Tag: Manny Parra

Manny Parra to Cubs: Latest Contract Details, Comments and Reaction

Manny Parra signed a minor league deal with the Chicago Cubs on Monday, according to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com. The left-handed relief pitcher will have an invite to the team’s big league camp, per JW Gravley of 27 Outs Baseball.     

Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald shared that Parra has already reported to the Cubs:

Parra, 33, spent three of his first four seasons as a starter with the Milwaukee Brewers, but he struggled mightily with a 5.13 ERA over 454.1 innings, which forced him to the minors in 2011 and a role in the bullpen upon his return the following year. 

He spent the past three seasons with the Cincinnati Reds, making 40 appearances with a 3.90 ERA in 2015. Over the course of his eight-year career, Parra has been lit up by right-handed batters, which has been a huge pitfall:

Parra has also struggled with wild pitches, leading the league with 17 in 2008. Here is a look at one during the opening series at Busch Stadium against the St. Louis Cardinals in 2013:

The Cubs already have a slew of left-handed relievers competing in camp, slimming Parra’s chances of making the big league team. In addition to those already on the 40-man roster—Travis Wood, Clayton Richard and Rex Brothers—the Cubs also have Jack Leathersich and Edgar Olmos competing this spring, according to Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors.

Parra’s signing is a win for the Cubs, who at the very worst get an inexpensive option who adds depth to their relief corps as a minor league option. 

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The Definitive Blueprint for a Successful Offseason by the San Francisco Giants

The San Francisco Giants finished the 2013 season with a disappointing record of 76-86, 16 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West.

The work to rebuild the roster has already begun for the Giants and GM Brian Sabean.

First, the Giants signed outfielder Hunter Pence to a five-year, $90 million contract. Pence played in every game for the Giants and was their top overall offensive weapon this past season.

Pence led the Giants with 27 home runs, 99 RBI and 22 steals. He also hit .283, with an OBP of .339 and OPS of .822. Pence’s all-out hustle made him a fan favorite, and he made no secret about his desire to remain a Giant.

Following the Pence signing, Sabean locked in starting pitcher Tim Lincecum with a two-year deal for $35 million. Although the Giants may have overpaid Lincecum somewhat, the value he brings to the team is more than just on the field.

Lincecum finished his second consecutive down year, although 2013 was definitely an improvement over 2012, when he finished with an ERA of 5.18 and WHIP of 1.468. 

This past season, Lincecum tossed 197.2 innings, allowing 184 hits and 76 walks, while striking out 193. He is learning how to get outs without the same velocity he had earlier in his career.

At the age of 29, Sabean and the Giants are counting on Lincecum having at least two more solid years in a Giants uniform.

With Pence and Lincecum in the fold, there are five critical areas that remain for the Giants. How the Giants address these needs will be a major factor in their success in 2014.

Let’s take a definitive look at the five remaining moves the Giants need to make to give them the best chance of recapturing the glory they found in their world championship seasons of 2010 and 2012.

All stats are courtesy of baseball-reference.com.

All contract information is courtesy of baseballprospectus.com.

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Cincinnati Reds: Signing Manny Parra Is a Bad Move

The Reds recently signed ex-Milwaukee Brewer Manny Parra to a one year $1 million deal with appearances bonuses that could send the value up to $1.4 million.

Parra is a 30-year-old lefty who seems to have been brought on to be the club’s new left-handed specialist now that Aroldis Chapman has moved to the starting rotation and Bill Bray has signed a minor league deal with the Washington Nationals.

The problem with him being a left-handed specialist is that he’s, well, not a specialist.

Check out his splits against right-handed and left-handed batters (per fangraphs.com)

Manny Parra IP ERA WHIP XBH BAA OBPa SLGa K/9 BB/9 K/BB H/9 HR/9
vs. LHB 129.1 4.81 1.52 41 .261 .349 .417 11.0 4.31 2.55 9.39 1.18
vs. RHB 383.2 4.78 1.69 138 .285 .371 .438 6.8 4.69 1.61 9.59 0.99

Parra isn’t a specialist, quite simply because he’s equally bad against batters on both sides of the plate.

So what exactly is Parra‘s role on the team going to be? 

Parra can eat some innings and can definitely strike batters out.

Over the course of his career, Parra owns a K/9 value of 8.40 K/9. But unfortunately, he’s going to walk batters at an unacceptably high rate for a reliever (4.60 BB/9).

Outside of the fact that he hasn’t pitched very well over the course of his career, he wasn’t even the best left-handed reliever available.

Hideki Okajima, Rich Hill, Rafael Perez and J.C. Romero are all still available (per MLBtraderumors.com free agents list).

Okajima, Hill, Perez and Romero all have better overall career numbers than Parra.

Romero, Hill and Okajima all have splits that indicate their ability to get left-handed hitters out at a more efficient rate than they do left-handers (click the links on their names for career splits). 

Though he is slightly better against right-handed hitters, Perez is still more efficient than Parra against batters from both sides of the plate (see Perez splits here).

The fact that the Reds signed Parra when these four relievers are still available seems odd, but maybe they see something in him, the same way they saw something in Jose Arredondo when they signed him following an injury.

But for now, Parra shows no signs of being a good signing for the Reds.

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Too Manny Chances: When Do Brewers Finally Cut Ties With Parra?

There comes a time in a parent’s life when they have to let go of a child who has had thrust upon them the high expectations of a family. There is a time when that child has to leave the only city he has ever known and begin a new life elsewhere.

There comes a time when the Milwaukee Brewers and Manny Parra look each other in the eye and say things never worked out, and let Parra find another city to call home.

Same story, different scenario.

Parra, along with Yovani Gallardo, was once the crowned gem of the Brewers organization. Ever since he threw a perfect game in the minors, it seemed like he would join the ranks of Sheets and Gallardo as top pitchers from the farm system.

He was a special lefty with a hard fastball and nasty splitter to go along with a changeup. It was deemed a repertoire that made batters cringe. He could go late into games and didn’t allow free passes very often.

Then he arrived to town.

The Manny Parra of the scouting reports has not been very evident in a Brewers uniform, outside of the few good outings he has amounted.

His rookie season of 2008 did not immediately pour out stress on Brewers faithful. He had a stretch of eight consecutive wins that stretched his record to 9-2 with a 3.68 era as late as July. But as the summer emerged, Parra lost his command and touch, finishing the season in the bullpen with a 4.39 era, 1.54 WHIP, and 10-8 record as the team made the Playoffs.

The outlook was still bright for Parra. He mixed both bad outings (4 IP, 6 ER vs. Cincinnati) with the good outings (7 IP, 2 H, 0 R vs. Minnesota) to combine for a respectable campaign.

Then 2009 came around, and Parra, with his jersey number switched from 43 to 26, couldn’t find the strike zone and gave up more runs than I would like to mention.

For some reason, manager Ken Macha kept him in the starting rotation all season long, even though Parra never quite found a groove. You could look at the 10 run outing in pitcher-friendly Sun Life Stadium (then Land Shark Stadium) or the 1.2 inning start against the White Sox that turned ugly very fast.

In 27 starts, he reached the seventh inning only four times, getting through the inning only three times. He relied on five runs of run support per game from his team, which saved him from losing even more games.

Don’t let the 11-11 record throw you off guard. Look at the 6.36 era, the 19 home runs, and the 116/77 K to BB ratio. Those numbers definitely don’t back up the record.

He deservedly began 2010 in the bullpen, where he probably should still be. He exited April with a 0.77 era in nine appearances. But this success, along with an injury to the equally ineffective Doug Davis prompted a promotion to the starting rotation.

Brewers fans cringed.

In July Parra had a 10-run outing, a five-run outing, and two four-run outings. He made it through the fifth only once.

Just Wednesday, he was cruising along against the Chicago Cubs, allowing only a solo home run to Tyler Colvin. He had six punchouts through five innings. His splitter was being located well to go along with a strong fastball.

Then it turned south, allowing five runs in the innings to blow a 3-1 lead and allow the Cubbies to break away. He couldn’t even minimize the damage.

Looking at Parra’s outings, it doesn’t seem that the first few innings give him trouble. He can work out of jams and give up minimal damage, if any, and keep the team in the game. But anyone can do that.

It usually is the second and third times through the order that make Bob Uecker tell us that “Manny Pair-uh has given up four this inning and the Brewers trail, 5-2.”

His “stuff” just doesn’t seem to be effective for a length. Unlike the Roy Halladays, Cliff Lees or even guys like Carl Pavano, Parra doesn’t have the ability to control every pitch and doesn’t have the nasty breaking ball to rely on late in games.

He’s forced to use every pitch he has early on. Hitters recognize this and have seen everything he has to give by the sixth inning. That would explain all of the 5.0, 5.1, and 5.2 inning appearances over his career.

Basically, he has good bullpen stuff.

The problem is that Macha and GM Doug Melvin seem to has endless trust in Parra. They see the potential—a word only used with underachieving players—and keep sending him out to the hill every fifth day.

You can’t tell me that there isn’t someone else that can do better than the California native. While Gallardo has succeeded expectations becoming a 2010 All-Star, Parra has had a few starts that show what he can accomplish.

But how much time can the Brewers afford to waste trying to allow him to finally blossom. They gave Rickie Weeks time, but he was decimated with injuries and now is a big run producer and superb leadoff hitter.

At $440k, at least Parra isn’t making Jeff Suppan figures just to lose games. He becomes arbitration-eligible in 2011, but it is doubted that he will be given more money considering his performance.

The consequences aren’t as severe for releasing him, or designating Parra to the bullpen. Either one would make plenty of Brewer fans give a sigh of relief not having to see Parra implode in the sixth again.

You’ve had your chance to impress, Manny. Now it’s time for someone else to do the job.

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Fantasy Baseball Scouting Report: Manny Parra

We’ve heard a lot about the potential of Manny Parra over the years, unfortunately it has never translated to a big league diamond.  The trend has continued in 2010, as he’s posted the following line:

3 Wins
64.2 Innings
4.45 ERA
1.65 WHIP
66 Strikeouts (9.2 K/9)
31 Walks (4.3 BB/9)
.369 BABIP

There are a few things that jump out at you almost immediately.  First of all is the luck, which he clearly hasn’t had.  The strand rate is normal (75.7%), but the BABIP continues to be a problem for him.  Just look at his numbers through parts of his previous three seasons:

  • 2007 – .332 (26.1 IP)
  • 2008 – .337 (166.0 IP)
  • 2009 – .365 (140.0 IP)

This begs the question, is it bad luck or is it poor skill?  Before we decide on that, let’s look at the other numbers.

He’s a solid, though not elite, groundball pitcher.  Thus far in 2010 he’s posted a 49.2% groundball rate.  Over his minor league career he posted a 52.7% mark, so look for this to continue.

The strikeout rate is impressive, and not impossible for him to repeat.  Over his minor league career (564.0 innings), he’s posted a K/9 of 8.6.  He’s also shown signs at the major league level prior to this year, with a career K/9 of 8.1.  Even if he regresses some from his mark this season, seeing him maintain a mark of above 8.0 is very likely.

The control has been a problem, but is not indicative of what he is actually capable of.  Over his minor league career he posted a walk rate of 2.6.

Is it possible that he was rushed to the big leagues?  Being drafted in the 26th round of the 2001 draft, Parra was nurtured slowly, that is until 2007 in his 24-year-old season.  After that, he has been up and down between the minors and the majors, spending just 50.2 innings at Triple-A.

Could he have been better-suited, despite his age, to have spent a little bit more time at Triple-A against the upper level competition?  At this point we’ll never know.  What we do know is that Parra actually does have the skill set for potential success:

  • Strikeout potential
  • Groundball pitcher
  • Good control

Of course, we have not yet actually seen the control, which, when coupled with the bad luck, explains the terrible numbers we’ve seen from Parra over the past four years.  However, with his abilities, it’s not the time to simply think that he can’t put things together.

Those in shallower formats can ignore him, but if you are in a deeper league and need a pitcher to take a flyer on, consider stashing him on your bench, just in case.  He has the stuff and it could come together all at once.

What do you think of Parra?  Is there any chance that he’s viable in 2010?  Do you not believe in his potential?

Make sure to check out our recent Scouting Reports:


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