-round pick, Mets officials believe a promotion to Double-A Binghamton could come as soon as early May.

 

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Wright track

David Wright (right hamstring) fielded grounders and did some light running at the team's complex in Port St. Lucie, but the earliest Wright can rejoin the team is late this week. Terry Collins said he is "not close."