Jarrod Brent Parker
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 180 lb.
- High School Norwell High School
- Debut September 27, 2011
- Final Game September 28, 2013
- Born November 24, 1988 in Fort Wayne, IN USA
Parker went 1-0 with a 0.77 ERA and .154 opponent average for the USA in the 2006 World Junior Championship as they won the Silver Medal. He was 12-0 with two saves and a 0.10 ERA as a senior to help his team to the Indiana Class 3A title. He fanned 116 and walked 11 in 70 innings, allowing just one earned run. He also hit .530 with 52 RBI and 43 runs. The Arizona Diamondbacks took him ninth overall in the 2007 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Mike Daughtry and he made his pro debut with the South Bend Silver Hawks in 2008. He debuted on April 11, allowing 5 hits and three unearned runs in 2 2/3 IP in a loss to the Quad Cities River Bandits. He was named to the 2008 Midwest League mid-season All-Star team for the East division.
Parker reached the major leagues with the Diamondbacks late in the 2011 season and did not give up a run in 5 2/3 innings in his first taste of the Show. He also pitched once in the NLDS, giving up a run to the Milwaukee Brewers in a third of an inning. After the season, he was the key player given up by the D-Backs in a December 9 trade that brought Ps Trevor Cahill and Craig Breslow from the Oakland Athletics; Collin Cowgill and Ryan Cook joined him in making the trip to the Bay area. He was sent down to the AAA Sacramento RiverCats in mid-March of 2012, shortly after having issued 7 walks in an outing against his former team in spring training. Not surprisingly, the A's brass explained that he needed to work on his command. He was called up by Oakland on April 25th after going 1-0, 2.18, in 4 starts for the Sacramento RiverCats, and in his first start that day gave up only 1 run in 6 1/3 innings against the Chicago White Sox but ended up with a no-decision. He earned his first major league victory in his next start, on May 1st, when he defeated the Boston Red Sox, 5-3. He only gave up a run on 4 hits in 6 2/3 innings, but closer Grant Balfour made things interesting by surrendering a pair of runs in the bottom of the 9th. His second win on June 4th was even more memorable, as he kept the powerful line-up of the Texas Rangers in check for 7 innings before surrendering a lead-off single to Michael Young in the 8th. He then completed the 8th inning on two pitches, a pop-up by Nelson Cruz and double play grounder by David Murphy, then left the game. The A's won the game handily, 12-1. After the game, manager Bob Melvin explained that Jarrod would not have been allowed to complete the no-hitter even if he had escaped the 8th inning unscathed, as he was already within one pitch of his career-high pitch count when the inning ended. He finished the season with an excellent record of 13-8, 3.47 in 29 starts, pitching 181 1/3 innings and striking out 140 opponents while the A's wrested the AL West crown from the Texas Rangers on the last day of the season. He started Games 1 and 5 of the ALDS against the Detroit Tigers, but lost both times, 2-1 in the opener on October 6th, when he gave up 3 runs (2 earned) in 6 1/3 innings, and 6-0 in the deciding game on October 11th.
Parker was one of the A's best starters in 2013, as he put together an Oakland-record streak of 19 consecutive starts without a defeat, starting on May 28th when he defeated the San Francisco Giants, 6-3. He had started the season poorly, going 0-4, 8.10 in his first 5 starts, and his ERA was still at 5.76 when his winning streak started. He did not lose a game again until September 16th, when he was roughed up by the Los Angeles Angels in a 12-1 loss. In between the two losses, though, he had gone 9-0 and lowered his ERA to 3.55 while the A's were on the verge of clinching their second straight AL West title. He finished the year at 12-8, 3.97, with 197 innings pitched and 134 strikeouts. He pitched in the postseason for the third straight year, getting the start in Game 3 of the ALDS against the Tigers on October 7th. He gave up 3 runs in 5 innings that day before turning the ball over to the bullpen and was given credit for the A's 6-3 win.
Parker missed all of the 2014 season however after Dr. James Andrews diagnosed ligament damage in his elbow during spring training. He had to undergo Tommy John surgery for the second time of his career, the first having been performed by Dr. Andrews after the 2009 season. He encountered a setback in his recovery when he broke a bone in his elbow while pitching a rehabilitation game for the AAA Nashville Sounds on May 9, 2015. The fracture was in the area near the operation and required another operation to fix, pushing his return back to the next season. But, again, things did not go smoothly when he showed up in spring training in 2016, as only 12 pitches into his first simulated game, he hurt his elbow yet again and left the field in pain. An MRI determined that he suffered another fracture, putting his future in serious doubt. He decided to undergo another round of surgery on April 1st to assess the extent of the damage and determine whether another Tommy John procedure was feasible or not. But he stated that he still considered himself a major league pitcher and would mount another comeback attempt, no matter how slim the odds of success. After not pitching in 2017, Parker officially announced his retirement on February 13th, 2018.
Sources include 6/28/07 USA Today
- Jane Lee: "Parker determined to return to pitching: A's righty ready for another rehab after second elbow fracture surgery", mlb.com, March 21, 2016.