Parker was optioned to Triple-A just an hour later, but Melvin said the move does not preclude him from the fifth-starter mix, since the A’s can get by with a four-man rotation until April 17.
Still, Parker was vividly disappointed and said he was told by manager Bob Melvin he must “figure a few things out and be ready when my time comes.”
Earlier in the day, the 23-year-old right-hander more than doubled his spring walk total, having entered the game with six free passes to his name, and mentioned he was maybe trying to do too much, be too fine, against familiar faces.
“Seven walks is pretty brutal,” he said.
Parker, acquired by the A’s in the Trevor Cahill deal in November, is finding out what most Tommy John survivors learn following their procedure, in that command is normally the last thing to come back. Melvin agreed but said Parker’s fastball command, more so than his breaking stuff, should have already returned by now.
“His stuff’s good when he gets it over the plate,” Melvin said. “He has the stuff to get behind guys and get guys out, but you just don’t want to put guys on base like he did today.”
“Today didn’t help,” Parker said, after learning of his demotion. “I strive to be better than that, and that’s what I’m going to do.”
Arizona’s first-round Draft pick in 2007 pitched in just one big-league game for the D-backs, tossing 5 2/3 shutout innings last year as a September callup from Double-A, where he went 11-8 with a 3.79 ERA. He compiled a 3.27 ERA with 13 walks and nine strikeouts in 11 innings this spring.