Dave Parker thinks he should be in the Hall of Fame

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Via BTF comes a story from the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel in which former Pirate Dave Parker says that, in his humble opinion, he should be in the Hall of Fame. He’s said this before, of course.  He’s one of the more active retired players when it comes to that sort of thing.

And whenever he says it, I say the same thing: Parker’s prime was nice, but it was far too short to carry a peak-heavy, Sandy Koufax-style Hall of Fame candidacy.  And then, after that awesome short peak, drugs and weight problems put him in the wilderness for a good five or six years, then he had a brief, but overrated blip with the Cincinnati Reds, and then he tailed off like most older players do, going form town to town, up and down the dial.

If that hadn’t happened — if he had kept himself in shape and off the blow during what should have been the prime of his career — sure, we’d be having a different conversation right now. But it didn’t go down like that.  As a result, Parker had less overall career value than Jim Rice did, and Jim Rice shouldn’t have made the Hall of Fame himself.

Sorry, Dave. Buy a ticket.

Nathan Eovaldi to make 2018 debut for Rays soon

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Rays manager Kevin Cash said that pitcher Nathan Eovaldi will join the starting rotation on Monday or Tuesday to face the Athletics, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Eovaldi’s rehab outing with Triple-A Durham went well, even though he gave up eight runs in four innings.

Eovaldi, 28, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He had arthroscopic surgery in March to remove loose bodies in his elbow. It’s been a long road back. Knowing Eovaldi needed to recover from surgery, the Rays signed him to a one-year, $2 million contract in 2017 that included a $2 million club option for 2018 that they exercised last November.

When Eovaldi last pitched, he ranked among baseball’s hardest throwers, particularly among starters. He averaged 97.1 MPH on his fastball in 2016. Among starters who racked up at least 100 innings that season, only the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard had a higher average velocity (97.9 MPH). It remains to be seen if he still has that velocity after undergoing two procedures on his elbow.

The Rays will be glad to have Eovaldi back. The club has sustained injuries to Jake Faria, Yonny Chirinos, and Jose De Leon.