Results tagged ‘ Manny Parra ’

Capuano replaces Parra in rotation

For the third straight season, the Brewers are removing left-hander Manny Parra from the starting rotation.

The team bumped Parra to the bullpen beginning Wednesday night, and fellow lefty Chris Capuano will assume Parra’s spot in the rotation starting Saturday against the Pirates. Capuano, who made a comeback this season from his second Tommy John elbow surgery, had been pitching in relief since a July 19 start — and win — against the Pirates in Pittsburgh.
“He deserves a chance to get out there and get a few starts in him,” manager Ken Macha said. “We’ll see how he’s coming along with his track back to being a starting pitcher.
“Manny, he’s had his problems a little later in the game for the most part. That’s just a hurdle he’s going to have to get over if he’s going to be a starting pitcher.”
Asked whether he still viewed Parra’s future as a starting pitcher, Macha said, “We’ll see how he does out of the bullpen.”
Both pitchers face offseason question marks. Capuano is a free agent and has made it clear he’d like to be a starter. Parra is eligible for arbitration for the first time.
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Parra nearing end of rope?

Brewers left-hander Manny Parra, called his fastball command, “consistently terrible.” The team is considering giving someone else a try in September. 
Parra continued to slam headfirst into some sort of maddening, mid-inning barrier in Sunday’s 7-3 loss to the Padres, keeping the game close early before coming unraveled and making a sudden exit. Parra matched his season-high by lasting six innings, but he surrendered seven runs along the way and still has not recorded a seventh-inning out in any of his 16 starts. 
The Brewers are thinking about a change. Manager Ken Macha and general manager Doug Melvin had what Macha called “a brief discussion” on Sunday morning about September call-ups. The team has four young starters already on the 40-man roster in Josh Butler, Amaury Rivas, Mark Rogers and Cody Scarpetta. 
“We talked a little bit about perhaps who’s coming up and maybe giving somebody else a call,” Macha said. “Really, in all three games in this series, our starters haven’t gotten us where we need to get.” 
Parra, who surrendered seven runs on eight hits with four walks, went the deepest into the game of the three. Ace right-hander Yovani Gallardo lasted only 3 1/3 innings on Friday night, and lefty Chris Narveson made it three innings on Saturday. But the Brewers won each of the first two games in the series thanks to some clutch relief and timely hitting. 
Those hits were not there on Sunday. 
If Parra is indeed removed from the rotation, it would be for the third straight season. In 2008, the Brewers moved him to the bullpen for the stretch drive. In 2009, the Brewers demoted him to Triple-A Nashville in June. 
The team faces a very interesting decision with Parra this winter, when he is arbitration-eligible for the first time. Even with his inconsistency, that means Parra’s price tag is about to increase exponentially. 
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Still no Hart; Counsell plays No. 1,500

The Brewers will aim for a three-game sweep of the first-place Padres on Sunday, without their All-Star right fielder in the lineup but with a shortstop playing a milestone game. 

Corey Hart will sit out for the second straight day to rest his tight right hamstring, an ailment that sent him to the showers early on Friday night. Hart and the Brewers have called his absence precautionary, and giving him another day Sunday affords Hart a nice, long break, since the Brewers have an off-day Monday. 
Craig Counsell is in the lineup at shortstop and will play the 1,500th game of a fine Major League career that spans 15 seasons and includes two Wold Series wins. He turned 40 on Saturday. 
Perhaps Manny Parra will celebrate the occasion by finding his way through the sixth inning. He has yet to pitch more than six innings this season, and has pitched five, 5 1/3 or 5 2/3 innings in nine of his last 10 starts. Considering the bullpen has been used up in the first two games of the series, Parra would do everybody a favor by pitching deep into the game today.
Here’s the full lineup:

Rickie Weeks  2B

Craig Counsell  SS
Ryan Braun  LF
Prince Fielder  1B
Casey McGehee  3B
Lorenzo Cain  CF
Chris Dickerson  RF
Jonathan Lucroy  C
Manny Parra  LHP
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Could Lucroy behind plate help struggling Parra?

MILWAUKEE — Brewers manager Ken Macha shook up his catching rotation Saturday night, putting rookie Jonathan Lucroy behind the plate with lefty starter Manny Parra.


Over his past three outings, Parra had been paired with backup catcher George Kottaras, as a result of Lucroy’s struggles with stopping Parra’s splitter, which resulted in several wild pitches.

“I had that because of balls getting back to the screen on the split,” Macha said. ” I just feel that we’re going to try this fit because of results we can get with Manny, so we’ll try somebody else back there.”

In three starts this month with Kottaras behind the plate, Parra has a 1-2 record with a 10.89 ERA, allowing 19 earned runs over 16 innings on 28 hits, including five home runs.

Conversely, in five starts with Lucroy catching during the month of June, the Brewers left-hander went 1-2 with a 4.18 ERA, allowing 13 runs on 29 hits (four homers) over 29 innings.

Parra’s had 36 strikeouts against 13 walks in June, compared with 12 against 7 this month.

So does Macha think having Lucroy behind the plate is the going to result in a better outing for Parra?

“I don’t know, we’ll see,” Macha said. “How did he do last time out? Sometimes catchers and pitchers get on the same page and it happens.”

— Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter


Brewers pitchers raking at plate

MILWAUKEE — Facing the Brewers, the No. 9 spot in the batting order is hardly an easy out. Yovani Gallardo reaffirmed that Tuesday night, going 1-for-1 with a solo homer and a walk.


With a .219 batting average, Brewers pitchers lead the National League. Milwaukee’s pitching staff is tied for first with 33 hits and 14 runs. Brewers pitchers also rank first in home runs (3), RBI (14), doubles (8), on-base percentage (.261), slugging percentage (.331), and OPS (.592).

Along with their success, the Brewers staff has even coined a phrase to describe it.

“These guys have got a quote in here in the dugout,” said Brewers manager Ken Macha, “they say, ‘Pitchers rake.'”

While the hurlers’ ability to swing that bat has come in handy quite a bit of late, Macha would like to see them improve on another aspect of the game at the plate: bunting.

The Brewers rank last in the NL with just eight sacrifice bunts, while they have four times as many hits.

“We’ve been working on our bunting,” Macha said. “We’ve got more hits than we do sacrifice bunts. So we’ve been putting some time in on the bunting because eventually we’re going to need to move [a runner] up.”

Still, on the current homestand, Brewers pitchers have been even better at the plate than their season average of .219. More than double that even.

With eight hits in 18 at-bats, the pitching staff had posted a .444 batting average entering Wednesday’s final game of the homestand. Along with that .444 mark, the Brewers have gotten two RBI, five runs, a walk and a home run out of the pitcher’s spot.

Each of the Brewers five starters — Gallardo, Randy Wolf, Dave Bush, Chris Narveson and Manny Parra — has contributed at least one hit while all of them except Bush have either scored a run, driven in a run, or both.

“We have some pretty good [hitting] pitchers,” Gallardo said. “We have a lot of fun up their hitting. Wolfy, Bushie, Narveson and Manny, we take it serious. For certain situations you can only help yourself out. I think that’s what we try to do.

“We joke around out there when we hit BP, but you never know when it’s going to come in handy.”

— Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter

Parra a strikeout machine

Brewers left-hander Manny Parra joined an exclusive group when he struck out four batters in a single inning on Sunday against the Cardinals.
Parra already had recorded the first two outs of the fourth inning via strikeout when he caught Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina swinging at a Strike 3 in the dirt. The baseball got past Brewers catcher George Kottaras for a wild pitch, and, with first base open, Molina scampered down the line uncontested. That extended the inning for Colby Rasmus, who struck out swinging, too.
Parra is the first Brewers pitcher ever to strike out four batters in an inning, a feat accomplished 54 times by 50 different Major League pitchers. The New York Gothams’ Ed Crane did it first in 1888, and before Sunday the last was the Mariners’ Felix Hernandez, on Thursday against the Twins.
Parra’s historic fourth inning came in the middle of a strikeout binge. He also struck out the side in the third inning, and his whiff of former teammate Felipe Lopez in the fifth gave Parra a career-high 10 strikeouts in the game, He had a pair of nine-strikeout games before Sunday; In July 2008 against the Giants and in August 2008 against the Nationals. 
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Macha explains rotation change

Manny Parra was surprised when he arrived at the ballpark on Thursday and was told that he would start Sunday in St. Louis. Dave Bush was even more surprised to learn that he would not. 
Manager Ken Macha said “it is highly likely” that Bush will pitch in the subsequent series against the Cubs at Miller Park. Club officials will meet after the Cardinals series to make some decisions about the starting rotation. 
“We have to see how these guys perform,” Macha said. “Right now, we have the second-highest ERA in the National League and we’re looking for somebody. If you want to step up, step up and claim a spot.” 
Some might say that Bush did just that on Tuesday, when he fell into a 3-0 hole in the first inning but allowed no more runs through the sixth, when the blister cut his night short. 
“We’re not picking on Bush, OK?” Macha said. “We’ve not given Manny a fair shake. We asked him to come in in relief in the extra-inning game at Minnesota [on May 22] and that eliminated the start he was going to get the next day. So this is how this thing fit. We’re not picking on Bush at all. Nobody has said he’s out of the rotation or in the bullpen. He will be there for a couple days and we’ll see how the things fit after Sunday.” 
The Brewers will start a left-hander in all three games against the Cardinals, who entered Thursday batting .243 with a .674 OPS against left-handed pitchers and .272 with a .782 OPS against righties. 
Bush is 2-6 with a 6.45 ERA in nine career starts against St. Louis including 0-3 with a 10.57 ERA at Busch Stadium. Compare that to Parra, who is 2-1 with a 2.97 ERA in 12 games, including 10 starts, against the Cardinals and is 2-0 with a 2.86 ERA in five starts at Busch Stadium.
In his two starts this season, Parra has only lasted seven total innings. 
“I’m excited any time I get to start,” he said. “But other than the fact I’m going to start Sunday, I know absolutely nothing. It really doesn’t matter, because there’s no reason for me to think about anything else.”  
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Surprised Bush says blister not a factor

Dave Bush said his removal from the starting rotation, at least for Sunday’s game in St. Louis, has nothing to do with the blister that developed on his right middle finger a couple of starts ago. He was simply told Thursday afternoon by manager Ken Macha and pitching coach Rick Peterson that he would not be starting against the Cardinals. 

Left-hander Manny Parra will get that assignment instead. 
“The blister has absolutely nothing to do with it. I don’t know what the rationale is,” Bush said. “They didn’t even ask about my blister. It didn’t come up, it’s not an issue and it didn’t affect me the other day [when Bush pitched six innings against the Marlins]. I don’t really know what’s going on.”
Is he upset?
“I don’t get upset a lot, so I would say no,” he said. “But I don’t have any idea what’s going on. It was sort of vague as an explanation, so I’m hanging in limbo right now other than knowing I won’t be pitching Sunday.”
Manager Ken Macha is meeting with reporters in a few minutes. Here are some numbers in the meantime: Bush is 2-6 with a 6.45 ERA in nine career starts against St. Louis including 0-3 with a 10.57 ERA at Busch Stadium. Parra is 2-1 with a 2.97 ERA in 12 games, including 10 starts, against the Cardinals and is 2-0 with a 2.86 ERA in five starts at Busch Stadium. 
This season, the Cardinals are batting .243 with a .674 OPS against left-handed pitchers and .272 with a .782 OPS against righties. 
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Suppan headed to bullpen, Narveson to start

It took three weeks, but lefty Chris Narveson will finally get his shot as the Brewers’ fifth starter, manager Ken Macha announced before Sunday’s game.

Narveson is slated to start Wednesday’s series finale against the Pirates.
Macha also announced veteran right-hander Jeff Suppan — and his $12.5 million contract — will move to the bullpen.
“I talked to Jeff today and… he was extremely professional about the whole thing,” Macha said. “He said he’d help the club any way that he could.”
“I was surprised a little bit, but ultimately I don’t concern myself with it,” Suppan said. “I just need to continue to work on what I need to work on to go out and pitch, and that’s pitch selection and pitch location. My two games I started, I had a lot of missed pitches but I threw a lot of good pitches. The missed pitches were down the middle and that doesn’t lead to good results. It was a situation where they told me today, after two starts, and I’ll go to the bullpen and help out any way I can.”
Did he think two starts was enough of a measuring stick?
“Well, it’s really not up to me. It’s not my decision,” Suppan said. “They have their reasons and they have their thoughts, and I respect that. I’m just a player. I have a locker and they have the big offices. They make the decisions.”
Narveson earned the spot because of his performance in September 2009 and Spring Training this season, Macha said. Of the three candidates for the fifth starter role — Narveson, Suppan and lefty Manny Parra — Narveson had the best Spring Training by far.  
During the spring, he pitched 13 innings over five games and did not allow a run on 10 hits. Suppan and Parra each finished with an ERA of more than 5.00. 
Narveson has struggled a bit out of the bullpen, including Saturday’s game in which he allowed three runs to score in the eighth on two hits and two walks. In the ninth, however, he came back and retired the side in order.
After Suppan managed only 9 1/3 innings over his first two outings — forcing the bullpen to pitch 8 2/3 in those games — Macha and the Brewers are hoping Narveson can give them more innings and quality starts.
“That kind of stuff hampers you,” Macha said. “When you get a lot of innings out of your bullpen, that has a residual effect, as it did yesterday.”
–Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter


Suppan named fifth starter

The Brewers made a long-discussed, much-dissected decision on Wednesday morning and anointed veteran right-hander Jeff Suppan their fifth starter. 

He has to get off the disabled list first. Suppan, who opened the season on the 15-day DL with a neck injury, is scheduled to make a rehabilitation appearance for Class A Wisconsin on Friday night. If he gets through that outing without a setback, Suppan will slide into the big league rotation to start against the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Wednesday. 
Suppan gets the gig over left-handed competitors Chris Narveson and Manny Parra. Macha conceded that Narveson had the best spring of that trio, working 13 shutout innings over four Cactus League starts and one relief appearance. 
Suppan got the nod because of his Major League track record. Macha discounted the notion that Suppan’s $12.5 million guaranteed salary entered into the decision. 
“I don’t think if he was in the bullpen … [the salary] would matter,” said Macha. “He was going to be one of the 12 pitchers.”
The fact that Suppan has been a starter his whole career did figure into the decision, Macha said. So did the fact that Suppan has pitched parts of the past 15 seasons in the Major Leagues, compiling a 135-135 record and a 4.68 ERA. Parra is 21-20 in parts of three seasons with a 5.17 ERA. Narveson is 2-0 with a 3.99 ERA in 26 Major League games, just five of them starts. 
Still, Narveson had a case to start. Before his solid spring, he won the Brewers’ pitcher of the month honors for September/October 2009 by going 1-0 with a 2.73 ERA in four starts and five relief appearances. 
“But then if you take a look at, really, his entire Minor League career, those aren’t numbers that would support you saying, ‘This guy is going to be our starter,'” Macha said. “So how big a window are you looking at? September and Spring Training? 
“Before it’s all said and done, all three guys may get an opportunity to get out there [as a starter].”
Macha made that final point several times. 
“We could have a number of No. 5 starters over the course of the year,” Macha said. “Right now, we’re going in this direction. Production will be a big part of it. We’re lucky to have Manny Parra and Chris Narveson in the bullpen, and if it warrants that somebody gets injured or there is non-production, we have somebody to step in.”
That comment seemed to indicate that the Brewers would hold onto Narveson and Parra — both of whom are out of Minor League options — when Suppan is activated from the DL, and that somebody else, perhaps right-handed reliever Carlos Villanueva — who has options — would be the odd man out. But Macha declined to talk about the team’s pending roster decision. 
Suppan, meanwhile, was preparing for the 100 mile drive north to Grand Chute, Wis., home of the Brewers’ Midwest League affiliate. He also made a rehab start there last season. 
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