Recently named a PCL All-Star, Blake Parker is having a great year at AAA Iowa: 25 IP, 1.44 ERA, 34 K, 9 BB.
But, after spending much of his 2013 season pitching well in Chicago, the now-29-year-old probably wishes he was having his 2014 success with the big league team. A crowded bullpen picture squeezed Parker out in Spring Training, and the surprising effectiveness of some young arms have precluded Parker from nabbing a spot yet, despite the Cubs using eight relievers for much of the season.
He’ll get another shot, though, having been called up today to take one of the roster spots vacated by the big trade this weekend. Parker is the 25th man on the roster, and the presently 10th (ell oh ell) member of the Cubs’ bullpen. That situation will be sorted out in the coming days, particularly with a doubleheader in Cincinnati on Tuesday. How much work Parker gets in the interim remains to be seen.
Incredibly, Parker isn’t even the only deserving arm down at AAA right now in the bullpen, with guys like Marcus Hatley, Zac Rosscup, Arodys Vizcaino, and Armando Rivero all looking like future bullpen arms, too.
Parker may need to make his mark this time around – or at least in the second half of the season – if he wants to stick in the Cubs’ plans for the near-term.