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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 1:00 am

Arm injuries force Parker to call it quits

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

Jarrod Parker won 26 games in Major League Baseball. But it's another number – four – that may define his career.

Parker, a Norwell graduate, had four major elbow surgeries that derailed his ability to pitch.

On Tuesday, he announced his retirement, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

“I'm doing everything but throwing,” he told the newspaper. “Your arm will tell you when it's done, and it did. It just sucks, being somewhat younger.”

Parker, 29, last pitched March 11, 2016, re-fracturing his elbow, but he hadn't pitched in the majors since 2013, disappointing for a player who was once considered one of the elite young right-handers of the game.

He had Tommy John surgeries as a minor-leaguer in 2009 and in 2014, after he was projected to be the Oakland A's opening-day starter.

The broken elbow he suffered in a rehabilitation start with Triple-A Nashville in 2015 was so gruesome it was clear his career would never be the same.

Parker, who was the ninth overall pick in the 2007 MLB draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks, led Norwell to the Class 3A state championship later that month.

He played one regular-season game with the Diamondbacks in 2011 and was traded to the A's that offseason, along with Collin Cowgill and Ryan Cook, for Trevor Cahill and Craig Breslow. He finished fifth in 2012 Rookie of the Year voting, after going 13-8 with a 3.57 earned-run average and 140 strikeouts, including a game in which he no-hit the Texas Rangers for seven innings.

In his career, he was 25-16 with a 3.68 ERA and 275 strikeouts in the regular season. He also played four postseason games – pitching a third of an inning with Arizona, three starts with Oakland – and had a 1-2 record as a playoff starter.

According to the Chronicle, Parker, who lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Lauren, is considering working in a health-related field and putting his time rehabbing from injuries to use in helping other athletes.