Jarrod Parker failed to claim a spot in the A’s rotation when he struggled to throw strikes during spring training, but it didn’t take long for the former No. 9 overall pick to enter the team’s plans.
Parker, who was acquired from the Diamondbacks in the Trevor Cahill trade this offseason, will be called up from Triple-A to start Wednesday against the White Sox.
He brushed off the spring struggles to throw 21 innings with a 2.18 ERA and 21/6 K/BB ratio in four starts at Triple-A and has recovered extremely well from Tommy John elbow surgery that knocked him out for all of 2010.
In the short term Parker is replacing Graham Godfrey, who was demoted to Triple-A after going 0-3 with a 5.06 ERA in three starts. And in the long term the 23-year-old right-hander projects as a potential No. 1 or No. 2 starter with a mid-90s fastball.
The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.
Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.
While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.