Jim Parque, a former major league pitcher who made a bid to restart his career with the Seattle Mariners in 2007, says he used human growth hormone “about six times” after he was cut by the Chicago White Sox in 2002.
Parque, a resident of Puyallup, made his confession in a lengthy, first-person account printed Thursday in the Chicago Sun-Times. He says he tried HGH in a bid to recover from a shoulder injury before he tried a comeback with Tampa Bay in 2003.
“It never gave me more strength or bulked me up, but it provided quicker recoveries,” Parque wrote. “I began to throw harder because my shoulder felt no pain. I was able to withstand more throwing, creating a work environment that I had not experienced in two years.”
Parque made five starts for Tampa Bay in 2003, compiling an 11.94 ERA. He never pitched again in the majors. In 2007, he was named a performance enhancing drug user in the Mitchell Report and made a subsequent denial in an interview with The News Tribune.
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Parque, 33, never played a game with the Mariners but made 11 appearances with the Tacoma Rainiers in 2007, finishing with a 1-2 record and a 7.80 earned run average in 45 innings before being released at the end of May.
A left-handed pitcher with a 31-34 career record who never made big money, Parque said he sustained a torn labrum during the 2000 playoffs and, after exhausting every other remedy, turned to HGH in an attempt to save his career.
“I know that in admitting to this, I am a cheater, a villain and nothing more than a drug user in the eyes of the media and some fans,” Parque wrote. “What was I going to do? I had no job skills, no experience in the real world. … The father in me was racing to find an alternative in an effort to provide for my family.”
He also said he was able to justify his actions because while HGH “was controversial and unethical,” it wasn’t banned by Major League Baseball at the time.
Parque now runs a baseball academy for young players in Puyallup.
The Cleveland Indians traded reliever Rafael Betancourt to Colorado for minor league pitcher Connor Graham. The Rockies also plan to promote right-hander Jhoulys Chacin, the organization’s top pitching prospect, from Double-A Tulsa. … Houston slugger Lance Berkman has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left calf. … Phillies relievers J.C. Romero and Chad Durbin were placed on the 15-day disabled list, a big blow to the bullpen. Romero has a strained left forearm and Durbin strained a muscle in his back. Tyler Walker and Andrew Carpenter were recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to fill their roster spots.