Taking One for the Team
With the (overdue) release of Jorge Julio and the sore elbow of Mike DeFelice leaving manager Ken Macha with a short bullpen, the Milwaukee Brewers needed a long, if not solid, outing from Tuesday night starting pitcher Manny Parra.
They got neither.
It started out promising with Parra striking out the Florida side in the first inning. Unfortunately, the only consistent thing about Parra is his inconsistency. He proceeded to use 100 pitches in giving up 10 earned runs, lasting only four innings in the process. At this point, Parra is beginning to look like the latest incarnation of former Brewer left-hander Dana Eveland; someone who exhibited flashes of potential only to ultimately disappoint in the end.
This is a good news/bad news scenario from different points of view. The good news for Parra is that he’s bound to remain in the rotation. That’s because the bad news for the Brewers is that they currently have no viable replacement for him. If they wanted, I suppose the Brewers could move him to the bullpen and insert Seth McClung or new call-up Mike Burns (who took a steady turn Tues. night) into the rotation. But that would likely only be trading one problem for another. Unlike Carlos Villanueva last year, Parra didn’t fare very well pitching in relief either. One presumes the release of Julio was designed to stabilize the bullpen. Moving Parra into that role and McClung out would only undermine that plan. So, for the time being at least, the Brewers are probably doomed to let Parra work out his problems while remaining in the rotation and hope for the best.