TORONTO -- There was little mystery as to who would be starting for the Blue Jays on Saturday. Even so, the club opted to wait until Thursday to reveal, as anticipated, that John Parrish indeed will be taking the mound for Toronto.
Parrish will be called up from Triple-A Syracuse to make a spot start for injured Shaun Marcum, who currently is on the 15-day disabled list with strained ligaments in his right elbow. It's a promotion based on Parrish's stellar performance with the Chiefs.
"I think he deserves a shot at it," Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said.
This season, Parrish has crafted a 10-1 record and a 2.74 ERA over 15 outings with Syracuse. Over that span, which included 11 starts, the left-hander compiled 90 strikeouts against 35 walks in 82 innings. Needless to say, Parrish has impressed the Blue Jays.
"This kid's pitched really well and he's done a good job," Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi said. "So, we'll see."
The Jays won't need to rely too heavily on Parrish, considering the team has two scheduled off-days prior to the July 14-17 All-Star break. Parrish will be used against the Braves on Saturday and then won't be needed again until July 13. In the time between, Ricciardi said Parrish might remain in the bullpen as a long reliever.
Part of the reason the Jays may consider keeping Parrish in the fold between his starts is the fact he is out of options. That means Toronto would need to risk passing Parrish through waivers before the team could send him back down to the Minor Leagues.
The Blue Jays haven't announced who Parrish will replace on the active roster, though one of Toronto's current relievers likely will be ticketed to Triple-A come Saturday. Parrish isn't on Toronto's 40-man roster, but no subsequent roster move will be needed, considering there are only 38 players currently on that list.
The Jays decided to turn to Parrish partly because Marcum's injury only is expected to keep him on the DL until shortly after the All-Star break. Had Marcum's injury been a long-term issue, Ricciardi said Toronto may have considered taking an extended look at lefty David Purcey, who is 6-6 with a 2.94 ERA at Triple-A.
Ricciardi also noted that Parrish, who signed a Minor League deal with the Blue Jays in January, had an out in his contract for May 1, but another team would've had to add the southpaw to its 25-man roster for that clause to go into effect. Without any takers, the Jays were able to retain Parrish at Triple-A.
The 30-year-old Parrish is no stranger to the big leaguers, and he nearly won a job in Toronto's bullpen during Spring Training. In six seasons in the Major Leagues, dating back to 2000, Parrish has gone 12-12 with a 4.63 ERA in 161 games between stints with the Orioles and Mariners.
Last season, Parrish spent time with Baltimore and Seattle, finishing 2-2 with a 5.71 ERA, 41 strikeouts and 37 walks over 52 innings. During the spring, Toronto pitching coach Brad Arnsberg worked with Parrish on his delivery with the goal of cutting down his walks. The results have helped Parrish earn a shot with the Jays.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.