FORT WAYNE – Norwell graduate Jarrod Parker will have season-ending surgery to replace an elbow ligament.
It’s not only a blow for the Fort Wayne native because it’ll be the second Tommy John surgery of his career – he had it done in 2009 when he was in the minor leagues – but also because he was atop the Oakland Athletics rotation and had been slated to start Opening Day.
He was 12-8 with a 3.97 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 134 strikeouts in 197 innings for the A’s last season, when they won the American League West, but he had arm discomfort the final month of the season.
While Parker couldn’t be reached for comment, his high school coach, Kelby Weybright, believes Parker will be able to come back from this.
You hate to see this happen. It’s tough to see, as it was the first time (he needed surgery), Weybright said. It’s unfortunate he’ll have to fight through this a second time. But knowing Jarrod as I know him, he’s a great young guy and a great young man. I’m confident he’ll put in the work he needs to be back and better next year.
Parker, 25, was examined Monday by noted physician Dr. James Andrews in Gulf Breeze, Fla., as were Arizona’s Patrick Corbin and Atlanta’s Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy, all with similar injuries.
Parker, who had a 10.61 ERA in three spring training starts, will have surgery March 25 performed by Andrews, who also operated on Parker in 2009 when he was in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization.
If you pay attention to the MLB right now, Jarrod’s not the only guy fighting this situation and having to overcome it, Weybright said. Obviously, you never want to be derailed when trying to put yourself on the map. I’m sure there will be some down, bum feelings, but he’ll handle it like a professional.
Obviously we feel bad for Jarrod, A’s assistant general manager David Forst said, according to MLB.com. I know he worked hard this offseason after having some struggles at the end of the year and was hoping to be at the top of the rotation this year. We can only play the hand that we’re dealt, and we obviously spent a lot of time putting together pitching depth and some guys are going to have to step up.
Parker was 25-16 with a 3.73 ERA in 61 starts for the A’s over two seasons.
He was a first-round pick, ninth overall, of Arizona in 2007.