Rockies Pull Surprise For Father, Son
SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ.—The Rockies had planned for Parker Frazier to make his Cactus League debut this spring. They decided the most opportune time would be March 17 in a televised game when his broadcaster father, George, would be working.
Assistant general manager Bill Geivett didn't tell George Frazier, who wasn't paying attention to a high-numbered reliever warming up and was astonished to see his son walking up the mound to start the seventh against the Dodgers.
Parker, who went 11-11, 4.50 at high Class A Modesto last year, had been scheduled to make his spring debut that day in a Double-A game on the road. But Rockies officials then told him he would pitch in a high Class A game at the Rockies complex, before finally telling him he would make his Cactus League debut.
George, a former major league reliever, said that during the fourth inning, he sent Parker a text message to see how he did and got no reply. Thirty minutes later, the same thing happened. Assistant farm director Zach Wilson had confiscated Parker's phone, after he notified his mother, sister and brothers back home in Tulsa to tune in.
The crowd of 12,465 was the largest to ever see him pitch, but Parker, 23, said he was more nervous last October when he made his Arizona Fall League debut.
"I was trying to zone them out before I got out there and surprisingly I did," Parker said. "I felt like I belonged, which was nice."
He gave up a leadoff single to former Rockie Cory Sullivan but got Tim Federowicz to ground into a double play and struck out Dee Gordon.
"I know I can pitch in the big leagues," Parker said. "I feel very confident that my ability can take me there."
His slider was particularly effective in the bullpen, but because Parker fell behind, he ended up throwing sinkers on all 11 pitches.
"He went 3-0 on Dee Gordon and comes back with two quick strikes and punches him out," George said. "I was speechless, had a little tear in my eye, because it's flesh and blood."
• Oft-injured shortstop Hector Gomez had not played since he strained a groin running out a double March 8 and likely will begin the season on the disabled list.
• Outfielder Jamie Hoffman, claimed off waivers from the Dodgers in December, chose free agency after being outrighted off the 40-man roster.