In trading top prospect Jarrod Parker to the Oakland Athletics for Trevor Cahill and Craig Breslow, the Arizona Diamondbacks were trying to provide a little more stability to a pitching rotation that was poised to lead the team to a postseason run. Cahill was a bit of a known commodity while Parker was still an unknown.
On Monday night, Arizona fans were reminded of that trade when Parker took a no-hitter into the eighth inning against the very talented Texas Rangers, raising the question, "Would the D-backs have been better off with Parker in the starting rotation?"
Statistically, Parker has been the better pitcher this season. Compare the two:
Parker: Eight starts, 48.2 innings, 35 strikeouts, 24 walks, 2.40 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 2-2 record
Cahill: 11 starts, 70.1 innings, 47 strikeouts, 29 walks, 3.45 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 3-5 record
However, looking at things in a vacuum is hard to do with players. In Cahill, the team does not lose anything in the way of age, as he is 24 to Parker's 23. He has more experience and proven success in the majors.
The front office and coaching staff for the Diamondbacks, while they do not just devalue youth, they definitely value experience, especially with a team that is trying to win now. The trade made sense, although they were risking that Parker turn out to be a very good player.
Parker has been great, and Cahill has looked superb at times. He threw a complete game shutout in his last start. Plus, Arizona has a lot of young pitching prospects, so parting with Parker to get a young pitcher who could probably help out more now made sense.
Was it the right move? That is a hard question to answer now. Parker very well have faced the same struggles as the rest of Arizona's staff, especially pitching in Chase Field, a notoriously batter-friendly park. Cahill's skillset -- inducing ground balls -- is perfect for Arizona because ground balls don't end up in the bleachers.
For now, we can only hope that the team gets turned around and that Parker doesn't turn into an overnight star.
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