OAKLAND – Jarrod Parker made it through a planned bullpen session Tuesday without any setbacks. But A’s manager Bob Melvin said he needed more time before committing to Parker making his next scheduled start Thursday.
Melvin said that Parker, who left a start Saturday against the St. Louis Cardinals after collapsing on the mound with an injured right hamstring, felt some lingering soreness during his bullpen session.
“He was able to throw his bullpen without any complications, although there were some times when he felt it just a little bit,” Melvin said. “So going after it in a bullpen with the intensity he did, we’ll wait till tomorrow and see how that feels before we make a decision on whether or not he starts on Thursday.”
Melvin, who was at Parker’s side throughout the session, said the hamstring bothered Parker not during his windup, but while he was following through.
“After he would let the ball go and take a step or so, there were times he said it felt just a little bit tight,” Melvin said. “But it wasn’t precluding him from doing anything or throwing the ball in the fashion mechanically that he normally does.
Parker is 6-6 with a 4.11 ERA after an ugly start to his sophomore season with the A’s. He posted an 8.10 ERA in his first five starts, but has gone 6-2 with a 2.91 ERA since April 30. That’s closer to what the A’s expected from Parker, a centerpiece of the Trevor Cahill trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks, after he won 13 games and posted a 3.47 ERA in his rookie year.
If Parker can’t start Thursday in the series finale against the Chicago Cubs, the A’s would likely recall Dan Straily from Triple-A Sacramento for another stint with the big league club. But for now, Melvin is keeping his options open. He laid out the plan for Parker moving forward.
“Based on throwing a full-scale bullpen today, I think it’s going to be pretty evident when he comes in tomorrow,” Melvin said. “If there’s some soreness there, then we probably won’t mess with that. If we feel like it’s all cleared up, then we’ll go ahead and start him on Thursday. I hate to keep telling you another day, but we’re not going to make a decision until we have to.”