The story of Delmarva’s success this season has been its pitching. While their ERA is only 6th out of the 16 teams in the South Atlantic League, they’re the only team that has three starters with double-digit win totals. Just behind them is a pitcher who’s collected all seven of his victories in relief, holding down the fort until the bats came around to win the ballgame. Brian Parker has sort of been flying under the radar, but he’s performed well all season and is deserving of selection as this week’s Shorebird of the Week.
Brian is definitely a power pitcher, as he’s averaging over a strikeout per inning (70 in 66 2/3 innings of work) but has good enough command to only have allowed 23 walks and 62 hits in that span, resulting in a solid 1.28 WHIP. Generally he’ll pitch the 7th and 8th innings, setting up the closer – however Brian does have 2 saves this season in three chances.
The tall, lanky righthander was selected in the 19th round of the 2007 draft by the Orioles out of Lewis and Clark College and pitched effectively for both Bluefield and Aberdeen last season (combined 3-0, 1.78 in 30 1/3 innings) before the Idaho native began his first full pro season this year. With his 3.65 ERA this time around, he’s not quite as dominating as he was previously but still seems to be making strides and is probably on the cusp between a promotion to Frederick or starting 2009 back here. The control numbers are in his favor but he was somewhat more hittable in the season’s second half. He also has an unusually high number of unearned runs, which actually made him a little less effective as innings were extended.
As sheer happenstance since I didn’t notice this until I looked up the stats, today is Brian’s 23rd birthday. It’s not everyone who’s picked as a Shorebird of the Week on their birthday, but Parker is fortunate enough to have the opportunity as he continues his bid to make it to The Show.