In a sea of minor-leaguers wearing road grays, two players stood out because they sported white pants - and major-league arms.

The A's were off Wednesday, and the only activity was at their minor-league complex at Papago Park, so that's where closer Grant Balfour and starter Jarrod Parker did their throwing to keep on schedule.

In front of manager Bob Melvin, pitching coach Curt Young, assistant general manager David Forst and other team officials, Parker breezed through three innings, showing an effective two-seam fastball intended to get him more ground balls and quicker outs and to be used more often in double-play situations.

"It's nice being able to go at a little slower pace," said Parker, referring to the extended spring training because of the World Baseball Classic. "We were worked pretty hard last year.

"Basically, I'm working on being as sharp as I can with fastball command, and that helps my other pitches. Next time, we want to get through four (innings), then five."