(Photo: UPI/Bill Greenblatt)
Brewers lefty Manny Parra was non-tendered by the club today and will become a free agent. Parra has been a frustrating player to watch because he has some serious talent yet most of the time he goes out to the mound, the whole s**thouse goes up in flames. I was pulling hard for Parra to rebound this past season, as he came back from injury. But Parra was back to his old ways, posting a bloated ERA, getting into maddening trouble with walks, and putting up a 1.65 WHIP. His strikeout numbers were fairly good, as they have been throughout his career, but Parra has earned a reputation of being unable to get himself out of (often self-created) jams and he suffers from the perception that his confidence is shot.
Whether he is truly focused or not on the mound, only Parra can know, but his body language has resulted in questions about his capacity to handle high-pressure situations later in games, which is where the Brewers have often used him in relief. As a starter, Parra was pretty much the same as he’s been as a reliever, only for more innings at a time. He just can’t seem to limit the damage in most of his outings. Perhaps Parra has been a victim of his own previous success. Impossible expectations probably developed from his perfect game for the Nashville Sounds in 2007. Parra was given a chance to be a full-time starter in 2008, but since then he’s been unable to harness his formidable ability into the kind of consistency required by a successful major league pitcher. In an ideal world, Parra would’ve been a huge part of the Brewers rotation over the last several years, but even though he has a really cool name, it just hasn’t worked out in Milwaukee for Parra.
The Brewers organization has done its diligence with regards to Parra, and he now has the opportunity to latch on elsewhere as a free agent. For whatever reason, Parra hasn’t been able to get the job done with the Brewers but he deserves a shot to start over in another city. In the past I was in the camp that would hate to see Parra flourish on another team, but I now think the relationship with Parra and the Milwaukee club has run its course. The Brewers can find another lefty for the bullpen, and I truly hope Parra can find his control and savvy and become a successful reliever before his time in baseball is done.
Since John Axford, Marco Estrada and Carlos Gomez are certain to be tendered contracts by tonight’s deadline, and righteously so, I will quickly mention lefty Chris Narveson. I do think the Narv-dawg should be tendered, if only because he’s very affordable and could be a useful pitcher down the road, should he recover well from a harsh rotator-cuff injury.