Former Athletics right-hander Jarrod Parker has officially decided to halt any comeback attempts and retire, he tells Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. The now-29-year-old Parker was a promising building block for the A’s in 2011-13, posting a 3.68 ERA through his first 384 big league innings at ages 22 through 24.
Once the ninth overall pick in the MLB draft (Diamondbacks, 2007), Parker found his way to Oakland as part of the return that Arizona surrendered when initially acquiring a more established, controllable young righty: Trevor Cahill. Parker showed all the promise in the world, landing on five Top 100 lists from Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus after being drafted out of high school, and the fine early work in his career serves as a testament to what might have been had injuries not ruined a promising career.
Unfortunately for the talented young Parker, his elbow simply didn’t allow him to realize his considerable potential. The righty twice underwent Tommy John surgery before fracturing his elbow in his comeback attempt from that second Tommy John procedure. Unfathomably, Parker re-fractured the epicondyle bone in his elbow, necessitating a fourth elbow surgery. Parker’s former teammate Ryan Cook, A’s executive vice president Billy Beane and former A’s lefty Barry Zito are among the notable names who raved to Slusser about Parker’s raw potential and expressed sadness over never seeing how high his ceiling could have been.
Parker, now looking to the future, tells Slusser that he’d look to work in the health industry, potentially serving as a rehab coordinator for players returning from injury.
A bit more on the A’s…
- Also via Slusser, Oakland catcher Bruce Maxwell did not reach a plea agreement in his recent settlement conference, thus prompting a second such meeting to be scheduled for April 13. Maxwell, who is facing charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and disorderly conduct after allegedly pointing a firearm at a delivery person back in October, is slated for an Aug. 9 trial if no plea agreement can be reached. Maxwell is still expected to serve as Oakland’s primary catcher in 2018 despite those struggles; Slusser adds (via Twitter) that GM David Forst cited the team’s long relationship with Maxwell as a factor in its decision to give him a chance as the starting backstop in 2018. Maxwell was the Athletics’ second-round pick back in the 2012 draft.
- Jane Lee of MLB.com breaks down the rotation situation in Oakland, noting that only right-hander Kendall Graveman and left-hander Sean Manaea are considered locks to hold down a starting job at present. The final three spots are up for grabs in a race consisting of Andrew Triggs, Jharel Cotton, Daniel Mengden, Daniel Gossett and Paul Blackburn — assuming Oakland does not make any further additions to the staff. Lee adds, on Twitter, that manager Bob Melvin said Mengden’s strong finish to the season has him in the lead for the third spot in the rotation right now, but the A’s look to have a fairly sizable competition for rotation innings.