It’s been more than 13 months since Jarrod Parker tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow for a second time, ending his hyped 2014 season before it could even start. At the time the injury had been a huge blow to both Jarrod and the Oakland A’s, who were expecting him to lead their rotation during the upcoming season. But thankfully he’s back now and on a rehab assignment, where he’s looking to build up enough arm strength to join the A’s starting rotation by early June.
Last night down at Single-A, the 26-year-old righty threw 3.2 innings without experiencing any kind of pain or setback. The line itself wasn’t pretty, as he gave up three runs on four hits with just one strikeout, but that isn’t a concern right now as long as he feels good. After more than a year without any game action, it’s going to take him some time to regain the feel he had for his pitches prior to going down. A positive sign from Parker’s outing beside his health was the fact that he didn’t walk anyone while on the mound. Control is something pitchers coming back from almost any arm injury tend to struggle with at first, so it’s good to see he has already passed that hurdle in his rehab.
Even after two Tommy John surgeries the future for the former top-10 draft pick is still very bright. In 62 major league starts dating back to 2011, Parker has posted a solid 3.62 ERA while placing fifth in Rookie of the Year voting in 2012. Having the chance to take his time and come back with a healthy arm once again will show what Jarrod really can do on the mound. This might not be the year Jarrod fully breaks through, but the time is right around the corner while he works himself back to 100 percent for the first time in a long time.
To endure a rehab like a UCL tear once is extremely tough, but to do it twice shows some real resilience on Parker’s part. Hopefully this will be the last time he’s forced to go through this kind of thing, because he has earned the chance to wear a major league uniform. Once ready to rejoin the A’s, he’ll become a part of a rotation that has a very bright future thanks to arms like Sonny Gray, Kendall Graveman, and Jesse Hahn. Not to mention teammate A.J. Griffin, who is also returning from Tommy John Surgery will be back at some point in 2015 to give the A’s another boost.