NEW YORK -- Mets closer Bobby Parnell will undergo surgery for a herniated disk in his neck, manager Terry Collins said Monday.
Parnell first experienced neck stiffness during the team's series in Miami in late July. Over the course of the following week, he received anti-inflammatory injections and an epidural procedure. But the Mets then placed Parnell on the disabled list on Aug. 6, retroactive to July 31.
At the time, he said he wanted to get back on the mound again this season.
"I don't want the season to end like this," Parnell said when he went on the DL. "I want to get back. But I've got to be smart about it, too."
Parnell emerged as a reliable closer for the Mets, converting 22 saves in 26 opportunities before going on the DL. The right-hander was 5-5 with a 2.16 ERA in 49 total appearances. The 29-year-old had 44 strikeouts and 12 walks in 50 innings.
With Parnell on the disabled list, LaTroy Hawkins has been given the bulk of the save opportunities.
Back in NY, Wright optimistic he'll play again this year
NEW YORK -- Mets third baseman David Wright flew back to New York on Monday, still optimistic he will play again this season.
"I don't think the clock is going to run out," said Wright, who has been on the disabled list since Aug. 3 with a right hamstring strain. "I think I'll be back at least for a larger chunk of the remainder of the games. That's the goal, and I haven't really even thought about not playing those."
Rehabbing in Port St. Lucie, Fla. for the past week and a half, Wright returned to New York because the organization's Florida base has all but shuttered its windows for the season. In Florida, Wright was regularly swinging a bat and participating in fielding drills, though he had not attempted to run the bases.
That, Wright figures, will be his next step at Citi Field, followed by live batting practice and perhaps a simulated game. Once he is cleared to play in games, Wright plans to join the Mets immediately rather than rehab with Class A Savannah, the lone organization's affiliate still playing postseason baseball.
Like Wright, the Mets remain optimistic that their third baseman will play again this season, even if it is only for the final few games. Prior to straining his hamstring, Wright was a legitimate National League MVP candidate, batting .309 with 16 home runs in 105 games.
"David Wright's a pro and he knows that we need him," manager Terry Collins said. "One thing about him, he loves to play. That's why when he shows up every day, he's in the lineup. Getting him out of the lineup is not that easy."
Harang called up by Mets, to start Thursday
NEW YORK -- Aaron Harang couldn't get comfortable in the American League. After pitching in the National League for nine full seasons, the right-hander faced difficulty adjusting to his new surroundings after he joined the Mariners. That manifested itself in Harang's subpar results.
"They always say there's kind of a transition period," Harang said. "I had some real good games that I threw, and then I had some bad ones."
Now he's back in his familiar NL.
The Mets selected Harang's contract from Triple-A Las Vegas on Monday and slotted him into the rotation. Harang said he's going to start New York's series finale against the Nationals on Thursday.
The Mets have a doubleheader against Miami on Saturday, so they needed another starter for at least one turn through the rotation. Presumably, the team would push Jon Niese back one day to Friday, and then have Carlos Torres and Daisuke Matsuzaka each start a game of Saturday's doubleheader. But the Mets haven't officially announced their exact plan for their rotation over the next week.
Having Harang also gives New York the opportunity to spread out Zack Wheeler's starts as the season wears down.
Harang was one of three players to join the team from Triple-A on Monday. New York also recalled outfielder Mike Baxter and selected the contract of catcher Juan Centeno from Las Vegas.
In 22 starts with Seattle, Harang went 5-11 with a 5.76 ERA. In four of his final eight outings, the 35-year-old yielded seven runs. The Mariners ended up designating Harang for assignment on Aug. 26, and released him four days later.
On Aug. 31, the Mets signed him to a Minor League contract, not only giving Harang the chance to pitch again this season, but also the opportunity to join a starting rotation.
"I think the biggest thing was to be in a rotation, and hopefully be the veteran to help answer questions for the younger guys," said Harang, who's also pitched in the Majors with the Athletics, Reds, Padres and Dodgers. "Just to finish out my season on a strong note I think was the biggest thing."
Harang last pitched for Las Vegas on Saturday in Game 4 of the Pacific Coast League semi-finals. He allowed three runs on six hits with two walks and six strikeouts over six innings. Starting Thursday's game keeps him in line to start on normal rest.
Harang said when the Mariners released him, other teams inquired about signing him, but only the Mets offered the chance to start. Otherwise he would've been in bullpens with relievers who already had their set roles.
"We had some other teams, but the biggest thing here was getting to finish off the season in a rotation," Harang said.
• Collins said Wilmer Flores' ankles are not 100 percent, but the 22-year-old is "playable." Flores started Monday's game against the Nationals at third base and hit seventh in the lineup.
Flores' ankle issues haven't allowed him to play much second base, something the Mets wanted so they could evaluate how he plays there in the Major Leagues. But with Daniel Murphy hitting .442 since Aug. 28, Collins wasn't in much of a hurry to take him out of the lineup anyway.
• Frank Francisco wasn't available out of the bullpen on Monday after pitching two-thirds of an inning in Sunday's 2-1 win over the Indians in his first appearance since being activated from the 60-day disabled list on Saturday.
"He hasn't pitched that much," Collins said. "I know he's only had a few rehab assignments. He has not pitched back-to-back days. I don't feel all that comfortable doing that just yet."
Collins said he isn't sure if Francisco will ever need to pitch back-to-back days through the end of the season since the Mets have plenty of relievers. But New York will take it day by day and see how the right-hander feels before using him in two consecutive games, Collins said.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. Chris Iseman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.