With three guys in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ outfield missing a chunk of time in 2014, rookies David Peralta and Ender Inciarte were given significant playing time. Now that one of the hurt players, Mark Trumbo has come back and another one, Cody Ross, has sort of come back, playing time decisions will have to be made. Gerardo Parra, the one starter that has been healthy all year seems safe for now. However, as the trade deadline looms and Peralta having established himself as a legitimate every day player, does the sixth-year D’back Parra have a future with the team?
The 27-year old right fielder has seen a big dropoff in offensive production from his solid 2013 season. His on base percentage is below .300 and while he has hit 16 doubles, he smacked a career-high 43 of them last year. For now, Parra doesn’t seem to be in any trouble of losing playing time, not with Ross hurt once again. Even when Trumbo returned, it wasn’t Parra that was sent to the bench. However, once A.J. Pollock returns from his broken hand next month, will Kirk Gibson continue to keep Parra in the lineup every game if his offense doesn’t improve? Pollock was having a tremendous year at the time of his injury and the Snakes just traded for Trumbo. I don’t think there is a D’back fan out there that wants to see Peralta on the bench unless he struggles mightily over the next three weeks. So it could be Parra, with his two Gold Gloves and being only a year away from free agency who could be dealt to a contending team. I don’t know how popular a move like this would be as Parra seems to have his legion of fans but it is a move such as this that makes both practical and financial sense for the team.
Gerardo Parra may just not be cut out to be an everyday outfielder. That should not diminish his skills as a player. There is nothing wrong with being known as the league’s best fourth outfielder. However, with the team currently constructed, there is just no room for him to be in the lineup full time, especially if the D’backs are intent on keeping Peralta as a starter. In a year, he will command too much money to be a fourth outfielder or part of a platoon, particularly in a place such as Arizona. Parra’s name hasn’t been mentioned a lot in trade rumors. We will see if that changes later this week.