Chicago Cubs re-sign RHP Blake Parker to minor league deal


When the Chicago Cubs brought back left-handed reliever James Russell shortly after he was released by the Atlanta Braves, right-hander Blake Parker was designated for assignment.

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Parker, 29, was removed from the 40-man roster as a corresponding roster move in order to make room for Russell. Prior to being released by the Cubs, Parker was placed on the 7-day disabled list due to an elbow injury as reported by Gordon Wittenmeyer on Twitter back on May 5.

Now according to Tommy Birch three days ago on Twitter, Theo Epstein, and Jed Hoyer have decided to bring him back on board and is currently rehabbing his elbow injury in Arizona. Bringing back Parker surely adds depth to this organization that has struggled when it comes to the bullpen.

There have been several games in which Chicago should have won, but certain relievers who were called upon to take over on the mound have let leads slip away or were unable to keep things at a stand still. Parker is a former 16th round draft pick during the 2006 amateur draft where he began his professional career in 2007 between the AZL Cubs and Boise Hawks.

After climbing through the minor league circuit, Parker was called up on May 17, 2012 in a move that involved Scott Maine being sent back to the Triple-A Iowa Cubs. He took on a middle relief role almost immediately.

In his rookie campaign with the big league club, he made seven appearances and allowed four earned runs on 10 hits including three home runs while posting a 6.00 ERA in six innings of work. Despite struggling the year before, Parker was able to improve on the mound in 2013, dropping his ERA down to 2.72 through 46 1/3 frames.

Parker began the 2015 campaign with the I-Cubs in Des Moines, IA and was limited to just 3 1/3 minor league innings before letting the team know that his elbow was bothering him. Chicago chose to option him before Cactus League play came to an end near the end of March.

As we all know, a handful of relievers has spent quite a bit of time on the disabled list early on. We’ve seen guys such as Justin Grimm, Neil Ramirez and even starting pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada fight their way back from the DL, eventually finding themselves back in the Majors where they belong.

Ramirez, 26, could find himself being activated within the next week or so depending on if he suffers any setbacks. He’s been out of action for nearly a month with inflammation in his throwing shoulder.

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