Last of the starters to get a spring game, A’s Parker is playing it differently this time around

PHOENIX – The A’s Jarrod Parker gets his first start of the spring Friday against San Francisco.

For Parker, who will be the last of Oakland’s six potential starting pitchers to get in a game, the start can’t come soon enough.

“I’m ready to go, really ready,’’ he said Thursday morning. “I’m anxious to get out on the mound again.’’

    Parker, acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks in the trade of Trevor Cahill a little over a year ago, didn’t make the opening day rotation, but by the end of April the A’s brought him up and he became one of the A’s top starters, going 13-8 with a 3.47 ERA.

It’s easy to see the change in Parker from then to now. He’s confident, collected and cool. He’s not pitching for a job anymore. He’s preparing to do a job.

“I tried to over-impress them here last year,’’ Parker said. “and as a result I wasn’t at all comfortable. I was doing thing that weren’t me. And it showed.’’

Parker said he’d spent all of the spring last year trying exclusively to hit the corners with his pitches, to make everything nasty. That’s a good idea in August, a little less so in March.

“I wasn’t willing to pitch to the big part of the plate last spring,’’ he said. “As a result I was walking too many guys. But now that I have that year of experience, it’s playing big into spring this time around.’’

John Hickey

A longtime baseball writer three years into in his second go-round covering to the Oakland A's beat after a dozen years covering the Seattle Mariners. Covered the A's through the late 1980s and 1990s.