Jarrod Parker has developed into one of the Oakland A’s best pitchers and a guy who could develop into one of the top righties in the American League. Unfortunately that will have to wait, as Parker will undergo Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow for the second time.
A few days ago the A’s claimed they didn’t think Parker had any structural damage in his right elbow, but that diagnosis has obviously changed. He will now miss the entire 2014 season, but should be able to return for most of 2015.
Parker struggled through the beginning of spring training and his Cactus League ERA rose to an ugly 10.61. Obviously something was wrong because the 25-year-old hurler had quickly become a very reliable starter for Oakland.
In 2013, Parker started 32 games and posted a 12-8 record, with a 3.97 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. He allowed 178 hits and walked 63 batters in 197 innings, while striking out 134. He posted a WAR of 1.9. At one point during the 2013 season, Parker set an A’s franchise record by posting 19 consecutive starts without a loss.
As a rookie in 2012, Parker looked great. He started 29 games, and had a 13-8 record, with an ERA of 3.47 and a WHIP of 1.26. In 181.1 innings he allowed 166 hits and surrendered 63 walks while striking out 140.
The Arizona Diamondbacks selected Parker with the ninth overall pick in the 2007 MLB Draft. He came out of the Indiana high school ranks and despite his small stature (he’s listed at 6-1 but that is generous) he was a hard thrower with a solid curveball. He was still considered a top prospect after undergoing Tommy John surgery in October of 2009.
In December of 2011, the D’backs traded Parker to the A’s along with Collin Cowgill and Ryan Cook in exchange for Trevor Cahill and Craig Breslow.
Now Parker will have to take a step back after establishing himself as a promising major league starter. It’s going to be tough sledding coming back from a second Tommy John surgery. Here’s hoping he makes it.