The Oakland Athletics were hoping to get former ace Jarrod Parker back after he missed each of the past two seasons after suffering multiple elbow injuries.
Back in 2014, Parker blew out his elbow — an injury that required Tommy John Surgery. Then during a rehab start last year, Parker suffered an elbow fracture.
Sidelined since last pitching in the 2013 playoffs, expectations were that Parker might be able to return to the Majors this upcoming season. He had taken part in multiple bullpen sessions during Spring Training, eventually taking part in pitching against live hitters on Thursday.
Unfortunately, things went horribly awry for Parker during that session:
Jarrod Parker, facing hitters for the first time this spring, just came off the mound yelling in pain after throwing a pitch. #Athletics
— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) March 10, 2016
The good news here is that Parker’s most-recent injury appears to be less serious than the previous two he’s suffered through since last pitching in live-game action.
Athletics Trainer Nick Papresta indicated that Parker’s setback is a lateral elbow impingement, which is in a different area of the elbow than his previous surgeries.
It’s also being reported that Parker has a “full range” of motion in his elbow, but is dealing with soreness and swelling.
The A’s aren’t necessarily relying on Parker to come back fully healthy this season. They added starters Henderson Alvarez and Rich Hill during the winter.
With Sonny Gray sitting atop the rotation and Jesse Hahn looking to come back after missing the latter part of last season with an arm injury, there is depth here to overcome another extended absence from Parker.
This is more about Parker’s ability to return to previous form. After all, he did tally 25 wins with a sub 3.50 ERA and 1.240 WHIP in 61 starts for the A’s from 2012-13.
If Parker did indeed dodge a bullet here, that’s good news for his long-term prognosis. Still, one has to wonder whether he will ever be 100 percent right again.