Making or Breaking a Career

Jarrett Parker made a tremendous over the shoulder catch yesterday, crashed into the left field wall and broke his collar bone.  So, perhaps, goes his shot at a successful major league career.

Parker was, practically speaking if not in conformance with the actual rule, a 28 year old rookie this year, who had made the San Francisco Giants as the guy-to-get-the-most-plate-appearances left fielder out of Spring Training.  Parker is the kind of toolsy outfielder the Giants sometimes like to take with their second round draft pick, in Parker’s case in 2010.

It took a while for Parker to develop, but he always had the tools, and slowly but steadily he got better.  That’s why he had a shot at being a 28 year old rookie sensation in 2017.  He was off to a slow start this year (3 for 21 for a .143 batting average and a .455 OPS), but having played in only nine games not much had been proven.

Parker underwent surgery on his right clavicle today, and I still haven’t seen an announcement on how long he’ll be out, which suggests to me the answer is at least 60 days plus rehab time in the minors.  A collar bone is something that needs to heal fully, as it’s an easy bone to break in the first place.

This is all too often how major league careers make or break.  Given Parker’s age, the injury could not have come at a much worse time.  He has to come back hot sometime later this season, or he’ll be a 29 year old in 2018 coming off an injury plagued season.  That’s a recipe for a possible major league career in Japan or South Korea, not MLB.

Meanwhile, lefty Steven Okert gets another opportunity to prove he’s major league ready at an old 25 (he turns 26 on July 9th).  Parker’s loss is quite literally Okert’s gain.

I’m fairly convinced that Steven Okert will help the Giants win games at some point in the future, but I’m sad to see Jarrett Parker’s career take such a hit.  Life’s not fair, Baby!

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