06/07/10 2:00 AM ET
Brewers' scouting efforts go high-tech
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
Parra strikes out four Cardinals in one inning
ST. LOUIS -- Brewers left-hander Manny Parra joined an exclusive group when he struck out four batters in a single inning on Sunday against the Cardinals.Parra already had recorded the first two outs of the fourth via strikeout when he caught Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina swinging at a third strike in the dirt. The baseball got past Brewers catcher George Kottaras for a wild pitch, and, with first base open, Molina scampered down the line uncontested. That extended the inning for Colby Rasmus, who struck out swinging, too. Parra is the first Brewers pitcher ever to strike out four batters in an inning, and he is the 50th different Major League pitcher to accomplish the feat. It has been done 54 times in all, beginning with the New York Gothams' Ed Crane in 1888. The last National Leaguer to do it was the Padres' Luke Gregerson on Oct. 4, 2009, and the Mariners' Felix Hernandez was the last American Leaguer, on Thursday against the Twins. "It's exciting because it doesn't happen very often," Parra said. "George felt bad, I'm sure, about that ball getting by him, so it's good to pick him up and pick the team up." Parra's historic fourth inning came in the middle of a strikeout binge. He also struck out the side in the third inning, making him the first pitcher to strike out seven batters in back-to-back innings since the Dodgers' Darren Dreifort struck out three Rockies in the first inning and four in the second on May 22, 2003. "That doesn't even surprise me," said St. Louis shortstop Brendan Ryan, who struck out against Parra in the first and third innings. "He was throwing a good splitter, could get the curveball over at any time. Even the third at-bat [a pop-out in the fifth inning], he threw me a 3-and-2 hook. Being in front of Albert [Pujols], that's not something you typically look for, but he was feeling it, and he went with it." Parra's whiff of former teammate Felipe Lopez in the fifth gave him a career-high 10 strikeouts. Parra had a pair of nine-strikeout games before Sunday -- in July 2008 against the Giants and in August '08 against the Nationals.
Coffey to DL, more moves coming
ST. LOUIS -- The Brewers placed reliever Todd Coffey on the 15-day disabled list Sunday with a bruised right thumb, but will wait until Tuesday to make a corresponding roster move. More likely, there will be corresponding roster moves.The decision to place Coffey on the DL, retroactive to May 30, the day after he was injured during an at-bat against the Mets, came after he visited Dr. William Raasch in Milwaukee on Saturday and prompted club officials to move up a meeting about the pitching staff that was originally scheduled for Tuesday. Instead, manager Ken Macha, pitching coach Rick Peterson and bullpen coach Stan Kyles spoke via conference call with general manager Doug Melvin and his top staffers on Sunday. They discussed the starting rotation and the bullpen, and the results of that chat will become clearer, Macha said, on Tuesday. "We've got a pretty good idea of what we want to do," Macha said. Macha would not say it, but Coffey will probably be replaced by right-hander David Riske, who is currently on the 60-day disabled list, but set to reach the end of a Minor League rehabilitation assignment on Wednesday and will have to be restored to the 40-man roster. Riske underwent Tommy John surgery last June and is in the final season of a three-year contract. The Brewers' 40-man roster is currently full, so the team would have to make yet another tough call to clear a spot for Riske. He last pitched for Triple-A Nashville on Friday, and has surrendered two earned runs in his first eight innings for the Sounds. Macha hinted that the team would probably stick with its 13-man pitching staff for now.
Draft can be hit or miss for Milwaukee
ST. LOUIS -- How good would Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Wade Davis look in a Brewers uniform right about now, with Milwaukee once again near the bottom of the National League in most pitching departments? It almost happened.The Brewers' close call with Davis in 2004 is among countless "what ifs" that club officials have been talking about in the days ahead of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. The first round and Compensation Round A are scheduled for Monday night, and you'll find expansive coverage at MLB.com/Live. In '04, the Brewers picked high-school right-handers with each of their first two picks -- Maine's Mark Rogers in the first round and Texas' Yovani Gallardo in the second. According to Brewers general manager Doug Melvin, who told this story on a recent telecast, then-scouting director Jack Zduriencik was poised to pick another with the 76th overall pick in the third round, and was holding a card with Davis' name on it, when Tampa Bay snatched Davis away at pick No. 75. So Zduriencik instead took right-hander Josh Wahpepah, who never panned out. Davis is thriving as a Rays rookie this season. "It's hit and miss," Melvin said. Melvin also told the story of 2005, when the Brewers were very high on Troy Tulowitzki. Milwaukee had J.J. Hardy entrenched at shortstop at the time, and Tulowitzki did not express a willingness to move to third base. So it picked Ryan Braun instead. "We liked Troy Tulowitzki, but we're pretty happy with Ryan," Melvin said.
Out of habit, Brewers manager Ken Macha wrote Ryan Braun ahead of Prince Fielder in the lineup on Sunday. But he meant to flip them and eventually did, hitting Fielder in the three-hole and Braun at cleanup. It marked the fourth time this season that the Brewers' middle-of-the-order sluggers batted in that order against a left-handed starter, and they will probably do so again on Tuesday against Cubs lefty Ted Lilly. Macha is considering leaving Fielder in the three-hole for a while to see if it prevents teams from pitching around him. ... Assistant general manager Gord Ash explained catcher Angel Salome's move from Double-A Huntsville down to Class A Brevard County as a matter of at-bats. There is no designated hitter at Double-A in games between two National League teams; in the Florida State League teams can use the DH in all games, and Salome will apparently serve in that role at least part of the time. Ash said the team would re-evaluate Salome, who is coming off a layoff, during which he received counseling for some personal issues, in a few weeks. Melvin originally said last week that he was sent to Huntsville to work with manager Mike Guerrero, with whom Salome is close. ... The Brewers purchased left-hander Sam Narron's contract from the Camden Riversharks of the independent Atlantic League on Saturday and assigned him to Triple-A Nashville, where Narron pitched parts of each of the past two seasons before he was released. Narron, 28, is scheduled to start Monday in the rotation spot vacated by Marco Estrada on Friday, when he was placed on Milwaukee's 15-day disabled list.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.