Parque begins season in minors
The Chicago White Sox have been picked by most baseball publications
to capture the American League Central Division championship in 2002.
Their odds to win a second division title in three seasons might
improve if the White Sox have a healthy Jim Parque.
Parque, 1994 Crescenta Valley High graduate, helped the White Sox win
the division in 2000. The left-hander, who missed most of the 2001
campaign because of a shoulder problem, began this season at Triple-A
Charlotte building velocity and itching to rejoin Chicago's rotation.
The White Sox, who opened the season with a three-game series against
the host Seattle Mariners, have a young starting rotation consisting of
Parque, for the moment, is reportedly the odd man out because of his
lack of velocity since coming off arm surgery. Parque threw five innings
against the Colorado Rockies in an exhibition game March 22, allowing two
runs on eight hits.
He said his velocity reached into the upper '80s, where the White Sox
expected it to be. Parque became perturbed that no one from the White Sox
personnel had used a radar gun to clock his pitches.
"They told me in order to break with the team I needed to improve my
velocity," Parque told the Chicago Tribune. 'I know I did. My catcher
knows it and everyone [at the park] knows it."
Parque said he asked before the start why there wasn't a radar gun.
"What are they going to time me with -- a stopwatch?" Parque asked.
White Sox general manager Ken Williams said the reports he received
from Parque's outing were encouraging.
Parque, who is 29-29 in parts of four seasons, began his baseball
career in 1998. The UCLA graduate was drafted between the first and
second rounds (46th overall) in the June 1997 free agent draft.