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Parker embraces battle for roster spot

MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The uncertainty surrounding Jarrett Parker's professional future could cause him to feel ill. Instead, he remains chill.

Parker, San Francisco's Opening Day left fielder a year ago, is rarely mentioned in the speculation about the composition of the Giants' outfield. Rather than name him as a projected starter or as a candidate to earn a reserve role, the Giants traded for Andrew McCutchen, signed free agent Austin Jackson and clearly view rookies Chris Shaw and Steven Duggar as potential outfielders of the future.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The uncertainty surrounding Jarrett Parker's professional future could cause him to feel ill. Instead, he remains chill.

Parker, San Francisco's Opening Day left fielder a year ago, is rarely mentioned in the speculation about the composition of the Giants' outfield. Rather than name him as a projected starter or as a candidate to earn a reserve role, the Giants traded for Andrew McCutchen, signed free agent Austin Jackson and clearly view rookies Chris Shaw and Steven Duggar as potential outfielders of the future.

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Parker, who started in right field and went 0-for-4 in the Giants' 9-3 Cactus League triumph over the Dodgers, also could fret about being out of Minor League options. He can't be sure if he'll be in the Majors, which organization he'll play for or whether he'll be employed at all when April arrives.

"He's in the mix," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We have a tough couple of calls there in the outfield. He is one guy who's out of options, so that can come into play."

At 29, Parker has learned that none of this is worth the heartache.

"If you sit there and dwell on all those things, you'll drive yourself insane. So I'm not worried about it anymore," Parker said. "It's definitely something you have to work on. It took me a while to come around."

Fortunately or unfortunately for Parker, he has had considerable practice in coping with adversity. Last April 15, he collided with AT&T Park's left-field wall while racing to snare a drive by Colorado's DJ LeMahieu and fractured his right clavicle, forcing him to miss 96 games.

Even when Parker left the disabled list in early August, he wasn't fully healed.

"I wouldn't say it was 100 percent but I wouldn't say it was a hindrance. It was somewhere in between," Parker said. "It was definitely something I had to make sure was ready every day, get my work in with it.

"It definitely wasn't ideal. I try not to think about it much anymore. But, yeah, it sucked. There's no other way to put it. But such is life. You have to keep moving forward, try to keep getting better."

Free from physical hardship, Parker anticipates improving upon his 2017 campaign, when he batted .230 with a .709 OPS in 51 games.

"I believe in the abundance theory," Parker said. "I think there's enough success for everyone. So I don't look at it like it's me versus another player. Those cards aren't anything I can control. Other people make those decisions. I can only control what I can control, which is trying to get better every day and trying to play my game. That's all that I'm really going to worry about."

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

San Francisco Giants, Jarrett Parker