Blake Parker – 0-2, 2.82 ERA 35 strikeouts in 22.1 innings 1.12 WHIP
In a classic Billy Eppler move the Angels claimed a young pitcher named Blake Parker off waivers from Eppler’s old team the Yankees in early October. A month later he was designated for assignment to make room on the roster for someone else and was claimed by the Milwaukee Brewers.
However as you might imagine this story has a twist which occurred on December 23rd as the Brewers then released Parker and the Angels reclaimed the 31-year old giving Parker an early Christmas present. Parker was eventually designated for assignment again in January this time with no one claiming him, so the Angels assigned him to their Triple-A Salt Lake team and invited him as a non-roster player to Spring Training.
Hardly anybody knew about this kid going into Spring Training and those who did would have said Parker had no shot to earn a spot in the Angels crowded bullpen, but then Parker did by pitching lights out baseball.
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In 12.1 innings this Spring Parker posted a 0.73 ERA allowing only one run. However that is only half the story. Parker walked only two batters and struck out a whopping 24 batters holding opponents to a .156 batting average. He was one of the final players added to the roster along with aforementioned Bud Norris.
So how has Parker done so far this season. Almost as well he did in Spring Training. So far in 24 appearances Parker has a 2.82 ERA with 35 strikeouts in 22.1 innings and a 1.12 WHIP. Parker has been used as a mop-up man, 6th/7th inning man and also as a set-up man for Norris. While he has had a few bad outings including his very first in Oakland where he gave up two runs in only 1.1 innings of work, he has still held opposing hitters to a .214 average.
With all the injuries in the Angels bullpen Parker has been a ray of light and has proven one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.