Parra had a head start on comeback

Brewers left-hander Manny Parra had a working Thanksgiving holiday in the Dominican Republic, jump-starting his bid to rebound from a 2011 season lost to injuries.

Parra spent three weeks in late November and early December at the team’s new Dominican academy, which had opened only weeks earlier and was hosting an instructional league. The trip allowed Parra, recovering from elbow surgery, to pitch in a pair of games.

“I knew if there was any opportunity to pitch, I needed to take it,” Parra said.

The idea was floated by Brewers farm director Reid Nichols, who was part of the team that struck an agreement with former Brewers closer Salomon Torres to open the academy in November. It was previously occupied by the Rangers.

The facility includes baseball fields, housing and classroom space for Latin American prospects.

“It was there, and he needed to throw innings,” Nichols said. “The good thing was there was no commitment from a [Winter League] club required. You didn’t have to talk a club into taking him for a little bit down there.”

For more on Manny, check out Brewers.com later today.

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