Parker arrives with opportunity to prove himself
Club recalls former No. 1 pick amid flurry of roster moves
ST. LOUIS -- Time will tell if Rockies 2010 No. 1 Draft pick Kyle Parker is in the Majors to stay. But at least this time he's here to play.
The club recalled Parker, an outfielder and first baseman who turns 26 on Sept. 30, before Saturday's 6-2 win over the Cardinals, while placing outfielder Corey Dickerson on the 15-day disabled list with non-displaced fractures of two ribs.
Last year, Parker was called up three times, but received just 26 at-bats, as veteran Michael Cuddyer (now with the Mets) received the outfield time and Justin Morneau played at first base while making a run to the National League batting title. Earlier this year, Parker appeared in one game and was quickly sent back to Triple-A Albuquerque.
"It's been difficult," said Parker, hitting .280 with nine home runs and 58 RBIs at Albuquerque. "To say it hasn't been difficult would be a lie. But you never want to get caught in a bad mindset, especially during the season. You've got to be there mentally."
As he waited, some bloggers and fans launched a "Free Kyle Parker" campaign.
This time figures to be different.
Parker wasn't in the lineup on Saturday night after flying in from Triple-A Albuquerque. But with Dickerson down and his return uncertain, given the problems a rib cage injury can cause, Parker should receive regular at-bats as a right-handed-hitting complement to Ben Paulsen at first base and in the outfield.
"He'll get an opportunity to get some more consistent playing time than he had in the past," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "It's always tough when your at-bats are hit-or-miss. He's done a good job this year and he got better as the year went on and put himself in position for this."
After debuting in the Majors, but playing little last season, Parker hit .302 with a .400 on-base percentage in 22 Spring Training games. But with Morneau still healthy, former catcher Wilin Rosario (now at Albuquerque) being used at first and the Rockies set in the outfield, there wasn't a spot for him. At Albuquerque, Parker hit .155 in April, but since then has batted .315 with a .352 OBP and seven homers.
"My first month was terrible, probably the worst I've ever performed in my career, which was kind of strange coming off Spring Training," said Parker, an outfielder who began playing first base last year. "I was just like, 'Man, I've got to get my head back.' Then the following months I kind of went on a tear. I feel like the last two months, like anyone there have been days where like anyone you feel like it's not your day and you don't get any hits, but I've been able to get back on rhythm."
• Righty Kyle Kendrick leaving after one inning of Friday night's 7-0 loss created a domino effect on the roster. Kendrick was placed on the 15-day disabled list, which means his next scheduled start (Wednesday) is open. Lefty Aaron Laffey, who threw three scoreless innings on Friday, was designated for assignment simply because the Rockies needed fresh arms. The club activated righty Christian Bergman from the 15-day disabled list (right shoulder inflammation), and recalled righty Scott Oberg from Albuquerque.