Diamondbacks prospect Jarrod Parker looking good one year after Tommy John surgery

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Brandon Webb failed to show his pre-surgery velocity while pitching in an instructional league game yesterday, but in the same game Diamondbacks prospect Jarrod Parker looked like his old self coming back from Tommy John elbow surgery.
Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that Parker “had no trouble dialing it up” and “hit 95 mph 10 times in two scoreless, hitless innings in which he struck out three and walked one.”
Afterward the ninth overall pick in the 2007 draft told Piecoro: “I feel like I did before surgery. I’d say I was pretty close to being back.”
Typically the recovery timetable for Tommy John surgery is 12-18 months and Parker went under the knife about 11 months ago. However, he’d only advanced to Double-A prior to the injury and new Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers indicated that the 22-year-old right-hander will likely be limited to 130-140 innings in 2011, saying: “My hope would be, if not at some point next year, then in 2012 this guy’s a big part of our starting rotation.”

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

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TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.