DENVER — Jarrett Parker was supposed to spend Sunday morning taking some hacks against Madison Bumgarner. Instead, the big lefty headed to Scottsdale to throw pitches on Saturday. Parker didn’t join Bumgarner, but he’ll soon make a trip of his own.
Parker’s rehab assignment starts Monday with the Sacramento River Cats. He has not played since suffering a fractured right clavicle on April 16, but he has been taking swings for several weeks and finally felt ready to get back into games.
Parker was hitting just .143 when he got hurt, but Bruce Bochy felt he was finally starting to find his swing in the at-bats leading up to the collision with the left field wall at AT&T Park. Left field belongs to Austin Slater right now, and with a .386 average in 12 games, it doesn’t look like Slater is going to be giving up any playing time. Still, this is an important rehab assignment for the Giants.
They still need to figure out if Parker will be part of the 2018 mix, and it’s possible that he starts to see serious time in right field. Hunter Pence has struggled offensively and defensively, and there’s a sense with team officials that some veterans will start losing playing time soon. Parker has played a bit of center field in the past and the Giants should probably figure out if he can add that to the plate, too. The current backup plan in center has not worked.
--- As for Bumgarner, it was actually 25 pitches yesterday, not 40 as reporters were first told. He’ll throw another simulated game Wednesday in Scottsdale, and then likely one more. If all goes well, you’re probably looking at a rehab start sometime around June 29-30.
--- Ty Blach grew up a few minutes from Coors Field and used to come to games here all the time. He’ll have about 100 family members and friends in the seats today, including his father, Randy.
--- The Giants have never been swept by the Rockies in a four-game series. Those are the stakes for Blach today.