Derek Holland — current co-ace of the Giants, give or take — was officially added to the 40-man roster on Monday. What was once a contested roster spot became a given after the injuries to Madison Bumgarner and Jeff Samardzija, and his solid spring didn’t hurt matters. To make room for him, however, the Giants designated Jarrett Parker for assignment.
Parker was out of options and would have been designated for assignment anyway if he didn’t make the 25-man roster, and the pitching injuries sealed his fate. He’ll have to clear waivers to return, which isn’t completely farfetched, considering that all 30 teams are in the middle of a roster crunch right now. But even if he returns to the Giants and is assigned to Triple-A, it’s worth a quick reminder of how horribly timed his collarbone injury was for him.
Parker was a starter! He was given an unlikely chance that few players in their late 20s get after an extended career in the minors, and he was an honest-to-goodness starting outfielder in the major leagues. While it was always a questionable decision for the Giants to trust him as the de facto starter, they absolutely committed to the idea. Then a wall broke him, and a year later, through no real fault of his own, he was removed from the roster to make room for a non-roster invitee.
I hate the twists and turns of this story so very much, even if I was never optimistic that the Parker experiment would work out. The thought of a player — any player — finally getting a chance as a starter after years of shuttling between the majors and minors, then losing that chance because he played too hard is absolutely devastating.
Holland is now the third starter because one of you wished on a monkey paw in 2010, and I am absolutely okay with that. He was missing bats in the Cactus League, so, idk, down the hatch, here we go.
I’ll always feel bad for Parker, though. He might not have merited the chance he was given before the 2017 season, at least based on minor-league numbers alone, but he sure should have been able to prove himself once he got it. It was also exceptionally strange that the Giants refused to try him in center field toward the end of last season, just to see if he could have been a viable fifth outfielder for a roster like this one, but it wasn’t to be.
Here’s hoping he either latches on to a team that can use him (helllloooo, Marlins), or hits so danged well in Sacramento that he forces his way back up.