Brewers reliever Manny Parra had a setback with his balky back earlier this week and it appears he will miss the start of the regular season.
Parra received a cortisone injection after feeling discomfort in a bullpen session on Tuesday and will need to re-start a throwing program when he resumes activity, on Saturday at the earliest. That would leave only 12 days to prepare for the team’s March 31 Opening Day in Cincinnati.
“Just looking at the calendar, I don’t know if Manny is going to be ready for the season,” manager Ron Roenicke said. “We’re running out of time.”
Parra has faced only one batter plus one pitch to a second this spring because of tightness in his middle of his back. It’s a common spring problem for the 28-year-old that usually subsides. This year, it did not.
He didn’t want to make a guess about his availability for Opening Day.
“I don’t even ask those questions,” Parra said. “All I know is that I go out and throw and everything feels so good, except for my back. There have been a lot of positives this spring for me, but nobody can see them because I’m out there on the back field and I can’t get back into the games.”
The Brewers had Parra penciled-in as their long reliever, and his setback coupled with Zach Braddock’s Spring Training funk has created an opening for another left-hander, Mitch Stetter, a side-arming specialist who pitched 71 games for the Brewers in 2009 but was relegated to Triple-A Nashville for most of 2010.
Stetter was scheduled to appear in Thursday’s game against the White Sox, and Roenicke is intrigued by the reports he’s received from Brewers coaches and club officials.
“They say he made really good left-handers look really bad,” Roenicke said.