Results tagged ‘ Manny Parra ’

Setback for Parra

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.
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Medical round-up: Lucroy, Hart, Gamel, Hawkins

Some medical updates from Brewers camp:
– Ron Roenicke confirmed that catcher Jonathan Lucroy could be ready for Opening Day if all goes according to plan in his recovery from a fractured right pinkie finger. A metal pin in Lucroy’s finger will come out on March 21, and Lucroy can begin hitting after that as the pain tolerates. 
“He threw to bases [on Saturday] without the splint on, and was good,” Roenicke said. “So really it’s just going to be a matter of gripping a bat, trying to get the flexibility back in his finger. That’s going to take a while. But everything else is good. He’s catching bullpens so his legs will be in shape.”
– Right fielder Corey Hart has been making significant progress in the past few days in his recovery from a left rib-cage strain, Roenicke said. Hart played catch, took grounders in the outfield and did core strengthening exercises on Saturday without issue.
“They’re going to try to step it up a little bit and put more on him, and see where he is,” Roenicke said. “He’s coming along pretty good. … In a couple of days, they’re hoping he can swing.”
– Third baseman/utility man/hitting prospect Mat Gamel was scheduled to take live batting practice for the first time on Sunday in Minor League camp. If it goes well, he could do it again Monday before slotting into Cactus League games. 
Gamel still has a chance to make the team, Roenicke said. But the fact he bats left-handed probably hurts his case — the Brewers already have Mark Kotsay, Craig Counsell and probably Chris Dickerson slated for bench duty — and it will be more difficult at this stage of spring for Gamel to demonstrate his defensive versatility because the regulars are playing deeper into games. 
“I know he can hit,” Roenicke said. “It’s just a matter of how he fits on our club.”
– A trio of relievers are making good progress. 
Reliever LaTroy Hawkins was “feeling great today” about his live patting practice on Saturday, Roenicke said, and will probably throw some simulated innings this week before debuting in a game. He’s coming back steadily from shoulder surgery.
Left-hander Mitch Stetter, who strained a muscle behind his shoulder early in camp, is scheduled to pitch Monday against the Giants after throwing a successful live batting practice session Friday.   
Another left-hander Manny Parra, was very close to getting back on the mound, Roenicke said. 
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Brewers sixth starter? Not sure

The Brewers happily traded back-end depth for front-line talent in their starting rotation, but it led to a “what if” that stumped manager Ron Roenicke on Saturday.

With left-hander Manny Parra out indefinitely with a bad back and right-hander Mark Rogers moving along slowly after some early-spring shoulder stiffness, what if one of a member of the five man starting rotation goes down before Opening Day? Who would step in as the so-called sixth starter?

“Do you want me to look at the list?” Roenicke asked, reaching for a roster.

“[Tim] Dillard is there,” Roenicke said, referring to the right-hander and longtime Brewers farmhand who a year ago radically altered his style to a sidearm sling. “[Wily] Peralta is a possibility, even though he’s young. [Amaury] Rivas is a possibility.”

Peralta is a top Brewers pitching prospect, but he is also 21 years old and has made all of eight starts above A-ball. Rivas was the team’s Minor League pitcher of the year in 2009, but would have to make a big leap after spending last season at Double-A Huntsville.

Reliever Kameron Loe could be an emergency option, considering he made 47 starts for the Rangers from 2004-07. But Roenicke indicated he leave Loe in the bullpen.

“When he was with Texas, they tried to tinker with what to do with him, starting or relieving. He never found his niche, and I think he’s found it” in relief, Roenicke said. “I wouldn’t want to mess with that.”

The Brewers’ relatively thin starting ranks are a change from last season, when they entered Spring Training with four established pitchers vying for two rotation spots behind Yovani Gallardo, Randy Wolf and Doug Davis.

In the end, that depth did not translate to success, and the Brewers ranked next-to-last in the National League in starters’ ERA. General manager Doug Melvin spent the winter focused on adding front-line pitching, trading for Shaun Marcum of the Blue Jays and Zack Greinke of the Royals to go with Gallardo, Wolf and Chris Narveson.

“I’ll take our five starters, and we’ll work out the others,” Roenicke said.

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Parra to be evaluated Friday

Manny Parra exited after throwing only one pitch to his second A’s batter on Thursday because of mid-back tightness, the same ailment that delayed the left-handers Cactus League debut in the first place, and hopes to know more about why he can’t shake the problem when he’s examined again on Friday.
Parra said he’s often plagued by a stiff back at this time of year and said he considered it, “normal,” though normally the problem would have subsided by now. He struck out Oakland shortstop Eric Sogard, threw one pitch to Coco Crisp and then was visited on the mound by assistant athletic trainer Dan Wright and left the game. 
“We’re going to come [Friday] and see where we’re at,” Parra said. “The ball was coming out good, but I couldn’t really rotate all the way. It will be fine.” 
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Parra exits with back tightness

Brewers left-hander Manny Parra, slowed early in camp by mid-back tightness, exited his Cactus League debut on Thursday after only one batter because of the same problem. He struck out A’s shortstop Eric Sogard, threw one pitch to Coco Crisp and then left the game with assistant athletic trainer Dan Wright. 

The Brewers say Parra will be re-evaluated on Friday morning.
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Banged-up bullpen notes

Who knew that head athletic trainer Roger Caplinger would play such an important role in the Brewers’ assembling their 2011 bullpen?

Closer John Axford, set-up men Takashi Saito and LaTroy Hawkins and left-handed long man Manny Parra had all yet to make their Cactus League debuts as of Thursday morning because of various ailments, and hopefuls Pat Egan and Mitch Stetter were in the same camp. 
“It’s a little unusual for your bullpen guys, because they’re usually just throwing an inning,” manager Ron Roenicke said. 
At least all of those players were on the right track:
– Parra, who was slowed by some middle back stiffness, was to pitch Thursday afternoon against the A’s at Maryvale Baseball Park. 
– Axford was set back by a bout of food poisoning, an unfortunate side effect of his Valentine’s Day dinner with wife Nicole. The Brewers took a cautious approach with Axford while he regained strength, and he’s to debut against the Giants on Friday in Scottsdale, Ariz. 
– Hawkins (shoulder) and Saito (hip and hamstring) each threw bullpen sessions on Wednesday with no setbacks, manager Ron Roenicke said. 
It was Hawkins’ first mound work since major shoulder surgery last August, and he said the 20-pitch session went “great.” He won’t appear in games until mid-month at the earliest. Saito asked for his Cactus League debut to be pushed back because of tightness that he worried could lead to trouble with his right shoulder, like it did in 2010, so he won’t make his Brewers debut until Saturday against the Angels.
The issues were not limited to the established pitchers. 
 
Stetter, trying to regain the foothold in the organization that he had in 2009, when he made 71 appearances in the Majors, suffered a strained latissimus dorsi muscle behind his left shoulder prior to camp but is scheduled for a bullpen on Friday. 
The latest name to come up in Roenicke’s morning meetings with reporters was Egan’s. The 6-foot-8 righty has been slowed by tightness around his right hip, Roenicke said, but is expected to throw off a mound on Friday, perhaps against the Giants. Egan had a similar ailment last spring with the Orioles.
 
Egan is particularly interesting partly because he’s a Rule 5 Draft pick, and would have to stick on Milwaukee’s 25-man roster or be offered back to the Orioles.
Given he’s never pitched in the Majors, Egan might be a long shot for a bullpen that, barring future injuries, is full except for one spot. Right-handers Sean Green, Mike McClendon, Brandon Kintzler and Justin James are among the others vying to impress Roenicke and pitching coack Rick Kranitz in camp.
“I’m not concerned about them being ready to pitch [at the start of the season], but what I’m concerned about is if guys are trying to make the team and they’re hurt, then, yes, they need to be out there to throw as much as they can,” Roenicke said. “[Egan] would certainly be one of them. Any time you have a Rule 5 guy, you have to see as much of him as you can.”
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Brewers say Hart out two weeks

ANOTHER UPDATE postgame — Ron Roenicke’s understanding is that Hart should be back in game shape in two weeks, not that he’ll be shut down for two weeks. There’s a distinction there. The bottom line is that oblique injuries are tough to predict, so let’s just see how Hart progresses.

UPDATE at 2:10 p.m. CT — The Brewers just announced that Hart would engage in “rest and recovery” for the next two weeks, so that’s a somewhat more serious take on his injury. Here’s an update to the earlier note:
Brewers right fielder Corey Hart will miss about two weeks of exhibition games while recovering from a strained muscle along his left rib cage, the club announced Monday. 
That marked a somewhat more serious diagnosis than the one Hart gave a few hours earlier, after he was examined by Dr. Craig Young at Maryvale Baseball Park. Hart said he only expected to be shut down “a few more days.” 
“I think it’s hard to tell exactly how long it’s going to be,” manager Ron Roenicke said. “But [assistant GM Gord Ash] said there is a strain there, and he wants to be overprotective of it. I was a little bummed when I heard two weeks.” 
Roenicke’s understanding is that Hart could be back playing in games in two weeks, not that he would be entirely shut down for that entire period. 
Hart was hurt during a throwing drill Saturday. He said it was the first time he’d tweaked an oblique muscle in his career. 
“[Young] said we would probably push it a little harder if we were in the middle of the season, but there’s no reason to push it right now,” Hart said. “We’re going to try easing in so we don’t have any setbacks at all.”
Hart’s duties on Monday were limited to receiving treatment in the training room. He was among the handful players on the injury report as the Brewers kicked off their exhibition schedule:
– Relievers John Axford (illness), Manny Parra (back), Zach Braddock (blister), LaTroy Hawkins (shoulder) and Mitch Stetter (undisclosed) were not on the list to pitch against the Giants of Cubs. Axford suffered a bout of food poisoning early in camp and has slowly been working back. Parra had some minor back stiffness last week and was scheduled to throw a live batting practice session on Monday. Braddock had a small blister last week that should not keep him out long, and Hawkins remains on schedule in his return from last year’s shoulder surgery. Manager Ron Roencike said only that Stetter was being brought along slowly this spring.
– Top pitching prospect Mark Rogers was very encouraged by a throwing session on Sunday and hopes to get back on the mound by mid-week. Rogers, who has a long injury history, shut down a live batting practice session last week because of some stiffness in his right shoulder. 
“I felt great yesterday playing long toss,” he said. “It’s the best I’ve felt all spring. We’re slowly working our way back into it. I’m sure a bullpen is in the near future. I’d guess in the next few days. So far, it’s responded better than I expected it to.” 
It’s difficult to sit around with the exhibition schedule underway. 
“I’ve got the itch,” Rogers said. “I want to pitch.”
– Infielder Mat Gamel remains restricted from hitting because of his own rib-cage strain. He’s been able to take part in fielding drills during his layoff. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy is out with a fractured right pinkie finger. He has a doctor’s appointment for late this week to set a plan for rehab.
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Fielder, Parra avoid arbitration

Updated at 1 p.m. CT with Parra’s salary: $1.2 million, plus $50,000 for making the All-Star team.
The Brewers stuck a record $15.5 million, one-year agreement with first baseman Prince Fielder and also signed left-hander Manny Parra, leaving three players still eligible for arbitration. 
Fielder will earn the highest single-season salary in Brewers history, $2 million more than is due organizational newcomer Zack Greinke in 2011. He’s entering his final season of Brewers control before reaching free agency. 
“It’s a big number. We’re expecting Prince to go out there and have a big year,” said Brewers general manager Doug Melvin, who handled negotiations with Fielder’s agent, Scott Boras. 
“He’s had some big years in the past for us,” Melvin said. “He led the league in walks last year, and I think he showed an unselfishness in that regard by taking walks and maybe sacrificing some of the power. If you go by what he’ done, he’s had a very good year and then an off-year, then a very good year and a little bit of an off year. So if you go by that docket, he’ll have a very big year for us [in 2011].”
SI.com’s Jon Heyman was first to report Fielder’s salary figure, and also reported that Fielder would earn $100,000 for winning National League MVP honors, $75,000 for runner-up and $50,000 for third place, plus $50,000 for being elected to start the All-Star Game or $25,000 for being selected by National League manager Bruce Bochy or the players. Fielder would also get $25,000 for winning NL Championship Series MVP and $50,000 for World Series MVP.
Fielder earned $10.5 million in 2010 while slugging through what was by his own very high standards a down season, batting .261 with 32 home runs, 83 RBIs and an .871 OPS. He’d driven in 141 runs with a 1.014 OPS the year before. 
Earlier last year, Melvin was engaged with Boras in talks about a multi-year contract for Fielder, but those discussions did not progress. They focused exclusively on a one-year agreement in recent weeks, according to Melvin, who could not say whether the multi-year talks could be re-opened now that a 2011 contract is in place. 
“We haven’t addressed that,” Melvin said. “And if we did, we wouldn’t comment.”
Parra will earn $1.2 million in 2011, plus $50,000 for making the All-Star team. He earned $440,000 last season and was 3-10 with a 5.02 ERA, bounced to the Brewers’ bullpen for the third consecutive season. Parra did find some success in relief, with a 2.39 ERA in 26 appearances. He struck out 2.73 batters per walk as a reliever, versus 1.83 strikeouts to walks in his 16 starts.
With Fielder and Parra in the books, the Brewers have three players still eligible for arbitration: Second baseman Rickie Weeks, starter Shaun Marcum and reliever Kameron Loe. Tuesday was the date on which teams and their unsigned players swapped proposals for one-year contracts.
“We’re going to have to file terms with some of them,” Melvin said ahead of that afternoon deadline. 
After figures are exchanged, the next step in the arbitration process is a hearing date in February, a conclusion the Brewers hope to avoid. The sides can continue negotiating until that date, and in the vast majority of cases around baseball, they reach an agreement somewhere between the filing figures. 
Fielder was not the Brewers’ only key player eligible for arbitration. Weeks ($2.75 million salary last season) is the starting second baseman, is coming off a career year and, like Fielder, is on a path to reach free agency after 2011. Assistant GM Gord Ash has been talking with Weeks’ agent, Greg Genske, about a multi-year deal. 
Marcum ($850,000) is coming off a career year with the Blue Jays and will fit with Zack Greinke and Yovani Gallardo atop Milwaukee’s starting rotation. He missed all of 2009 following Tommy John elbow surgery but rebounded to go 13-8 with a 3.64 ERA in the tough American League East. He was Toronto’s Opening Day starter last year. 
The Brewers are open to multi-year talks with Marcum at some point, but for now are talking about a one-year agreement, Melvin said. Brewers negotiator Teddy Werner is handling those talks with agent Jim Turner.
Loe, who drew on a $650,000 salary during his four months in the Majors, developed into a key Brewers reliever, posting a 2.78 ERA in 58 games beginning June 1. 
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Crew cuts ties with Coffey, Inglett

If Todd Coffey makes another mad dash from the bullpen to the pitcher’s mound at Miller Park, it will probably be in another team’s uniform. 
Coffey and utility man Joe Inglett were the only two of eight arbitration-eligible Brewers not tendered a contract before Thursday’s 10:59 p.m. CT deadline for teams to do so. The decision means the right-handed reliever and the left-handed bench bat joined the pool of Major League free agents. 
The Brewers did decide to retain the rights to their six other arbitration-eligibles: First baseman Prince Fielder, second baseman Rickie Weeks, center fielder Carlos Gomez and pitchers Manny Parra, Kameron Loe and Carlos Villanueva. Those players are all considered signed for 2011, with their salaries to be determined later by baseball’s arbitration process. 
“We didn’t have many discussions about [non-tendering] the other players,” Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said. 
Melvin said general manager Gord Ash will stay in touch with Inglett’s agent, Ryan Ware, about returning at a lower price, but it appears Coffey will look for work elsewhere. 
The decision to cut ties with Coffey was largely a financial one. He earned $2,025,002 in 2010 and would have been in line for a raise in arbitration despite a somewhat disappointing season in which Coffey suffered a thumb injury swinging the bat in late May and posted a 5.35 ERA over his final 43 appearances. He lost his job as the team’s primary right-handed setup man to Loe, who had a solid first season in Milwaukee and will cost less than Coffey in 2011. 
“The process allows the player to see if there’s a better fit for him, and from our standpoint it allows us to look at a larger pool of players,” Melvin said. 
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Parra has little to say about bullpen move

Here’s what Manny Parra had to say about his reassignment to the Brewers bullpen:

“It’s their decision. It doesn’t matter what I think of it, really. I really don’t have much to say about it. I’ll just go do my job.”
He’s obviously not very happy. For manager Ken Macha’s explanation of the decision, and Chris Capuano’s thoughts about returning to the starting rotation, check out my notebook from earlier tonight
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