Parker cleared to begin throwing after surgery

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Diamondbacks top prospect and 2007 first-round pick Jarrod Parker met with Dr. James Andrews yesterday for his four-month checkup following Tommy John elbow surgery and was cleared to begin a throwing program.
Parker has been blogging about the whole rehab process and had this to say after receiving the good news from Andrews:

Being away from the game for the months I have been has really opened my eyes to the things that are taken for granted. Taking ground balls on the mound, going through bunt plays, shagging batting practice and just being a part of the clubhouse. Okay maybe I take that back about shagging BP, but I enjoy running around like a little kid and shagging like an outfielder is fun to me!

He’s definitely someone to root for, but there’s a long way from beginning a throwing program to appearing in a game and Parker stated that his goal is simply “to pitch somewhere this season.”
That likely means a few token appearances in the low minors late in the season and there’s definitely a strong chance that he won’t pitch at all in 2010, yet Parker still ranked 21st on MLB.com’s list of baseball’s best prospects and topped the Diamondbacks’ list at Baseball America.

The Cards dealt Stephen Piscotty to the A’s, in part, so he could be near his ailing mother

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Last night we wrote about the rumored deal between the Cardinals and the Athletics for Stephen Piscotty. The deal is now official, with Piscotty going to Oakland for minor leaguers Yairo Munoz and Max Schrock.

Something else emerged about the deal today: a big reason why St. Louis traded Piscotty to Oakland as opposed to another team was so that he could be near his mother, who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease last May. Piscotty and his family are from Pleasanton, California, about 35 miles from Oakland.

Here’s Cardinals GM John Mozeliak:

This was certainly a baseball trade — Piscotty became expendable for the Cardinals after they acquired Marcell Ozuna yesterday — but it was one which could’ve been made with any team with a couple of red or white chip prospects. That Mozeliak considered Piscotty’s personal situation in making the deal with the A’s is a credit to him and his staff.

The 26-year-old Piscotty hit .235 with nine homers and 39 RBIs in 107 games last season. He has hit .268 with 38 homers and 163 RBIs in 2+ major league seasons. He agreed to a six-year, $33.5 million contract extension last spring.

As for the prospects in return: Munoz, 22, hit .300 with 13 homers and 68 RBIs this year for Double-A Midland and Triple-A Nashville. Schrock, 23, batted .321 with seven homers and 46 RBIs for Midland, and was a Texas League All-Star.