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.
Roger Clemens will be an analyst for ESPN when the defending World Series champion Houston Astros host the Chicago White Sox on opening day.
Clemens made four appearances on last year’s KayRod Cast with Michael Kay and Alex Rodriguez. He will be stepping in on March 30 for David Cone, who will be doing the New York Yankees opener against the San Francisco Giants on YES Network.
“Roger has been sort of a friend of ours for the last year, so to speak, he’s in. He’s been engaged, knowledgeable and really present,” said ESPN Vice President of Production Phil Orlins. “You know, whatever past may be, he’s still tremendously engaged and he really brought that every time he was with us.”
Clemens was a seven-time Cy Young winner but his career after baseball has been tainted by allegations of performance-enhancing drug use. He is a Houston native and pitched for the Astros for three seasons.
Orlins said that with the rules changes and pitch clock, it is important to have a pitcher in the booth with Karl Ravech and Eduardo Perez.
“We don’t feel like we have to have the dynamic of Eduardo with a pitcher, but we certainly think that works. Throw in the added factor of rule changes and it is better to have a batter-pitcher perspective,” Orlins said.
Orlins did not say if this would open the door for future opportunities for Clemens as an ESPN analyst.