Still, for Matt Parris, he's hoping that the Phillies will look back on the day with fond memories. "I was hoping that I could catch on somewhere and when the Phillies called, I was ecstatic," remembered Parris, who spent last season pitching in the independent Golden Baseball League. Now, he's getting another shot at affiliated ball and wants to make the most of it.
Parris was drafted out of high school by the Detroit Tigers and started his career in an impressive manner in the Gulf Coast League, going 3-0 with a 2.14 ERA in his first season. While he never matched those numbers, he was 24-20 with a career 3.71 ERA through five seasons in the Tigers organization, moving up to the High-A level in 2004. That season, Parris was 9-9 with a 4.71 ERA and after the season, he was out of work.
After pitching for the lower ranked GBL last season, Parris was traded to the higher regarded Northern League's Joliet Jackhammers during the off-season, but was signed by the Phillies instead of returning to independent ball.
"Matt really deserves this," said Darrell Evans, who managed Parris in 2005. Evans used Parris as both a reliever and as a starter. In fact, Parris pitched a complete game shutout in his final outing of the season, keeping his team from being eliminated from playoff contention.
It's likely that Parris will start back at High-A, pitching for the Clearwater Threshers. He hopes that by the end of the season, he could be moved to AA Reading and given a shot to pitch at that level. "I would actually like to start at AA and I think I'm ready for it, but I'll go wherever they want me to pitch and however they want to use me is fine," said Parris.
Parris is a 6' 4" right-hander, who has pitched primarily as a starter in his career, but has appeared in 38 games as a reliever.