Adam Eaton’s impending return is certainly a cause for concern for Gerardo Parra owners. Those who scooped up the Venezuelan outfielder upon Eaton’s then reported 6-8 week injury have reaped the rewards of a .300 average, just under 25 runs scored and four stolen bases. The issue now with Parra is the same issue as spring training began. There are too many outfielders in Arizona for all of them to get equal playing time, and Parra is the quintessential fourth outfielder when looking at the other available options.
In terms of overall value offensively and defensively, it is silly for the Diamondbacks to sacrifice the amount of games Parra plays for the likes of Cody Ross and Jason Kubel. Here are their respective WAR totals since 2010:
That is a very equal sample size where Parra is the significantly better player. Kubel has the best bat and the worst defense, Ross has a quality bat too but it is rather inconsistent and his defense is roughly average, and Parra has top notch defense while his bat has been right around league average.
While there are certainly some areas offensively where Gerardo Parra struggles, and even his most notable fantasy statistic (stolen bases) has been far from quality this season, Parra is still a good enough hitter to be an everyday player even in a crowded outfield. The likelihood that he does, however, play every day is minimal.
I still find a good amount of value in Parra when Eaton returns in daily leagues. Keep him on your bench, start him when you see is slated for the start – which takes time and effort but is worthwhile time and effort if you plan on winning your league. In weekly leagues, I like the idea of stashing him in case one of the three outfielders gets injured once again. All three have seen time on the mend this year already and the Diamondbacks could look to get him plate appearances at all three spots in order to keep them healthy. Sadly, that looks more like three to five starts a week rather than six or seven.
Do not just sell off on Parra because Eaton has returned. Yes, you have realized some big gains with Parra since you picked him up off of waivers, but he is worthwhile to own especially in leagues where you can start or sit him at will.
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