Results tagged ‘ Manny Parra ’

Brewers say Suppan has stiff neck

Brewers manager Ken Macha formally named Dave Bush the team’s No. 4 starter on Tuesday but provided a detail that further clouded the race for the No. 5 slot. 

Jeff Suppan has been getting treatment throughout the spring for a stiff neck and one of the various scenarios has him beginning the season on the disabled list, Macha said. Instead of pitching Suppan in Tuesday’s “A” game against the Angels, the Brewers organized a simulated game in Minor League camp for Suppan. He was expected to throw about 90 pitches. 
The DL is only one of a series of possibilities, but Tuesday’s ‘sim’ game could allow the Brewers to shorten a potential season-opening stint on the 15-day disabled list. Such assignments can be backdated to March 26, providing the player doesn’t pitch in an official Spring Training game.  

Chris Narveson was to start against the Angels and Manny Parra will follow in relief. Narveson, Parra and Suppan are the candidates for the fifth starter’s role, which might not be used until the Brewers’ April 12-15 series at Wrigley Field against the Cubs and is not absolutely needed until the series after that, in Washington. 
Narveson and Parra are out of options and Suppan is guaranteed $12.5 million this season in the final year of his contract. The Brewers have made a priority of preserving their depth after struggling last season to overcome injuries to Suppan and Bush. 
_______________
The lineup against the Angels:

Carlos Gomez  CF

Alcides Escobar  SS
Rickie Weeks DH
Prince Fielder  1B
Casey McGehee  3B
Corey Hart  RF
Adam Stern  LF
Brett Lawrie  2B
George Kottaras  C
Ryan Braun is getting one more day off for a stiff back but said he expects to play Wednesday against the Cubs. Macha held out catcher Gregg Zaun one more day because of a sore quadriceps but called that injury very minor. Outfielder Jim Edmonds traveled home to California on Monday night to tend to a family emergency. 
*
Follow Brew Beat on Twitter

Fifth starter still in flux

Barring some unexpected next-day soreness for Dave Bush, the Brewers’ first four starters are set. The No. 5 slot, meanwhile, remains a mystery. 
The candidates are left-handers Chris Narveson and Manny Parra and right-hander Jeff Suppan, all of whom are on schedule to pitch Tuesday. Brewers manager Ken Macha said Narveson would start the afternoon Cactus League game against the Angels and Parra would follow in relief, but he said curiously little about Suppan. 
“Hopefully I’ll be able to answer that for you [Tuesday] morning,” Macha said. 
That raised some eyebrows because it is uncharacteristic for the schedule to be so fluid, especially for a 15-year veteran like Suppan. He has not been particularly sharp this spring, but he’s entering the final season of a four-year contract and is guaranteed $12.5 million.
Parra, 27, and Narveson, 28, are both out of options and the Brewers are hesitant to risk losing either lefty. The Brewers could keep all three pitchers on the Opening Day roster if they are willing to keep two of them in the bullpen. Otherwise, some kind of roster move is in order. 
If it involves Suppan, 35, it could be an expensive one. 
Macha was pressed on Monday about his vague answers regarding Suppan. Is some kind of roster move coming?
“There could be a roster move at any time, let’s put it that way,” Macha said. “This is the end of Spring Training, so stuff like that happens. There are moves every day.” 
Indeed, the team returned first baseman Joe Koshansky to Minor League camp after Monday’s game. Stay tuned to see if there is more roster manipulation on Tuesday.
*
Follow Brew Beat on Twitter

A true off-day

On second thought, Manny Parra will enjoy a day off with the rest of his Brewers teammates on Wednesday. 

It’s the team’s only scheduled off-day all spring, and manager Ken Macha decided Tuesday morning that it would be just that for all players and staff. Originally, Parra was scheduled to throw a Minor League intrasquad game to stay on schedule for the season. Instead, he will follow starter Jeff Suppan in Thursday’s game against the Dodgers. 
Macha might have gotten the idea from the Dodgers. On Monday, Clayton Kershaw started and worked the first five innings before Russ Ortiz handled the final four frames. 
The relievers who were supposed to follow Suppan — LaTroy Hawkins, Todd Coffey and Mitch Stetter — will pitch in a simulated game that day instead. 
_______________
Within the past few days, Brewers officials told a couple of pitchers recovering from Tommy John surgery that they would continue their rehabilitation from the Minor League complex. Left-hander Chris Capuano and right-hander David Riske will eventually be assigned to Class A Brevard County in the warm-weather Florida State League, Macha said. Capuano is ahead of Riske in his progression.
_______________
The following players were released from the Brewers’ Minor League system on Tuesday:
LHP Donald Brandt
INF John Delaney
INF Jose Duran
RHP Joel Morales
INF Yohannis Perez
RHP Ryan Platt
LHP David Welch
*
Follow Brew Beat on Twitter

Bush, Parra continue their bids

Dave Bush did his part. Then it was Manny Parra’s turn. 

Bush turned in five solid innings of work on Thursday afternoon in a “B” game against the Rangers on a side field at the Surprise Stadium complex. He allowed three hits and one earned run, walked one batter and hit another, and struck out five. Bush threw 67 pitches. 
He worked the afternoon affair so the  Brewers could see Parra pitch the regularly-scheduled “A” game against the Rangers Thursday night. In five innings, Parra was charged with five earned runs on six hits including a long Josh Hamilton home run. Parra struck out five and didn’t walk a batter. 
“I actually threw the ball really well,” he said. “I threw the ball better today, execution-wise, than I did the last game and the one before that.” 
Of Hamilton, Parra said, “He’s a beast. I rushed a little bit there, left a pitch over the middle and it was crushed. A lot of these [Rangers] guys, it seems like they’re all four hitters.”
The afternoon B game marked pitching coach Rick Peterson’s second opportunity to see Bush pitch. Bush and Parra have been working on the same day all spring and twice have appeared separately in split-squad affairs. 
Both the right-handed Bush and the left-handed Parra have mostly pitched well this spring, and so has left-hander Chris Narveson. Assuming the Brewers keep righty Jeff Suppan as their fourth starter — which is not set in stone, club officials say, despite Suppan’s hefty salary — then the fifth starters’ spot could come down to Bush, Narveson or Parra. 
Suppan is scheduled to pitch Friday against the Angels. Narveson’s next scheduled turn in the rotation is supposed to come Sunday, but the Brewers need to work out plans for another B game with the Rangers first. 
Parra and Narveson are out of options and the Brewers would have to expose either player to waivers in order to assign him to the Minor Leagues. Bush has options, but he also has enough service time to refuse a demotion. 
Somebody is going to be disappointed in the end. 
“It’s a great problem to have,” Peterson said. 
This might have been the last time Bush and Parra pitch on the same day. Peterson said that one could remain on an every-five-day schedule to work Tuesday against the Indians, and the other could take an extra day of rest and work a Minor League game on Wednesday, the big-league Brewers’ only off-day this spring. 
“This can get strung out all the way to the last week of Spring Training,” Peterson said. “We have it set up so that everybody is going to get as much of a chance to pitch as much as they can possibly pitch before [decisions are rendered]. The key is that as long as these guys are doing well, you delay a decision as long as you possibly can.
“What you hope is that it’s a tie,” Peterson joked, “and they have to have a putt-off or shoot baskets.”
Would Parra like a better idea of how the competition will play out?
“It’s always nice to know what’s going to happen, but I didn’t feel any pressure out there,” he said. “I haven’t felt any pressure with any work I’ve done. I’ve worked my butt off and I understand I have something to prove, but at the same time I feel really good.”
*
Follow Brew Beat on Twitter

Crew taking its time on rotation decisions

The Brewers are making arrangements to give themselves as much time as possible to render decisions about the back end of their starting rotation. 
They scheduled a “B” game against the Rangers for Thursday that will allow Dave Bush and Manny Parra to continue working on the same day, and are trying to schedule another for Sunday against the White Sox to allow Chris Narveson to continue pitching on the same day as Randy Wolf. On Tuesday, Wolf pitched a Minor League intrasquad game so Brewers officials could evaluate Narveson in the afternoon’s Cactus League game against the Royals. 
Bush, Narveson and Parra and competing along with Jeff Suppan for two openings in the rotation. 
“We’ve still got a lot of time to figure that out,” Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said. “We talk about it every day.”
Narveson delivered four more scoreless innings against the Royals on Tuesday and has yet to allow a run in three Spring Training starts. He’s building off a strong finish to last season, when Narveson went 1-0 with a 2.73 ERA in five relief appearances and four starts to win the team’s pitcher of the month honor for September/October. 
The Brewers announced before the game that Bush would start an afternoon “B” game against the Rangers before Parra takes the mound for the regularly-scheduled nighttime affair. 
“I talked to Doug about it and I think we’d like to see Parra pitch in the ‘A’ game,” manager Ken Macha said. “We want to see the progress that he’s making. Bush has background and track record. If he’s healthy, he’s going to be able to pitch, and he appears to be healthy. We’re looking for improvement from Parra, and he’s shown that so far.”
Suppan’s next turn in the spring rotation should come Friday against the Angels.
*
Follow Brew Beat on Twitter

Gomez working on his swing (with some data)

Brewers manager Ken Macha said Carlos Gomez has been tweaking his swing to produce more ground balls. The key for the speedy center fielder is keeping his lead elbow low, and thus keeping the bat head from dropping down.
“Yesterday’s batting practice, I thought he swung the bat as well as he has this spring,” Macha said. “We want him to get it on the ground, but I don’t want him to conscious about it. … A lot of the balls he hit in batting practice were hard and low.”
Macha asked his statistical gurus to prepare a report of Gomez’s success on fly balls, line drives, ground balls and bunts. It bore out what Macha suspected, that he would be well-served to avoid hitting everything in the air. 
Here’s the data, courtesy of Brewers manager of advance scouting and baseball research Karl Mueller:
Career batting average by batted ball type… 
Ground Balls – .268 (306 put in play)
Line Drives – .631 (123 put in play)
Fly Balls – .195 (261 put in play)
Bunts – .446 (102 put in play, 10 of which were sacrifices)
It’s no surprise that the line drive average is so high. The Major League average is about .700.
______________
Macha repeated what closer Trevor Hoffman said Tuesday, that there’s no reason to worry about the fact he has yet to appear in a Cactus League game. Hoffman is taking it easy this spring to avoid a situation like the one that emerged last year, when he strained a rib-cage muscle. 
Hoffman threw a bullpen session on Monday and said he could debut in a game at some point next week. 
“Myself, personally, it’s not a concern for me right now,” Macha said. “He’s got plenty of time to get ready.”
_______________
Third baseman Mat Gamel remained a “non-participant,” to borrow Macha’s phrase, on Wednesday as he tries to quiet a sore shoulder. Outfielder Trent Oeltjen (wrist) has been taking swings in the batting cage at 75-80 percent, Macha said, and was to see one of the team’s doctors on Wednesday. So was right-hander Josh Butler, who has a sore right elbow or triceps. 
Butler had a cortisone shot several days ago and conceded that unless he gets back to throwing very soon, he might miss out on Cactus League action. 
“It’s going to be close,” Butler said. “Hopefully I can [pitch in a game] but the biggest thing right now is getting healthy.”
_______________
The Brewers play split-squad games on Thursday and again on Saturday, so third base coach Brad Fischer made a point in the team’s morning meeting of telling players to make sure they know where they are going over the next few days. 
This early in camp, the extra games are a good thing, at least from a pitching perspective. The Brewers say they are considering seven men for the starting rotation, and this week lines up such that Chris Narveson can pitch on the road against the Reds on Thursday while Randy Wolf works against the A’s at home, and Dave Bush and Manny Parra can each start a game on Saturday, when the Brewers play at home against Colorado and on the road at the White Sox. 
“We’ve got a large number [of pitchers] in camp and we’ve got a big competition in the starting [rotation] so we’ve been able to slot guys,” Macha said. 
*
Follow Brew Beat on Twitter

Game day?

Maryvale Baseball Park is in wait and see mode this morning while rain falls in Phoenix. What is it about rainy weekends this spring?

The weather forced the Brewers to move their morning stretch into the covered batting cages, and manager Ken Macha and pitching coach Rick Peterson are making contingency plans should the game be washed out. Macha met with with reporters in his office and here’s what’s happening in camp:
______________
The most important thing, Macha said, was keeping scheduled starter Doug Davis on schedule. He is to make his Brewers debut today against the Reds, and should Mother Nature intervene Davis would instead throw a two-inning simulated game. The Brewers have covered bullpen for these contingencies.
Peterson would have to do some shuffling with the relievers scheduled to follow Davis. They are Todd Coffey, John Axford, Zach Braddock and Scott Schoeneweis. 
_______________
Here’s the lineup posted this morning:

Alcides Escobar  SS

Jody Gerut  RF
Ryan Braun  LF
Prince Fielder  1B
Jim Edmonds  CF
Mat Gamel  3B
Gregg Zaun  C
Hernan Iribarren  2B
Doug Davis  LHP
Gamel would make his first Cactus League appearance. He complained of a sore right shoulder the other day but was back at full strength on Saturday. 
______________
Outfielder Trent Oeltjen said he was relieved that the x-rays on his bruised left wrist came back negative on Saturday. Oeltjen was supposed to participate in outfield drills Sunday before the rain dashed those plans, but he won’t resume swinging the bat until Monday. 
______________
As of Sunday morning, Macha was not ready to name his starting pitcher for Monday’s game against the Mariners at Maryvale Baseball Park. Right-hander Dave Bush and left-hander Manny Parra are each scheduled for two innings.
“We haven’t decided [who will go first],” Macha said. “Rick and I are going to talk about it and then we’ll tell one of them. We don’t want anybody to read anything into anything.”
Macha will not face the same conundrum next time. Bush and Parra are lined up to pitch again on Saturday, March 13, when the Brewers have split-squad games against the Rockies at Maryvale and against the White Sox in Glendale. 
Is Macha trying to downplay the competition?
“Why put so much pressure on the guy like that?” Macha said. “Just go out and pitch good, that’s all.”
______________
Macha was still singing left-hander Chris Capuano’s praises on Sunday, a day after Capuano pitched his first Major League game in nearly two years. He continues to mention Capuano as a legitimate candidate for the Opening Day roster. 
______________
Jim Edmonds made Macha chuckle the other day. 
“I asked him if he had a first baseman’s mitt because it would be nice to have a backup first baseman on the roster,” Macha said. “He says, ‘When you watch me run these balls down in center field, you’re going to like what you see out there.’ 
“I told him I’ve already seen that. I don’t know if you’ve seen this, but he came up with the Angels when I was there [as a coach]. He was a brash rookie then, and not a whole lot has changed. Just take the rookie out of there. That’s good. You want guys to have that type of feeling about themselves.”
*
Follow Brew Beat on Twitter

'Blue' tops 'White' in intrasquad game

Prince Fielder hit a long home run, but right-handed rookie Eric Arnett walked the first four batters he faced and was charged with a pair of runs as the Brewers lost to the Brewers in an intrasquad game at Maryvale Baseball Park on Wednesday. 

Fielder homered off left-hander Chuck Lofgren in the bottom of the fourth inning in the five-inning affair, but Arnett gave those runs back in the top of the next inning. After the four walks tied the game at 1, center fielder Carlos Gomez saved Arnett with a diving catch in center field for the first out of the inning but Hernan Iribarren followed with a run-scoring groundout for a 2-1 “Blue Team” lead. With that, Arnett reached his pitch count and the inning was over. 
Brewers manager Ken Macha attributed Arnett’s command to jitters. Unofficially, it was Arnett’s first appearance in a big league uniform. 
“I remember in my first game getting jammed on a grounder to third and my heart was still beating 100 mph when I got to the locker room afterwards,” Macha said. 
Dave Bush and Manny Parra started the game and pitched two scoreless innings apiece. Fielder’s homer was nothing new, but Macha was very impressed with the two at-bats put together by nonroster outfielder Jim Edmonds. Edmonds flew out both times. 
The Brewers play their exhibition opener on Thursday afternoon at Scottsdale against the Giants. The game begins at 2 p.m. CT and will air in Wisconsin on the Brewers Radio Network. Jeff Suppan is scheduled to start for the Brewers against Barry Zito.
*
Follow Brew Beat on Twitter

Macha on Braddock: 'Overpowering'

Some notes from Ken Macha’s morning meeting with reporters:

Asked for his assessment so far of left-handed pitching prospect Zach Braddock, Macha started with one word: “Overpowering.”
“‘Stuff’ is not going to keep him out of the big leagues,” Macha said. “He’s got explosive stuff. It’s a matter of putting it where he wants to. This is a guy who could contribute before the year is over.”
Brewers officials have had internal discussions whether Braddock fits as a starter or a reliever.  For now, Macha would slot him into the latter category. 
“When you evaluate all pitchers, you try to look at his equipment and I don’t think he has anything soft,” Macha said. “I would put him more in the reliever category at this time.”
_______________
There is enough pitching for five innings of intrasquad baseball on Wednesday at Maryvale Baseball Park, with Dave Bush and Manny Parra scheduled to start. For fans in the area, the game will probably begin at 12: 30 p.m. or 1 p.m. MST. 
Don’t expect any big changes with pitchers’ schedules early in the Cactus League. They will work two or three innings on a pitch count in their first outings. 
_______________
Macha will break the catchers in camp into two groups of three at the start of Cactus League games, and the groups will alternate each day. Gregg Zaun and George Kottaras are lined up as the “lead guys,” backed up by Jonathan Lucroy and Matt Treanor and then Martin Maldonado and Angel Salome. 
“The reason it’s ranked like that is manager’s discretion,” Macha said. “That’s the way I rank them. Can that be rearranged? Absolutely. Everybody will get an opportunity.”
It’s an important camp for Salome, who remains a top Brewers prospect but missed an opportunity to impress Macha because of a back injury. 
*
Follow Brew Beat on Twitter
 

Spring rotation set

The Brewers have a tentative Cactus League rotation mapped out through the team’s March 24 off-day, and here’s how it looks for the six starting candidates next week:

Wed., March 3 intrasquad game: Dave Bush and Manny Parra
Thurs., March 4 at Giants: Jeff Suppan
Fri., March 5 at A’s: Yovani Gallardo
Sat., March 6 split-squads vs. Giants and at Rockies: Randy Wolf and Chris Narveson 
Sun., March 7 vs. Reds: Doug Davis
There is wiggle-room built in to allow for some adjustments later in March, but you can start to make some educated guesses about how things will line up. An every-five-day schedule plus one extra day of rest would take Gallardo right to the Brewers’ April 5 regular-season opener against the Rockies, followed by Wolf and Davis in that series. There is an off-day on the calendar for April 8, so Suppan might be lined up for April 9 against the Cubs. 
The operative phrase here is tentative, because bumps and bruises, split-squads and B-games, almost certainly will prompt some adjustments along the way. The Brewers plan to have an open competition, especially for the final two spots between Bush, Narveson, Parra and Suppan. 
The first few innings of that March 5 game against Oakland could be interesting. It’s Gallardo’s debut, and he is scheduled to face former Brewer Ben Sheets. 
*
Follow Brew Beat on Twitter
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 79 other followers