Posts Tagged ‘Manny Parra’

Questions Without Actual Answers Yet

Sunday, April 4th, 2010

It’s the eve before opening day and this year, there are still some important questions with the Brewers team that will need to be figured out quickly:

1) Why are the Brewers commited to starting Suppan?
The news that Parra and Narveson are both being sent to the bullpen wasn’t the bad news…the bad news was that the Brewers are still holding a starting spot for Jeff Suppan for no other reason than “We’re paying him a ton of money” and “He hasn’t pitched out the pen in a long time.” I have a question to go with my first question…Where did your stones go, Brewers organization?

From Major League 2..."You have no marbles!"

2)  Which outfielder is going to divide the fans most? Hart? Edmonds? or Gomez?
From what I’ve noticed, there are many Brewers fans that are fed up with Corey Hart already BUT he still has a loyal following. There’s another group of fans that hate Jimmy Ballgame and feel he’ll be taking valuable at bats from younger players BUT his spring training performance has turned many over to his side. There’s yet another group that hates Gomez and his lack of power BUT there are many people excited for his speed and good performance in spring. So which outfielder is going to divide fans the most? It depends on whichever one does the worst.

3) Will the new starters be better than the old starters?
This one has an answer…sort of…and the answer is “They better not be any worse”. Most preseason predictions I’ve seen has Randy Wolf regressing this year and Doug Davis will always give up some home runs, it’s just a matter of keeping the number down. I believe Bush will be better this year and Yo will be stellar as usual. That fifth spot is concerning

4) Will LaTroy Hawkins be more like Guillermo Mota or Salomon Torres?
All three pitchers were former closers, so where will Hawkins fall? He can still dial it up over 90 and has looked alright so far.

5) Will George Kottaras walk to the mound a lot?
While at the spring training game on Friday, I noticed that George really wanted to be on the same page with his pitchers and walked to have a talk with each pitcher multiple times. It worked, because there were no runs earned by the bullpen! Is he really going to do that during the season? Don’t fix what isn’t broken, George.

6) Is this the year for Rickie Weeks?
If he can stay healthy? Why not?!?!? I still have faith in the guy.

7) Will Macha run with this team?
Not just make a run, but actually steal bases and move runners. There’s so much speed on this team, it’s ridiculous. The 2005 White Sox think this team has a ton of speed, but will that speed turn into production on both sides?

8) When will the Narv-Dog get a legit chance at being a starter?
Not soon enough apparently. I really believe that if you make someone a reliever at the beginning of the year and try to make him a starter later that same year, it won’t work. When has it worked? I can’t think of anyone right now…

The Narv-Dog

9) Who will be the surprise player to step up this year?
Last year it was Casey, before that it was Gabe Kapler. Will Gomez step up? Will Casey prove his doubters wrong AGAIN? Will it be Rickie or even Jody Gerut? Perhaps it will be a pitcher…maybe Parra will take the next step. Perhaps it will be a surprise addition. Maybe it will be a call-up from Nashville…

10) Will this team make the playoffs?
Well, if you believe SI or ESPN, no. They have the Brewers finishing fourth behind the Cards, Cubs, and Reds. And it’s easy to be skeptical after the downer that was last  year, with Macha having his first losing season as a manager. However, I like when the Brewers fly under the radar and I believe this team will be playing meaningful ball looooong into the season.

Now it’s your turn…answer my questions if you can or post your own

Melvin Discusses Parra, Edmonds

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

Following up on some topics of recent posts here, Brewers GM Doug Melvin discussed expectations for Manny Parra for this season and the Jim Edmonds signing on 540 ESPN Milwaukee yesterday.

Here are his quotes on Manny:

“Manny is still young in experience. Again, when you talk about young pitchers, you do have to talk about being patient. We sent Manny out to the minor leagues last year. When he came back, he was 8-3. After he came back from the minor leagues, he did have a high ERA. So, he’s going to have to get deeper into the ballgames, give us a chance to pitch in the games.”

“He’s so talented. He’s got such good stuff, he’s a good arm, he’s big, he’s physical. He reminds me in some sense of a left-handed pitcher that we had here in our system and we grew a little impatient with him. We gave up on him. We were in the early stages of his development. He went to Colorado last year and won 16 ball games. That was Jorge De La Rosa, and that. So, you never want to give up on a young pitcher that has good stuff, especially being left handed, being physical.”

“And we recognize that this is a big year for Manny and I think he does too. So, we’re hoping that he and Rick Peterson will get together and put all that ability on the right path to success.”

He didn’t come out and say it, but I think it’s pretty obvious Melvin expects Parra to be in the rotation next season. That would leave the battle for the last rotation spot between Dave Bush and Jeff Suppan. Bush should win if it’s based on performance alone, but, unfortunately, Suppan’s hefty contract might have the final word there…

And here are Melvin’s quotes on Edmonds:

“Well, I talked to Jim Edmonds’ agent at the end of last year and he told me just to keep him in mind. He said that he expressed interest in getting back in the game and playing after sitting out a year. He has the same agent that represented Gabe Kapler. With Gabe Kapler that worked well for us. We took Gabe after a year of retirement, he came back and performed very well for us. He’s now in his second year with Tampa Bay.”

“So, you know, Jim Edmonds is an individual with a lot of experience, 15 years of experience. He has a number of Gold Gloves. He’s a .290 career hitter with 380-some home runs. But as the offseason went on, his agent said that he continued to work out. He continued to show a desire and an interest to play. He had the fires burning. And we were one of the teams that were on his short list of teams to play for. And if we had interest, he would be interested. So, we were able to convince Jim that this is a good place to play. He wants to stay in this division, the National League. He is familiar with the Cubs, where he had a year, with the Cardinals for most of his career.”

“He’ll come to camp and try to win a job. It’s not a lot of money. That wasn’t the issue with him. The fires were burning. He wants to get back in and play the game and play it at a level with a team that he can compete.”

“So, we’re looking forward to it. I think that it’s an opportunity that brings experience to our line-up, to our ball club and to the clubhouse because our outfield is all right handed with Hart, Gomez and Ryan Braun. So, there could be some playing time here for Jim Edmonds if he’s able to play.”

It sounds like Melvin feels Edmonds could be a valuable left-handed bat off the bench with the chance to spell all three outfielders at times. That’s the pinnacle of what I’d expect Edmonds to be able to contribute. I think the idea that he would be able to start regularly against right handers is a pipe dream for Edmonds. I hope he’s OK with a fourth or fifth outfielder role if he makes the team.

Manny Parra Predicts Brewers Turnaround

Friday, January 22nd, 2010


If the Brewers are successful in 2010, lefty Manny Parra will probably have a lot to do with it. The 27-year-old pitcher seems to have the tools to be a high-end starter, but sputtered to a 6.36 ERA in 27 starts last year and is looking to bounce back this season under the guidance of new pitching coach Rick Peterson.

And Parra is welcoming higher expectations for himself, the pitching staff and the team as a whole heading into the 2010 season. In an interview with SportsRadio 1250 WSSP out of Milwaukee, Parra was asked to predict a win total. And here was his response:

“I would say let’s shoot for 90. Like everyone knows, this team can hit. When we pitch, we win. I’ll be the first to say, even with the way I pitched in the second half, I was able to have a winning record in the second half because of how good our offense is. I think that just goes to show that we don’t have to be Cy Young award winners. We just need to go deeper into games and give our team a better chance of winning ballgames. We’re right there. I don’t see why we can’t go back and get right back into contending for the division.”

You can listen to the full interview here: Manny Parra WSSP Interview

Despite a suddenly crowded rotation with three lefties in the mix, I can’t imagine the Brewers not penciling in Parra as a starter to begin the year, barring injury or an epic spring training implosion. And there might not be a single player on the team that has more room to grow this year than Parra. I appreciate the optimism and I hope he can start to deliver on his great potential this season.

The Halladay Special

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

A couple days ago, I said the signs coming from the Brewers front office indicated the flirtation with the Blue Jays front office regarding Roy Halladay appeared to be more than just a passing interest (POST). Today, it looks like I was right. Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman has reported that the Brewers are a “serious threat” to get Toronto’s ace in a trade.

He went on to call the Brewers a “serious player” and stated they were “aggressive” in their pursuit of the talented righty. Heyman even quoted one “Brewers person” (wow, that’s vague…) as saying, “We’re going to be aggressive,” and spoke with two executives from other teams that said GM Doug Melvin has what it takes to get a deal done.

The part of the article that stuck out to me though is that Heyman seems to believe lefty starter Manny Parra would be part of any swap between the clubs. I just can’t see that happening.

First of all, the Brewers are considering a trade for Halladay because of their dreadful starting pitching depth. Including Parra in the trade would improve the front end of the rotation significantly, but they’d still have to start Mike Burns or another replacement pitcher until Dave Bush, who is still weeks away from returning, comes back from injury. The effect would almost be a wash. The team would likely win most of the games Halladay starts and lose most of the games their fifth pitcher starts. Even with Halladay, the Brewers would have to bank on Parra and his recent improvements to help them make the postseason. They can’t deal him away.

Secondly, looking beyond this season, Parra is a 26-year-old starter that the Brewers control for something like five more seasons. Yes, he’s struggled at times, but the reason Brewers fans have been so frustrated with his production is we can all see how much raw talent he has. His ceiling is at least a #2 pitcher, perhaps higher. It’s no shock he’s appealing to the Blue Jays despite his struggles. But the Brewers are starved for pitching in the majors and have very little in the way of pitching in the higher levels of the minors. Can they really afford to deal a young starter that’s already contributing on the big-league team? I just don’t see it happening…

When you consider the other names Heyman mentioned as trade targets for the Blue Jays in the article — prospects Alcides Escobar, Mat Gamel and Brett Lawrie — the trade just becomes too much to stomach. One of those three top prospects as part of a package would be one thing (though I’ve mentioned that I don’t see a scenario where the Brewers deal Escobar), but one of those prospects along with Parra and probably even more? It might not be out of line for the Blue Jays to ask for that, but I can’t imagine that fitting into the Brewers’ plans.

Meanwhile, as these Parra rumors surface, Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi continues to say a deal for Halladay is unlikely, but don’t be fooled. Halladay will be on another team by the end of the month. His value is as high as it will ever be and the organization cannot put the team and the player through this grueling process again. When it comes down to crunch time as the trade deadline approaches, the Blue Jays will have to accept the best deal and move on.

Ricciardi said today that four teams are “serious” in competing for Halladay. Rumored teams include the Brewers, Phillies, Cardinals, Angels and Dodgers. The most mentioned destination, Philadelphia, might actually be losing steam as the Phillies are rumored to have moved on after not being open to including top pitching prospect Kyle Drabek in a trade. The Cardinals probably don’t have the prospects to finish a deal. And the Angels and Dodgers seem more like they’re just poking around than serious at this point. That leaves the Brewers. But are they a match?

Halladay would be an outstanding addition for the Brewers and one that could help them this season and next. The Brewers have some nice prospects they could package in a deal that would benefit both sides and the team might even be willing to include shortstop J.J. Hardy if the Blue Jays are interested in him. But if I were Melvin, I’d leave Parra off the table. If the Blue Jays won’t pull the trigger on a deal without him, move on. Halladay isn’t the only arm out there.

Brewers ‘Serious Player’ for Halladay

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

This deserves it’s own post.

SI’s Jon Heyman reported earlier today on his Twitter account that the Brewers were being aggressive in their pursuit of Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay. He’s now backed that up with an in-depth article on the Brewers bid for the righty, which might include adding lefty starter Manny Parra to the trade.

More on this later.

Party of Five: Completing a Rotation

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

The fateful day is approaching for Milwaukee’s starting rotation. Following Manny Parra’s demotion last week, the Brewers have relied on off days to make a temporary four-man rotation possible. But with Dave Bush likely to miss his next start due to arm fatigue and no off days until July 6, a decision must be made in the coming hours. Someone has to take that 5th spot.

To be frank, I’m not in love with any of the in-house options at hand, but some are certainly better than others, and capable to hold down the job in the short term. The following list details some of the potential suitors for the job Parra inaccurately threw himself out of.

Seth McClung- The fire-balling firecrotch has started games for the Devil Rays and, last season, for the Brewers. In 2009, he’s posted a very respectable ERA (3.32) and is 6th on the team in innings pitched. Endurance shouldn’t be an issue.

Carlos Villanueva - Another option on the 25-man roster, Villy began as a starter - but didn’t perform to standards in the role. Moving either he or McClung from reliever roles doesn’t bode well for an already overworked, under-performing and (mostly) young bullpen. I’d shy away from giving the ball to Carlos as a starter.

Mike Burns - The Sounds starter has some big league experience in past seasons, and pitched four scoreless frames for Milwaukee in the Marlins series. The link provided up top indicates he’s scheduled to pitch for Nashville on Thursday, so he could - instead - go for the Brewers in the Twins finale. He has a 2.55 ERA in 77 2/3 frames for the Sounds this season.

Tim Dillard - It seems like T-Dilly’s name is always thrown around when any pitcher gets hurt or demoted. He pitched well for Milwaukee late last season and is throwing fairly well for the Sounds this season (7-3, 4.31 ERA, 28 BB, CG).

Chase Wright -The prize claimed in the Eric Fryer trade is proving as a Sounds starter that he’s not the same pitcher who gave up homers to four consecutive Red Sox hitters in 2007. Wright pitched Sunday to the tune of 7 1/3 innings, 6 hits and 1 earned run. His ERA is an impressive 3.82, but having started Sunday makes him an unlikely promotee for the time being. I like Wright a lot.

Manny Parra - In his first start back on the farm (6/18), Manuel tossed 6 innings and fanned fanned 4, while surrendering just 4 hits and a single run. I’m personally under the assumption the Brewers want to leave him in Nashville a bit longer to work out those pesky control/confidence issues.

Lindsay Gulin - See Dillard, Tim and subtract Major League experience.

Trade for Jarrod Washburn or sign Pedro Martinez - Just kidding.

A decision will probably be made later tonight or tomorrow, when Moustache, Whitey and Gord Ash’s bald nugget are expected to discuss the matter. What do you think the best option is?

Manny Parra Sent Down

Saturday, June 13th, 2009

After another rough outing, Manny Parra will be sent to AAA Nashville today. Parra was 3-8 with a 7.52 ERA and might have had a rough time trying to live up to high expectations. Chris Narveson will be called up. Narveson is 3-3 with a 3.37 ERA in 20 relief appearances spanning 40 innings for Nashville. This opens the door for McClung to come back into the rotation OR have a 4 man starting pitching rotation. Adam McCalvey blogs about it.

Get Pissed, Joe

Friday, April 24th, 2009

“Get Pissed, Joe” is a weekly column that began at some point last season. Since “my friends” think it’s freakin’ hilarious to piss me off and/or to see me pissed off, I guess this is just another alley for them. Enjoy, ass-hats.

I’m back mother-frickers. This is the first installment (this season) of RFB’s least appealing, least appreciated and worst written column, “Get Pissed, Joe.” You’d think with the season the Brewers have had thus far that this would be a nightly column, but the truth is that I’ve kept my emotions relatively even-keeled this season…so far. Has Joe found love in his life? The kind of love that calms a man? I assure you…I have not. I just turned 27 though, so it must could be maturity or something.

That being said, I assure you the Brewers have still gotten the ol’ blood pressure rising this year. And what has my pulse racing most is Manny Parra.  I know there probably are more frustrating things, (Fielder’s and/or Hardy’s lack of production and Jeff  “Useless” Suppan come to mind) but I find myself the most frustrated and disappointed in Manny.

Manny Parra’s name was mentioned in nearly every one of the roughly 2.85 million Brewers preseason reviews as being a key (along with Yovani Gallardo) to the Brewers having a successful season. Those previews were totally justified in making that assumption because Parra does legitimately have the “stuff” to be a dominant, top of the rotation starter. So what has happened so far this year? I’ll tell you: Manny Parra is a head-case. I honestly believe that nearly all of his problems are mental. You can tell by the blank, scared expression on his face half of the time he’s on the mound.

Unfortunately, I don’t think this is anything new for Manny. I got the same impression during a couple different points of last season as well. What pisses me off the most is not understanding how an athlete at Parra’s level, with the type of talent he has, can let this affect him. Not only does he get paid fatty cash to perform well, but how does he not know how good he is…or at least has the potential to be.

To be fair, maybe myself and other Brewers’ fans are completely wrong. Maybe it’s just mechanics. Maybe he’s just not that good. But personally I don’t buy it. Either way…sack up, Manny Parra! Trust your shit and go after guys. And at least pretend like you’re badass. Afterall, maybe you’ll fool someone.

In the News (4/22)

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

 

Moyer Beat Manny Tuesday

Today’s Game: Brewers 4, Phillies 11
Record: 4-9, Last in the Central

 

Today’s Game

- Brewers pitching got eaten up again and the Brewers lost a rain-delayed game against the Phillies, 11-4

- Manny Parra and Jorge Julio gave up a combined 10 runs (9 earned)

- At least Ryan Braun showed up…5 for 5 with two home runs!

- Rickie’s face is having a rough April… Rickie collided with JJ Hardy’s shoulder and was taken out due to dizziness. You know it must have been a shot if he was taken out from that and not after being hit in the FACE by a pitch!!

Brewers News

- Cory Provus has a mailbag. I love that he’s kind of an ass to one of the people who sent him an e-mail.

- Parra is underachieving. I don’t know what’s going on…if he’s just not controlling his pitches or what, but the Brewers need him right and fast…and I’m sure you will see more opinions like this in the coming days.

- Man, Bleacher Report is going to hate me…Some guy who isn’t an 8th grader is asking for a catching platoon. First of all, doesn’t a platoon require one player who can hit left handed and another who can hit right handed? Secondly, most people understand Kendall isn’t known for his bat. He’s known for helping young pitchers through hard times and to play solid defense.

- The Brewers have already hit 2 million tickets sold this year

- These guys at BrewerFan are just a little faster than I am, comparing Coffey to former closer Dan Kolb. I had a small blurb in an upcoming post about a Brewer fan thinking that Todd Coffey was the second coming of Dan Kolb.

- The Love of Sports blog lists their favorite batting stances and Craig Counsell is numero uno! He even beat out Jeff Bagwell…impressive.

- FYI, it was April 21st, 1982 that Rollie Fingers became the first pitcher to save 300 games

Minor Leagues

- Gamel lead the Sounds to their fifth straight win…Chase Wright pitched well, also.

- The Brewers signed a catcher, Patrick Arlis, from the Golden Baseball League and designated him to AAA Nashville

- No T-Rats game on Tuesday means doubleheader on Thursday!

- Hoffman isn’t coming to Appleton. I didn’t think he was.

- Rattler Radio brings you up to speed with Cody Scarpetta (who looked real good opening night) and Efrain Nieves.

- Still hungry for T-Rats? How about a video preview?

- Has TGJ finally realized he needs to step it up? Here’s hoping.

NL Central

- The Pirates (4-9) beat Florida again, the Cubs (8-4) beat the Reds (7-6)  7-2, Houston (5-9) beat the Dodgers, and the Cards (9-5) beat the Mets.

- Lance Berkman (or Fat Bam Margera) is in an “uncharacteristic slump”. What a tick…didn’t he slump most of 2007?

- This is embarrassing. Not only did the Pirates sell only 8,700 tickets, but only 4,500 went through the turnstiles.

Other News

- Free Matt Murton? Geoff Jenkins says “Be glad you have a job, kid.”

- An uplifting story about Beloit-born Marijuana Pepsi Sawyer.

- More on Dustin Yount trying to find his way back into an organization.

In the News (4/15)

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

Tuesday’s Game: Brewers 1, Reds 6
Record: 2-6, 5th Place

Tuesday’s Game

- Once again, the Brewers can’t hit the ball out of the park or with runners in scoring position and they fall again…at home nonetheless.

- Positives: Except for Villa, the pitchers did quite a nice job keeping the team in the game. J.J Hardy is hopefully warming up.

- Negatives: Can’t get a clutch hit. Giving up more runs again at the end of the game making it seem hopeless to overcome a deficit. Only four hits against Bronson Arroyo? And More Walks?!?!?

Brewers News

- WTMJ has some stats that won’t make you feel any better about the team one week in.

- Suppan is having his next start pushed back to Sunday. My guess is that Macha hopes that the Mets throw out a Lazy Sunday lineup like Yost used to.

- Good interview with Garth Iorg. I didn’t realize he could be so interesting.

- Junkball Blues: The Brewers are giving away more home runs than they are taking and striking out more at the plate than the pitchers are striking out the other team.

- Still miffed about the weekend series? This video might help just a smidgen. Watching them freeze at their home opener helps a little too.

- Miller Park Drunk is calling it a season. They also want Wilco to stay the hell away from Miller Park. I agree…so overrated…

- Weekly Power Rankings: CBS has the Brewers at 20th, ESPN has them at 26th

Minor Leagues

- The T-Rats pitching has been great, but their offense hasn’t been. They’re confident the hitting will turn around. They lost again Tuesday night 3-2.

- Huntsville’s bats are cold too.

- In fact, Gamel might be the only one in the organization not ice cold.

NL Central

- Nightly NL Central Wrap-up: Cubs (5-2), Astros (1-6), and Pirates (4-3) didn’t play. The Cardinals (6-3) lost to the Diamondbacks. They may have also lost Chris Carpenter.

- I found this funny, but others may get riled up. Some Reds fan named Matt hates a lot of things…including the Brewers. You know why I don’t hate the Reds? They’re not even worth the time or energy to bash. I tap Joe to respond to this, if anyone does.

- Even more funny: Things that have more patience than Rick Ankiel.

- Kevin Gregg will be limited to one inning because of problems with his knee.

- Milton Bradley is working to change his image. With the name Milton Bradley, that’s not very likely. His image will forever be one of board games.

- Goat Riders believes the Cubs will win 110 games and the World Series. What Cub fan doesn’t think this? However, interesting note that they will make a run at Roy Halladay…I could see that…

- The Cardinals don’t think that Troy Glaus is re-upping on the ‘roids during this recovery stint. Then again, the manager for that team doesn’t believe McGuire was using PEDS…

Other News

- MLB is searching for an Honorary Bat Girl for the Susan G. Komen foundation. While anything that raises money and awareness for this cause is a good thing, I can’t help wonder why there aren’t bat girls on a more regular basis. It doesn’t seem like it should be a big deal who does the job.

- We have God on our side in New York…or at least the Archbishop.

- RFB is happy to say that the New Glarus Brewery has made both top 50 Breweries lists. Congrats and we will personally work on making you climb higher on the list.

Insomniac Ink