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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Eric Parkinson, Up-and-Coming - 726

Eric Parkinson had just been converted from a starter to a reliever and, for someone who had never been above high-A Salem, what better way to test that than in a exhibition game against AAA hitters?

As it turned out, Parkinson held his own. In two innings, he gave up a hit, a walk and registered two strikeouts, according to The Pittsburgh Press.

"It was an incredible feeling," Parkinson told The Press afterward. "I thought I would be nervous, but I wasn't. (Salem manager) Stan (Cliburn) told me they swing and miss just like they do here and, by gosh, they do."

Parkinson's showing against AAA hitters would never be better. He would also never face AAA hitters again, his career ending after only a brief stint at AA and well short of the majors.

Parkinson's career began in 1989, when he was taken by the Pirates in the 22nd round of the draft out of Kellogg Community College.

He played that year at rookie league Princeton, starting eight games and posting a 4.35 ERA. He moved to single-A Augusta in 1990, and had similar results, starting 26 games with a 4.50 ERA.

But he started his time at Augusta well, according to The Sumter Item. By May 8, his ERA was just 1.21. On that day, he gave up one run in seven innings, winning a pitchers duel, The Item wrote.

It was for 1991 that the Pirates tried him as a reliever, according to The Press. By early May, his ERA was just 1.54, the paper wrote.

"We're thinking seriously about moving him back as a starter so he can get his innings," Pirates director of minor league operations Chet Montgomery told The Press. ""He needs to improve his off-speed pitches and his breaking stuff, but he has to be considered one of our up-and-coming pitchers."

Parkinson ended up starting 11 games for Salem that year, but his ERA returned to form, hitting 4.74. His efforts continued through 1993, but the results were the same.

In July 1992, Parkinson's Salem team was hammered, according to The Beaver County Times, by a score of 20-3. Parkinson took the loss. His final ERA that year was north of 6, at 6.06.

He pitched two games at AA Carolina in 1993, the rest back at Salem and Parkinson's days in affiliated ball were done.

Parkinson pitched briefly for the independent Northern League's Duluth team in 1994, then a longer stint with Aberdeen of the Prairie League in 1995 and Parkinson's time as a player ended.
1990 CMC Tally
Cards Reviewed:
181/880 - 20.6%
Players/Coaches Reviewed: 184
Made the Majors: 125 - 68%
Never Made the Majors: 59 - 32%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 51
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 62

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