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.
The Associated Press is reporting that the spring training schedule will be shortened by two days starting in 2018. That change comes as part of the new collective bargaining agreement, which was agreed to last month.
Specifically, the voluntary reporting date for pitchers, catchers, and injured players has been changed to 43 days before the start of the regular season, down from 45. For the rest of the players, the reporting date is 38 days before the start of the regular season, down from 40.
The change goes hand-in-hand with allowing teams 187 days, rather than 183, to complete their 162-game regular season schedule.
While just about everyone seems to be in agreement that the spring training exhibition schedule is too long, team owners are likely very hesitant to shorten that part of the spring schedule because it would cost them money. So they’re just allowing players to arrive to camp a couple of days later.
Update (7:05 PM EST): The Rays and Dodgers have both announced the trade.
Update (6:57 PM EST): That was fast. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports the two sides have agreed to the trade. Forsythe for De Leon. An announcement is expected shortly.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the Dodgers and Rays are “deep into discussions” on a trade involving second baseman Logan Forsythe. Passan adds that the two sides have discussed pitcher Jose De Leon — the Dodgers’ top pitching prospect — as part of the return for Forsythe, but it’s unclear if he’s in the deal currently being discussed.
Forsythe, 30, hit a productive .264/.333/.444 with 20 home runs and 52 RBI in 567 plate appearances in 2016. He was even better the year before, finishing with an .804 OPS. Forsythe can fill the Dodgers’ obvious need at second base, but he also has experience playing third base, first base, shortstop, and corner outfield.
Forsythe is entering the second year of his two-year, $10.25 million contract extension with the Rays. He’ll earn $5.75 million in 2017 and his controlling team has an $8.5 million club option with a $1 million buyout for the 2018 season.