Parker adds to repertoire

Parker adds to repertoire
March 27, 2013, 4:00 pm
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A's starter Jarrod Parker won't be boasting about his 7.45 ERA this spring. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

PHOENIX, Ariz. -- A's starting pitcher Jarrod Parker certainly won't miss Arizona. His spring stats have been less than spectacular and he'll be eager to hit the reset button on his numbers when the regular season starts.

Parker allowed four runs on six hits in four and one-third innings in his final Cactus League start. He allowed three home runs, struck out one and walked one. As he heads to Oakland, he'll get to leave behind the desert and his 7.45 ERA.

"I think it's about that time," Parker said. "It's a fresh start and everything counts from here on out."

Last season Parker won 13 games and finished the regular season with a 3.47 ERA and he did it mainly with three pitches -- a fastball, change up, and slider. This spring he has implemented a curveball. In 2012, Parker threw the curve only 1.2 percent of the time.

"I am happy with where I am at, I feel pretty good with all four pitches," Parker said. "I was able to incorporate my curveball this spring and take it into this season. I'm feeling pretty fresh and that's the most important part right now."

At 24-years-old, Parker is a rising star in the game. After his rookie season the league is pretty familiar with him. To be able to add to his repertoire only helps him stay ahead of the game.

"He's definitely been working on his breaking ball," Melvin said. "Fastball, change up, has a good slider and a good curveball, and if he can get good command of both of those it's tougher to think along with him."

Despite the ugly stats, Parker has reason to be optimistic. Pitches don't break as much in the dry desert air of Arizona. The fact that he is happy with his curve is a good sign as it will have much more movement elsewhere. As for the high ERA, the ball carries much better at Phoenix Municipal Stadium than it does at the Oakland Coliseum.

Brett Anderson is the A's Opening Day starter, but Parker, who pitched Game One for the A's in the 2012 American League Division Series considers himself "One B" -- a title he says he shares with Tommy Milone. Maybe a new big three has formed in Oakland.

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