Visit to McCarthy's Hometown...........Kenny Mayne

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Parra Recalled From Minors, Will Start for Crew Today Vs. Cards

Ready or not, here comes Manny Parra.

The 26-year-old left-hander, sent to the minors by the Milwaukee Brewers last month, will start this afternoon’s series finale against the St. Louis Cardinals at Miller Park, the team announced Wednesday.

But both manager Ken Macha and general manager Doug Melvin danced around questions of whether the move was out of necessity or the result of Parra’s performance since being optioned to Class AAA Nashville June 13. The Brewers then designated left-handed reliever Chris Narveson for assignment.

“He’s pitched a couple good games and he’ll be given the opportunity to take charge of what we’d like to see him take charge of, and that’s being a guy that’s going to start for us every fifth day,” Macha said. “But we’ll see.”

Parra was 3-8 with a 7.52 ERA in 13 starts this season before being sent down. He allowed 32 earned runs in his final 211/3 innings with Milwaukee, a horrid stretch capped by a disastrous start against the White Sox when he gave up six runs and didn’t make it out of the second inning.

Since being demoted, though, Parra is 1-2 with a 2.92 ERA in four starts with the Sounds. He’s averaged more than six innings per start, and has only had one poor outing — when he allowed six earned runs in 42⁄3 innings June 28.

“He’s pitched well enough, had a couple bad innings, I guess, out of all his outings, two or three bad innings,” said Melvin, who was in attendance that night. “I think in the end we need Manny. We’d like to see Manny get straightened out.”

Parra went 10-8 with a 4.39 ERA last season, but he was just 1-6 with a 5.50 ERA in his final 10 starts. The Brewers could certainly do with Parra performing at the level he did during last year’s first half.

Milwaukee’s starters are 27-31 with a 5.01 ERA this season, and the rotation has become a major concern as the year has gone on. With Parra in Nashville and Dave Bush (triceps) on the disabled list, the Brewers had been plugging the holes with reliever Seth McClung and journeyman Mike Burns.

Parra takes McClung’s place after the big right-hander didn’t make it past the fourth inning in either of his two starts. Starters failing to work deep into games has been a recurring theme.

“We’re certainly hoping to get more innings out of him than McClung gave us,” Macha said. “I mean, last night we’ve got (Yovani Gallardo) out there and we still had to get four innings out of our bullpen.”

Missing in action

Right fielder Corey Hart was held out of the lineup after fouling a pitch off his ankle Tuesday night, with Frank Catalanotto taking his place. Mat Gamel got the nod over Casey McGehee at third base for several reasons: Macha wanted to get another left-handed hitter in the lineup against Cardinals right-hander Todd Wellemeyer; Gamel needed to get some at-bats; and McGehee had some swelling in his right knee.

Bench coach Willie Randolph, meanwhile, was suspended for “inappropriate actions” after being ejected in the third inning of Tuesday’s game.

Around the horn

Melvin was evasive when asked whether he had inquired with the Toronto Blue Jays about ace Roy Halladay. When asked if Toronto was a good match for Milwaukee in terms of swinging a trade, Melvin said that determination was up to the team with the coveted player. “I don’t know if we’re on the list or not. ... You’ll have to call (Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi) on that one,” he said. ... Macha doesn’t have his post-All-Star break rotation set, but Braden Looper will start the first game after the break in Cincinnati. ... Bush will begin his rehab assignment by throwing three to four innings at Class A Wisconsin Friday. His next start after that will be at Class AA Huntsville.

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