Parra likely to land in Brewers' rotation
Despite consecutive rocky outings, lefty remains a favorite
PHOENIX -- For three weeks and his first four Spring Training starts, left-hander Manny Parra did his best to pitch his way into the starting rotation.Will Parra's last two starts undo all of that work? "No," Brewers manager Ned Yost said emphatically on Monday after Parra struggled through a second straight subpar outing in a 6-5 loss to the Rockies at Maryvale Baseball Park. Parra, one of four candidates for three unclaimed spots in the starting rotation, lasted only three innings on Monday and was tagged with five earned runs, though a four-run Rockies first inning could have been limited to one, had third baseman Joe Dillon converted a double-play ground ball. Still, Parra has surrendered 13 runs in 6 2/3 innings over his last two starts after compiling a 0.64 ERA in his first four. "Realistically, Manny didn't throw the ball good," Yost said. "He wasn't sharp. He ended up getting a lot of balls up." So what's up? "I can't swear to this, but I think these kids get close to the end and they get into, 'Boy, I'm really close to making this team and I can't make a mistake,'" Yost said. "They get away from attacking and try to get a little too careful and a little too fine. "That's a death sentence for you. Guys that have pitched themselves onto the team all of Spring Training, in an outing or two pitch themselves off. All of a sudden, instead of continuing to attack and doing what got them to that point, they get cautious."
Yost then said Parra, 25, was not pitching his way off the staff. The way the Brewers' starters are currently lined up, Parra is on track to break camp as the team's No. 3 starter and would debut on April 3 at Wrigley Field. But there is still room for adjustments, Yost said.Which of Parra's outings matter more? His first four, or the most recent two? "A little of both," Yost said. "The first four times, there's no real pressure, but the last two times, you're starting to get a little pressure. There's not going to be a time, starting a week from today, that he's not going to feel pressure. You have to really evaluate the way he's handling that." Parra surrendered a lead-off single to Willy Taveras on Monday but said he began feeling uncomfortable when he walked the next hitter, Troy Tulowitzki. He would issue three walks and surrender three hits before escaping the first inning. "It wasn't just fastball command, it was all command, period," Parra said. "I felt like today I was thinking too hard. When I'm going good, I don't think about where my spot is, I just throw it to it. Today, especially, I was trying to hit spots, and that's not the right mindset for me." He said he feels physically strong. "There are no excuses," Parra said.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.