In a chat with fans on MLB.com Thursday, new Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers indicated that Jarrod Parker has a chance of starting next season with the big club.
More than likely, Jarrod will start the season in Double-A Mobile mainly because of the colder weather at the start of the season in Triple-A Reno. But he may surprise us and start the season in Phoenix if he has a strong Spring Training and appears healthy.
Towers clarified his comments to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic on Friday.
“Certainly we’re going to be cautious with him,” Towers said, noting that they’ll have to monitor his innings workload. “We’re not going to do anything stupid here, but, to me, I don’t want to have to make that decision until the end of March. I don’t want to be making it in November.”
Parker, who was the No. 9 overall pick in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, missed the entire 2010 season recovering from Tommy John surgery. He was regarded as one of the top starting pitching prospects in the game prior to the surgery, posting a 3.31 ERA over 44 minor league starts, averaging 8.9 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9.
Towers recently told Tom Krasovic of AOL Fanhouse that the right-hander looks “awesome” and is reaching 95 mph on the radar gun. Parker doesn’t even turn 22 until later this month, so there’s still plenty of reason for optimism here.
Lost in the nifty base running by Dustin Pedroia that won Sunday’s game against the Rays, the Red Sox set a new major league record by striking out 11 batters in a row, per Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe. Starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out the final six Rays he faced and reliever Heath Hembree struck out five Rays in a row after that. Tom Seaver had the previous consecutive strikeout streak of 10, set on April 22, 1970 against the Padres.
The Red Sox also set a team record with 23 strikeouts in total: 13 by Rodriguez, five by Hembree, one by Matt Barnes, and four by Joe Kelly. Per Abraham, that’s the most strikeouts in a 10-inning game since at least 1913 and the most in a game of any length since 2004.
For Rodriguez, Sunday marked the first double-digit strikeout game of his career. He has pitched quite well since returning to the rotation at the start of the second half. Over 13 starts, the lefty has a 3.10 ERA with a 70/23 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.
Dodgers second baseman Charlie Culberson delivered a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, clinching the NL West for the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. What a way to celebrate Vin Scully’s final home game behind the microphone.
The Dodgers were trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, but shortstop Corey Seager tripled in a run to tie the game. Rockies outfielder David Dahl untied the game in the top of the ninth with a two-out solo home run off of Kenley Jansen. But Seager once again rose to the occasion, blasting a game-tying solo shot in the bottom half of the ninth against Adam Ottavino. That would set the stage for Culberson in the next frame.
Culberson, a former Rockie, came into the afternoon with a .591 OPS and zero home runs in 53 plate appearances. He finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with the homer.
It’s the fourth consecutive season in which the Dodgers have won the NL West. The Cubs have clinched the best record, which means they’ll play the winner of the Wild Card game. The Dodgers will play the Nationals in the NLDS. The Nationals have a 1.5-game lead over the Dodgers for home-field advantage, so both teams are still playing for something of importance in the regular season’s final week.