Still, team officials were doubtlessly keeping one eye on the future of the rotation on Saturday as well.
Top prospect Jarrod Parker made his debut in Double-A on Saturday, navigating through an uneven outing for the Mobile BayBears in a 7-4 loss to Jacksonville.
Parker allowed four runs -- three earned -- in 4 1/3 innings Saturday, with five strikeouts. He permitted eight hits, and the BayBears defense (four errors) didn't help the cause. Parker threw 52 of his 89 pitches for strikes.
Parker, the ninth overall selection in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, won't turn 21 until after the season. In four starts at Advanced Class A Visalia, Parker went 1-0 with a 0.95 ERA over 19 innings, with 21 strikeouts and four walks. In a full season last year with Class A South Bend, Parker went 12-5 with a 3.44 ERA and one strikeout per inning.
The selection out of Norwell High School in Indiana entered the year ranked the 29th best prospect in baseball, according to Baseball America.
JR Radcliffe is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.