Jarrod Parker had pitched very well in his first seven starts for the A’s. He had something special in store for his eighth.
Going up against the mighty Rangers in front of his home crowd at O.co Coliseum Monday night, Parker spun seven no-hit innings before Michael Young led off the eighth with a dribbler up the middle that found center field. Parker retired the next two batters on two pitches -- getting a pop-up and a double-play ball -- before being removed with his pitch count at 111. He walked three and struck out six over his eight frames.
Parker has now permitted two runs or fewer in seven of eight outings with the A’s this season, and he sports a tidy 2.40 ERA and 1.21 WHIP over 48 2/3 innings. The 35/24 K/BB ratio isn’t appealing, and Parker has been known to get wild from time to time. The 23-year-old has terrific stuff, though, so we expect the strikeout rate to climb.
Correa Goes No. 1
The Astros pulled a surprise at the top of the MLB Draft Monday, going with high school shortstop Carlos Correa over Stanford right-hander Mark Appel and high school outfielder Byron Buxton.
Correa was universally considered a top-five talent, so it was hardly a reach for the ‘Stros and first-year general manager Jeff Luhnow. The 6-foot-4, 190-pounder will begin pro ball as a shortstop, but the Astros concede that he might eventually need to move to third base. His bat is fully expected to play there also, though.
Buxton went to the Twins with the No. 2 pick, which is where many had him pegged to go all along. The 18-year-old outfielder was ranked as the draft's top overall prospect by many, and while he’s yet to fully grow into his power, he has plus power potential and ample speed. Due to signability concerns, Appel had to wait until the No. 8 pick, where the Pirates popped him. He profiles as a potential ace and should be a fast-mover for the Bucs.
Another notable pick was the Nats’ selection at No. 16 of high school right-hander Lucas Giolito, who would have been under consideration for the top spot if not for an elbow injury. If Giolito signs with the Nats and proves to be healthy, he gives them a potential No. 1 starter down the line. The most major league-ready pick figures to be Duke righty Marcus Stroman. A starter his junior year, many see Stroman as a reliever and one that could help out the Blue Jays in the second half this season.
Starlin in the Doghouse
Starlin Castro has often been prone to lackadaisical play, and his latest gaffe could earn him a spot on the bench.
With the Cubs up 2-1 in the fifth inning Monday against the Giants, Darwin Barney fielded a grounder and flipped it to Castro hoping to start an inning-ending double play. Castro, though, thought there were already two outs, and he simply received the ball at second base and then began to head to the Cubs’ dugout. The mental mistake drew the ire of manager Dale Sveum, who threatened to bench his star shortstop.
“It’s something that’s obviously unacceptable at any time, whether we turned the double play or not,” Sveum said in the Chicago Sun-Times. “It’s not acceptable. Those things have to stop happening or he’s going to stop playing. Last straw. If he wants to play, he better get his head in the game, period.”
If Sveum does decide to bench Castro, it likely won’t be for more than a game or two, so it’s not as if it’s a major deal for fantasy owners. The 22-year-old is likely in need of a wake-up call, though.
National League Quick Hits: Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports that Trevor Bauer is expected to be promoted “soon.” He’s worth stashing in fantasy if he’s on the waiver wire … The Giants are not happy with Pablo Sandoval’s commitment, as Kung Fu Panda has evidently blown up while rehabbing from hand surgery. He played third base for the first time during his rehab assignment Monday … Jon Niese left his start Sunday with dizziness and a rapid heartbeat, but the Mets aren’t concerned and the left-hander is expected to make his next start at this point … Jeff Francis has opted out of his minor league deal with the Reds and is now looking for a new home. His former team, the Rockies, reportedly have shown interest … Alex Presley is on his way back up to the Pirates after mashing at Triple-A since his demotion … Jon Rauch will have his elbow checked out after dealing with some tenderness … Vance Worley wasn’t sharp in his return to action Monday, giving up three runs on five hits and three walks over four innings. He didn’t have any rehab outings, so it’s understandable that he was rusty … Jason Bay (rib) won’t rejoin the Mets Tuesday as originally anticipated after coming down with an illness. He should be back later this week … Hong-Chi Kuo has inked a minor league deal with the Cubs. He won’t join them anytime soon but has the potential to help when he does.
American League Quick Hits: Dustin Pedroia is expected to return to the lineup Tuesday after missing the last six games with a torn adductor muscle in his right thumb … Yoenis Cespedes left Monday’s game with a patella issue with his knee, but it’s considered minor and he could be back in the lineup Tuesday … Tom Wilhelmsen on Monday received the first true save chance for the Mariners since Brandon League’s demotion and converted it in impressive fashion. He appears to be the guy to own for saves in Seattle right now … Carl Pavano (shoulder) has landed on the disabled list as expected. He’s been diagnosed with a right anterior capsular strain, and although no timetable for a return has been set, he figures to miss ample time … Joe Mauer sat out Monday’s game after leaving Sunday’s contest with a sprained right thumb. All indications are that the injury is minor and he should be back in action in a day or two … An MRI on Adam Jones' hands and wrists came back negative. He plans to return to the lineup Tuesday … Brett Anderson (elbow) and Dallas Braden (shoulder) have both resumed their throwing programs. Neither pitcher will be ready to help out the A’s prior to the All-Star break … The Red Sox will come together on a plan for Daniel Bard on Tuesday. It seems likely that the hard-throwing right-hander is headed back to the bullpen after posting a 5.24 ERA over 11 outings – 10 starts … David Aardsma’s recovery from Tommy John surgery is going well enough that the Yankees think he can help them in the second half. He went under the knife last July.