Sveum compliments reliever Blake Parker

MESA, Ariz. -- Right-handed reliever Blake Parker, who has pitched in at least 35 games at Triple-A Iowa during each of the last three seasons, got a shout out from Chicago Cubs manager Dale Sveum on Saturday.

Sveum also mentioned sluggers Bryan LaHair and Anthony Rizzo, but power hitters like those two have always been able to impress.

Parker is trying to make his way onto the big-league roster heading into his sixth season with the club and, for now anyway, his manager has taken notice.

“Blake Parker I think threw the ball really well today,” Sveum said when he was asked for any early camp surprises. “I like how the ball comes out of his hand.”

Parker had a 2.81 ERA in 37 appearances at Iowa last season. He didn’t fare as well in 16 appearances at Double-A Tennessee, posting a 4.13 ERA. In 220 minor-league appearances over the past five seasons, all in relief, Parker has posted a 3.00 ERA with 149 walks and 323 strikeouts.