Terry Collins told WFAN on Tuesday that Vic Black has no fear in his eyes and no fear in his heart.
"I like his makeup and I like his stuff," said Collins. "We pray every day that Bobby Parnell is back here as the closer, because with Black setting up Parnell we'll have two dynamic arms at the end of the bullpen next season."
9:40 am: Black secured the first save of his big-league career Tuesday against the Reds.
"That's my childhood fantasy right there," Black said, who admitted to never liking the Reds.
"That's the best he's thrown," Terry Collins said after the game. "He pounded the strike zone."
Collins later told reporters it is important for the team to identify possible closers, since Parnell's future remains up in the air.
Parnell had surgery on a herniated disc and insists he'll be 100 percent by Spring Training.
The ingredients are there for Black to be a successful closer. He throws hard, has deadly breaking stuff and has the ability to miss bats consistently. His issue so far has been command, and it’s difficult to rely on somebody to close out games who has difficulty throwing strikes consistently. After all, that was the huge knock on Parnell before the light went on, and something which prevented the Mets from installing him as their closer earlier in his career.
That’s not meant to be a knock on Black – most young pitchers go through these kinds of growing pains early in their big league careers. The hope is that things click sooner than later. However, there’s no telling when or if it will take place. Assuming one of Parnell and Black aren’t moved this winter, the Mets could have themselves a shutdown eight and ninth inning combination next season, something which has proven vital for contending teams over the last few years. With LaTroy Hawkins feeling fatigued down the stretch, there’s a nice opportunity to see what Black can do in a late-game role, and see how he responds to save situations in whatever opportunities they might have in the final few games.