The Oakland Athletics have one of the top rotations in MLB, but it could be better with a healthy Jarrod Parker. Fortunately, the young right-hander is on his way back from Tommy John surgery.
According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, Parker was cleared to make some throws for the first time since the surgery:
Jarrod Parker's return from Tommy John surgery hits big milestone: he played catch for first time today since surgery. #Athletics— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) August 4, 2014
Dr. James Andrews gave Parker the all-clear to throw during a visit after the All-Star break, and he made 25 throws from 45 feet today.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) August 4, 2014
While this is just one step on a long road to recovery, it is certainly encouraging to see the rehab going well.
Parker has already posted two great seasons with the Athletics, totaling a 3.73 ERA, a WHIP of 1.24 and 25 wins in 61 starts. Unfortunately, he is out for the year after tearing his UCL for the second time.
As someone who has gone through this process before, he explained the biggest issues with sitting out the whole season, via Gabe Kapler of Fox Sports:
I think going through this rehab process, the biggest challenge is watching and wishing you were on the field with your teammates. It's easy to let the feelings or thoughts of being 'left out' creep into your mind and will challenge your demeanor, work ethic and overall general mood.
This certainly has to be difficult for him this season as the Athletics have had plenty of fun without him. With two months remaining in the year, the squad has posted the best record in baseball and is now a favorite to win the World Series after acquiring lefty ace Jon Lester at the non-waiver deadline.
While Parker will not be able to help the team in 2014, he appears to be on track to be back to his usual, dominant self for the 2015 season. No matter what happens for the rest of this year, Oakland should still feel happy to have a player of this ability under team control for a few more seasons.
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