Brewers, Parra go their separate ways

December 1, 2012

> As expected, the Brewers officially cut ties with their second-longest tenured player, Manny Parra. The Brewers had five arbitration eligibles, the others being John Axford, Marco Estrada, Chris Narveson, and Carlos Gomez, and Parra was the only one to be non-tendered.

Parra, a lefty who has always had great stuff, had a very frustrating Brewers career, to say the least. He went 10-8 with a 4.39 ERA in his first full season in 2008, but has posted a 5.61 ERA in the years since. In 2009, 2010, and 2012 (he missed 2011 because of injuries), he had an ERA above 5.00. It appeared Parra was going to blossom into an ace, especially after he threw a perfect game in his first Triple-A start back in 2007, but he never panned out.

Maybe Parra just needs a change of scenery, and that’s probably something he’s going to get. Though a lot of Parra’s career stats are alarming- his 5.12 ERA, 5.4 BB/9, and 1.645 WHIP are the highlights of them- he has a career 8.4 K/9. That, coming from a power lefty who also has a splitter, is going to draw interest from teams regardless of the other stats.

So best of luck to Parra wherever he ends up; it simply didn’t work out in Milwaukee.

Parra

> There have been a few mega-deals/large extensions signed over the past few days. Today, David Wright’s seven-year, $122 million deal with the Mets followed Evan Longoria’s six-year, $100 million extension with the Rays. Both of these are similar to the extensions Ryan Braun and Joey Votto signed in recent years.

> Minor moves: 

Diamondbacks: Released Brad Bergesen.
Angels: Acquired Tommy Hanson from the Braves; claimed Scott Cousins off waivers from the Mariners.
Braves: Acquired Jordan Walden from the Angels; claimed David Carpenter off waivers from the Red Sox; non-tendered Jair Jurrjens and Peter Moylan.
Marlins: Claimed Joe Mahoney off waivers from the Orioles.
Indians: Claimed Mike McDade off waivers from the Blue Jays; designated Chris Seddon for assignment; signed Fernando Nieve to a minor league deal; non-tendered Rafael Perez and Jack Hannahan.
Blue Jays: Outrighted Cory Wade, who elected free agency; outrighted Joel Carreno and Mike McCoy to Triple-A.
Astros: Claimed Philip Humber off waivers from the White Sox.
Yankees: Claimed Jim Miller off waivers from the Athletics; designated Mickey Storey and Jayson Nix for assignment.
Orioles: Acquired Yamaico Navarro from the Pirates; designated Stuart Pomeranz for assignment; non-tendered Omar Quintanilla and Mark Reynolds; re-signed Taylor Teagarden, Steve Pearce, and Alexi Casilla to one-year deals.
Pirates: Acquired Jhondaniel Medina from the Orioles; acquired Zach Thornton from the Athletics; non-tendered Jeff Karstens.
Athletics: Acquired Chris Resop from the Pirates; re-signed Daric Barton and Adam Rosales to one-year deals; designated Sandy Rosario for assignment; non-tendered Jermaine Mitchell.
Cubs: Non-tendered Ian Stewart, Jaye Chapman, and Zach Putnam; outrighted Casey Coleman to Triple-A. Padres: Non-tendered Juan Oramas.
Mets: Non-tendered Mike Pelfrey, Andres Torres, and Manny Acosta.
Phillies: Non-tendered Nate Schierholtz.
Royals: Outrighted Ryan Verdugo and Adam Moore to Triple-A; re-signed Chris Getz to a one-year deal; non-tendered Derrick Robinson.
Twins: Outrighted Deolis Guerra to Triple-A.
Red Sox: Non-tendered Rich Hill, Ryan Sweeney, and Scott Atchison.
White Sox: Non-tendered Anthony Carter and Dan Johnson.
Tigers: Non-tendered Daniel Schlereth.
Nationals: Non-tendered John Lannan, Tom Gorzelanny, and Jesus Flores.

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Transactions from the past few days

November 29, 2012

> Gord Ash has announced that adding arms– whether they be starters or relievers- is going to be the priority for the Brewers at this year’s Winter Meetings.

> Josh Prince was named to the Arizona Fall League Prospects Team.

> According to Buster Olney, the Brewers are still bidders for Josh Hamilton. But, if his price reaches anywhere around $214 million- the amount Prince Fielder got last offseason- Olney doesn’t think the Brewers will sign him.

> The Braves overpayed B.J. Upton with a five-year contract for $75.25 million. On the bright side, that means they’re out of the running for Hamilton.

> The Angels signed Ryan Madson to a one-year deal to be their closer. He could have been an option for the Brewers, but it would have been a risk, seeing as Madson didn’t pitch at all last year due to Tommy John surgery.

> Yet another relatively mediocre reliever has been signed to a multi-year deal. This time, the Reds gave Jonathan Broxton a three-year, $21 million deal. This means it will only be tougher for the Brewers to bring in a reliever.

> One more relief note: it’s been reported that the Giants are probably going to non-tender Brian Wilson. But he’s one guy who I want to stay away from the Brewers.

> Minor moves: 

Reds: Re-signed Todd Redmond to a one-year deal.
Mets: Re-signed Tim Byrdak to a minor league deal; acquired Brandon Hicks from the Athletics.
Yankees: Designated Eli Whiteside for assignment; re-signed Andy Pettitte to a one-year deal.
Red Sox: Outrighted Ivan De Jesus off their 40-man roster; signed David Carpenter and Jose De La Torre to minor league deals.
Cubs: Signed Scott Feldman to a one-year deal; designated Casey Coleman for assignment.
Orioles: Signed Logan Mahon and Chase Johnson to minor league deals; acquired Danny Valencia from the Red Sox; designated Joe Mahoney for assignment.
Giants: Signed Omar Javier and Guillermo Quiroz to minor league deals.
Twins: Signed Jeff Clement to a minor league deal.
Phillies: Signed Brandon Erbe, Humberto Quintero, and Pete Orr to minor league deals; acquired Wilton Lopez from the Astros.
Astros: Signed Edgar Gonzalez, Trevor Crowe, Sergio Escalona, and Jose Valdez to minor league deals.
Diamondbacks: Signed Mark Teahen to a minor league deal.
Nationals: Signed Bobby Bramhall to a minor league deal.
Indians: Designated Rafael Perez for assignment; added Nick Hagadone to their 40-man roster.
Pirates: Acquired Zach Stewart from the Red Sox; acquired Vin Mazzaro and Clint Robinson from the Royals; designated Matt Hague and Yamaico Navarro for assignment.
Rangers: Acquired Cory Burns from the Padres.
Athletics: Acquired Sandy Rosario from the Red Sox; designated Jermaine Mitchell for assignment; re-signed Pat Neshek to a one-year deal.
Mariners: Released Chone Figgins.


Did the Cubs’ rotation improve?

January 20, 2012

> Probably not.

The Cubs had another Cubs-esque year in 2011, going 71-91. The actually had a half-decent offense, as they were near the top of the NL in team batting average.

But why were they so bad? Their pitching; primarily the starting rotation. Practically none of their starters performed to the expectations they were expected. They did deal a few of their starters and acquired a few as well, but I don’t know if it was enough to lift them out of the chasm that is the bottom of the NL Central.

This is how I would assemble the Cubs’ rotation in 2012:

#1 starter- Matt Garza- 10-10, 3.32 ERA

Garza was the only decent starter in 2011, despite the fact Mike Quade named him the #3 starter at the beginning of the season. Garza actually had a career year, setting a career-best ERA. His wins don’t show it, but he didn’t get run support most of the time.

Garza also had a career-high in strikeouts, punching out 197 in 198 innings. His K/9 was exactly 9, which was a huge improvement from his 6.6 K/9 while pitching for the Rays in 2010. Garza, who used to be known as primarily a fly-ball pitcher because of his aggressive use of the high fastball, could be turning into a strikeout pitcher.

For some reason, Garza is on the Cubs’ trade block. If they trade him, their rotation will have close to no hope in 2012, as you’ll see from the pitchers I’m about to talk about.

#2 starter- Ryan Dempster- 10-14, 4.80 ERA

Dempster had an awful 2011, to say the least. In 2010, he went 15-12 with a 3.85 ERA, so his numbers really plummeted in 2011. The only area he was half decent was his innings and strikeouts. He ate up 202 1/3 innings, something the Cubs needed.

Garza has a sinker, splitter, and slider in his repertoire, so he’s known as a groundball pitcher. But, his 8.5 K/9 in 2011 was a career-high, so, like Garza, he could be becoming a strikeout pitcher.

But, since Dempster’s career year in 2008 in which he went 17-6 with a 2.96 ERA, his ERA has consistently gone down- 2.96, 3.65, 3.85, 4.80. Maybe we could expect worse next year, but I kind of doubt it. Dempster can be a good pitcher, but he just isn’t consistent enough yet, and it may be too late in his career to turn it around.

#3 starter- Paul Maholm- 6-14, 3.66 ERA

After the Pirates opted not to re-sign Maholm, the Cubs picked him up on a one-year deal, and, in my opinion, it isn’t a bad pickup. His 6-14 shows nothing of how well he pitched in 2011- the Pirates didn’t have any offense.

Maholm definitely isn’t a strikeout pitcher, as he had just a 5.4 K/9 in 2011, to go along with 97 strikeouts in 162 1/3 innings. I don’t see him pitch very often, and correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe he’s a groundball pitcher. But it’s fine that he doesn’t strike out many batters- Garza and Dempster have that covered.

I think Maholm will have a decent year in 2012. But that’s just my gut feeling, I could be wrong; he’s been pretty inconsistent over the past few years.

#4 starter- Randy Wells- 7-6, 4.99 ERA

Wells got injured in his first start of the year, so he missed the first few months. When he came back, he struggled, and for most of the year his ERA was well north of 5.00. But, he had a good September that included a shutout against the Giants, and lowered his ERA by a large margin.

Wells is an extreme groundball pitcher, and his K/9 was just 5.5 in 2011. Yet, he somehow found a way to give up 23 homers in just 135 1/3 innings, which means left a few too many sinkers up.

I don’t know about Wells. I don’t see much in him, and have a feeling he won’t have more than an average season in 2012.

#5 starter- Chris Volstad- 5-13, 4.89 ERA

The first thing the Cubs need to to do with Volstad- thank him. He was part of the trade that sent the psychopath- AKA Carlos Zambrano- to the Miami Marlins, so they won’t have to deal with his antics anymore. Anyway, with that aside, I see talent in Volstad. He hasn’t had the best career so far, but he’s still young and has time to turn it around. I think the Marlins gave up on him a bit early, and it was actually their fault for his lack of wins, because they didn’t give him any run support.

Volstad is considered a groundball pitcher, but I don’t really see it, as he gave up 23 homers in 2011. He doesn’t strike out all that many, with his K/9 being 6.4 in 2011. But I think all he needs to do is start missing more bats, and he’ll be successful.

I see a bright future for Volstad, but for some reason I have a feeling he won’t be in Chicago very long.

And that’s how I think the rotation should go. There will be some competition in Spring Training, as Casey Coleman, Travis Wood, Andy Sonnanstine, and possibly Jeff Samardzija could possibly challenge for a spot in the rotation.

> Today was the day. Ryan Braun finally pleaded his case in front of three arbitrators earlier today, but not much info was released. The decision won’t be made by Saturday, however, so we’ll have to wait a little longer.

The case took place a few days earlier than expected, as it was supposed to happen after Braun received his MVP award at a dinner on Saturday. At least that’s what’s Lance Allen reported earlier this month. But it would be nice if it were all settled before the dinner; it could make things a little less awkward, or ten times more awkward.

> And that’s about it. Thanks for reading, and feel free to leave your thoughts.


Brewers’ rally against the flameout falls short

September 20, 2011

I see nothing in Carlos Marmol. Absolutely nothing.

The Brewers fell to the Cubs today, 5-2, and their magic number will stay at four for at least another day. That’s because the Cardinals beat Roy Halladay and the Phillies (talk about a worthless bunch). But that’s why I hate the Phillies- when I want them to win, which is rare, they don’t. And they win the rest of the time.

Anyway, back to the Brewers and Cubs. All five Cubs runs were driven in by Geovany Soto, who hit two two-run homers and had a RBI single. The only Brewers runs came on home runs by Jerry Hairston Jr. and Casey McGehee.

Chris Narveson had a very short start today, going just four innings while giving up three runs (two earned) on four hits. But, I guess you can’t blame him- the Brewers have been yanking him in and out of the starting rotation over the past few weeks, plus he was injured before that. Switching a pitcher between the rotation and bullpen rapidly is NOT how you help him recover from an injury. Anyway, Narveson took his first career loss against the Cubs with the loss today.

Casey Coleman, on the other hand, dominated the Brewers- just like all pitchers with ERAs over 7.00 do. He went six innings while giving up a run on just two hits. He walked three and struck out eight.

The Brewers rallied against Marmol in the ninth inning, starting with a McGehee solo homer. But, Marmol, after giving up back-t0-back hits, would strike out Taylor Green and Corey Hart to end the game.

Anyway, there are a couple reasons I called Marmol a “flameout” earlier. I just don’t see anything in him. First off, the catcher-converted-into-pitcher is having a horrible year. He has a 3.91 ERA- which is actually pretty high for a closer- and has 34 saves. Sure, 34 saves sounds alright- unless you compare it to the 43 opportunities he’s had. That’s nine blown saves. Marmol actually lost the closer’s role for awhile to Sean Marshall, but was recently inserted back into that slot. Anyway, another reason I don’t see anything in Marmol- his signature pitch, the slider, doesn’t even break half of the time. It just spins up to the plate, resulting in hard-hit balls. And, when the slider does break, it breaks way out of the zone. He’s had outings this year where he walks four or more batters this year, and gives up six or more runs. Not something you want to see from a closer.

Anyway, one more thing- Mariano Rivera broke Trevor Hoffman’s save record with his 602nd career save today. That didn’t take too long; Hoffman barely held onto the record for a year. But Rivera is definitely going to have more than 602 saves- he has a 1.98 ERA, and he’s 42. That’s something you don’t hear too often… Anyway, there’s no other active closer even remotely close to 600 saves- the next closest is ex-Brewers Francisco Cordero. But I can’t see Cordero getting to 600 saves.

But who knows. Maybe in 15 years, we’ll be celebrating John Axford’s 600th save. That’s looking pretty far ahead. But, I’d love to see it, no matter when it comes- if it comes, that is.

The Brewers will look to even up this series in Chicago tomorrow at 7:05 PM CT. Shaun Marcum (12-7, 3.40 ERA) will go for the Brewers, and he’ll be in search for some run support- something he hasn’t gotten over the past month. Marcum has been that one starter that has been amazing on the road for the Brewers, however. He has a sub-3.00 ERA on the road this season. Anyway, Marcum has one career start against the Cubs, in which he gave up two runs over six innings and earned the win.

The Cubs will counter with Randy Wells (7-4, 4.93 ERA). Wells hasn’t lost over his last nine starts, but is 2-3 with a 4.53 ERA in his career against the Brewers.


For third straight day, Brewers hammer Reds

September 19, 2011

If you didn’t see the Brewers’ offense before this series, you wouldn’t believe me if I told you they’d struggled against the Cardinals, Phillies, and Rockies. But, with all the offense in this series, I doubt the Brewers would remember how badly they were struggling, either.

The Brewers won their 90th game of the season today against the Reds, beating them 8-1 in yet another blowout win. With this blowout win, the Brewers outscored the Reds 24-5 in this series sweep of them, and also held them to just two hits in each of the past two games (courtesy of Yovani Gallardo and Zack Greinke). Anyway, the Brewers’ magic number now goes down to four, and, if the Cardinals lose to the Phillies in a game that’s starting right now, then it will fall to three.

Zack Greinke had a great start today and earned his 15th win of the season. That’s actually remarkable, considering he missed all of April and didn’t make his season debut until May 4th. He’s now just one win away from tying a career-high in wins (his career-high, 16, came in 2009, his AL Cy Young year). Anyway, Greinke went seven innings while giving up one run on two hits. He walked three and struck out 10, as he continues to be a strikeout machine. (Also note that Greinke is in the top 10 in the league in strikeouts despite missing a month.)

The Brewer offense started the game with a bang in the first inning. Carlos Gomez and Prince Fielder both hit two-run homers off Matt Maloney, who was making a spot start in place of Dontrelle Willis. Maloney clearly wasn’t ready for this start, as he lasted just 1 2/3 innings while giving up seven runs (six earned). Anyway, Rickie Weeks’ two-run single in the second inning made it 7-0, and Corey Hart’s solo shot in the sixth finished the Brewers’ scoring. The only run the Reds scored was on a Devin Mesoraco RBI single in the fifth.

Ryan Braun had another good day at the plate, going 3-for-4 and raising his batting average to .336. Jose Reyes of the Mets, who Braun has been competing with for a batting title over the last month, wasn’t in the Mets’ starting lineup today. Reyes is currently hitting .331, so hopefully Braun can maintain the lead he has on him.

Oh, and one more thing, Logan Schafer got his first career hit today off usual Reds closer (and former Brewers closer) Francisco Cordero. I guess the fact that it was off Cordero makes it that much better.

The Brewers will travel to Chicago and start a three-game series with the Cubs tomorrow. Chris Narveson (10-7, 4.40 ERA) will make his first start in awhile. The Brewers skipped his spot in the rotation due to off-days the last time through, but, in his last start, he gave up six runs over 5 2/3 innings against the Phillies. Anyway, Narveson has had a lot of success against the Cubs in his career, going 6-0 with a 3.41 ERA against them.

The Cubs will counter with Casey Coleman (2-8, 7.06 ERA). He’s still replacing Carlos Zambrano, who won’t pitch for the Cubs for the rest of the season, and probably won’t pitch for the Cubs next year, either. Anyway, back to Coleman- he’s 0-2 with a 6.20 ERA in his career against the Brewers.

By the way, Justin Verlander of the Tigers picked up his 24th win of the season today against the Athletics. You never see guys getting win totals in the mid-20’s in this day and age. But Verlander is definitely something special… He can’t win 30 games, but, he could probably win 26 or 27 games, which would still be remarkable.


Offense backs Gallardo’s career-high 15th win

August 28, 2011

The magic number for the Brewers this year just keeps getting better and better. That’s something I haven’t been able to say very often over the course of the past few years.

The Brewers defeated the Cubs today, 6-4, and have taken the series from the Cubs at Miller Park. The win set a few milestones for this season- first off, the Brewers won their 80th game, something they failed to do in 2010 during a disappointing 77-85 campaign. They’ve become the second team in the National League this year to win 80 games (the Phillies were the first). The second milestone was Yovani Gallardo’s 15th win of 2011, which sets a new career high for him.

Gallardo had a great start tonight, going seven innings while giving up one run (none earned) on six hits. He walked two and struck out 10. The only two walks he gave up came in a seventh inning in which he got into a bases loaded jam, but struck out the side to get out of it. It was also Gallardo’s second 10-strikeout game of 2011, and both of them have come against the Cubs.

Ryan Braun got the Brewers on the board in the first inning with a RBI double off Cubs starter Ryan Dempster. A few batters later, Casey McGehee crushed his 11th homer of the year with Braun still on second to give the Brewers an early 3-0 lead against Dempster, who typically dominates the Brewers.

Alfonso Soriano got the Cubs on the board in the second with a RBI single, but it was unearned towards Gallardo because of an error he committed earlier in the inning. It was an odd play, actually- Carlos Pena, the Cubs’ cleanup hitter, was down 0-2 against Gallardo, then he laid down a bunt that Gallardo clearly wasn’t expecting. So I almost don’t blame him for not making the play- how often do you see a cleanup hitter lay down a bunt, especially on an 0-2 count?

Anyway, the Brewers answered back in the bottom of the second on Corey Hart’s RBI triple. They also scored in the third on Prince Fielder’s mammoth solo homer. Then, in the seventh, the Brewers tacked on one more on Hart’s solo home run. Hart finished a single shy of the cycle, which isn’t something you hear too often, because you’d think a single is the easiest to get.

But, LaTroy Hawkins practically blew the Brewers’ 6-1 lead in the eighth inning. He loaded the bases, then gave up a base-clearing double to Soriano. Francisco Rodriguez came in and bailed him out of the inning after that, however. That set the stage for John Axford’s 36th consecutive save (39th overall) in the ninth inning.

Taylor Green arrived at Miller Park today, but hasn’t gotten his first Major League at-bat yet. He was in the dugout, and I assume he was available to pinch-hit. But, he wasn’t needed, since the Cubs used all left-handed relievers and Green is a left-handed batter himself. Ron Roenicke said that Green, a third baseman, could be used to start in place of McGehee against tough right-handed pitchers.

Anyway, I was wrong about Green’s numbers at Triple-A last night. He was actually hitting with .336 with 22 homers and 88 RBIs, which are better than the numbers I thought he had. So I guess a promotion was inevitable with how badly Green was tearing up the Minors.

The Brewers will go for a home sweep against the Cubs tomorrow in a day game. Zack Greinke (12-5, 4.22 ERA) will go for the Brewers, and he’ll look to rebound from an awful start in Pittsburgh his last time out in which he gave up seven earned runs. Greinke has had two starts against the Cubs this year- one was great, the other not so much. In the good start, he went 6 2/3 scoreless innings, which remains his only scoreless start while with the Brewers. He gave up six earned runs during the other start, however, so we’ll see which one was the fluke tomorrow.

The Cubs will counter with Casey Coleman (2-6, 7.59 ERA), who’s still filling in for Carlos Zambrano while he sits on the disqualified list. Coleman has been up and down between the Majors and Minors this year, but has been extremely inconsistent for the Cubs, as shown by his 7.59 ERA. Coleman is 0-1 with a 7.43 ERA in his career against the Brewers.


Recap of Brewers-Pirates series

August 25, 2011

I’m back. Sorry for not getting up posts for a few days, but I was out of town. Anyway, I should probably reflect a bit on the Brewers-Pirates series in Pittsburgh that took place while I was away.

The Brewers split that four-game series. That’s alright, I guess, but when the Brewers are playing the Pirates, you’d expect an easy four wins for the Brewers. But, the law of averages had to come into play eventually, meaning the Pirates couldn’t do this horrible against the Brewers forever.

Anyway, the offense for the Brewers was on and off all series. In the first game of the double-header, they made a mockery of the Pirates’ bullpen by scoring six runs off them in an 8-1 victory. But, the Pirates countered in the night game of the double-header, tagging Zack Greinke for seven runs in a 9-2 loss for the Brewers. Seven of their nine runs came in a never-ending seventh inning off Greinke and reliever Frankie De La Cruz.

But, the Brewers had a seven run inning of their own the next day. They crushed Ross Ohlendorf, who was making his return from the DL, for seven runs in the second inning, which was part of an 11-4 blowout win.

During the final game of the series, the offense pretty much disappeared. The Pirates won, 2-0. Pirates starter Aaron Thompson was making his Major League debut, and he did alright, I guess. He lasted just 4 1/3 innings, but didn’t give up a run. He allowed a lot of baserunners, but the Brewers weren’t executing with runners in scoring position at all. That was their 11th shutout loss of the year- all of which have come on the road.

Anyway, here are a few more things that took place while I was away.

Narveson moves to bullpen for the time being

Chris Narveson will be in the bullpen for the next two series or so. He’s typically the No. 5 guy in the Brewers’ rotation, but, due to scheduled off-days during the next stretch, they won’t need a fifth starter. That means they’ll be working with a four-man rotation (Greinke, Yovani Gallardo, Shaun Marcum, and Randy Wolf). This move also gives the bullpen a lefty, something the Brewers’ bullpen has been lacking nearly all season.

But, I don’t know how much I like this move. It’s true that Narveson is only an average starter- he’s 9-6 with a 4.31 ERA- and isn’t a superstar ace, meaning they can go without him for awhile. But, during the next two series, the Brewers will be playing the Cubs and Cardinals- two teams that Narveson has had a ton of success against in his career. In my opinion, a more logical move would have been to move Wolf to the bullpen for a little while, because Wolf hasn’t had nearly the success against the Cubs and Cardinals that Narveson has. But, Narveson is the only guy in the rotation with recent bullpen experience (Greinke was in the Royals bullpen a few years back), so I guess that’s what this move was based off of.

Parra has ANOTHER setback…

Brewers pitcher Manny Parra had yet another setback yesterday. He’s going to need to undergo surgery to replace a screw in his elbow that’s been giving him some trouble recently.

Parra has been having setbacks all year, though. He probably would have made the Opening Day roster as a lefty out of the bullpen, but had back problems in Spring Training that kept him from that. Since then, he’s had simultaneous issues with both his back and elbow, and definitely won’t pitch again this year, not even in the Minors. But, if he can avoid undergoing major surgery (such as Tommy John Surgery), he could be ready to go by Spring Training in 2012.

In 2010, Parra had a disappointing season as a starter, and went 3-10 with a 5.02 ERA overall. But, he had success out of the bullpen that year, putting up a 2.93 ERA during appearances out of the ‘pen. And, since the Brewers already have five capable starters, Parra would have fit perfectly into the bullpen, being a lefty.

Parra will be arbitration eligible for the second time in his career this offseason, but, if he has yet another setback, I can’t imagine the Brewers will offer him arbitration. I’m even surprised with the patience they’re giving him at this point.

Anyway, that’s about all I have right now. The only other thing I missed was that Marco Estrada will be moving back to the bullpen after making his last start on Tuesday, and De La Cruz is probably going to be sent down, but that’s a pretty minor situation. The Brewers have an off-day today and will begin a series with the Cubs tomorrow, so, before I finish, here are the probable pitching matchups for the series:

Rodrigo Lopez (4-4, 4.97 ERA) vs. Randy Wolf (10-8, 3.45 ERA)

Ryan Dempster (10-9, 4.60 ERA) vs. Yovani Gallardo (14-8, 3.51 ERA)

Casey Coleman (2-6, 7.59 ERA) vs. Zack Greinke (12-5, 4.22 ERA)