"Manny, he's had his problems a little later in the game for the most part. That's just a hurdle he's going to have to get over if he's going to be a starting pitcher."
In 2008, the Brewers bumped Parra to the bullpen in September. Last June, they optioned him to Triple-A Nashville during a tough stretch.
Asked whether he still viewed Parra's niche as a starting pitcher, Macha said, "We'll see how he does out of the bullpen."
"It's their decision," Parra said. "It doesn't matter what I think of it, really. I really don't have much to say about it. I'll just go do my job."
Parra's loss to the Padres on Sunday left him 3-10 with a 5.65 ERA this season, including 2-7 with a 6.19 ERA in his 16 starts. He didn't record an out in the seventh inning of any of his starts.
Macha insisted there were areas of improvement from 2009, when Parra won 11 games despite a 6.36 ERA that was worst in the National League among pitchers who worked at least 120 innings. Parra's delivery is more consistent, according to the manager, and his curveball was generally more effective.
"The results weren't there," Macha said. "When we talked to him, he pretty much voiced that, saying, 'It's about production at this level and I'm not giving you any wins.'"
Both pitchers face offseason question marks. Capuano is a free agent and has made it clear he'd like to be a starter going forward. Parra is eligible for arbitration for the first time.
"I had the experience in 2007 where I struggled in the second half and ended up going to the bullpen for the last part of the year," Capuano said. "Manny has thrown some really great games this year, and the games that haven't gone his way, it's like he's one hit away or one pitch away from having a really great game. All of us who are starters can relate to stretches like that.
"He's young, he's got great stuff, he's got an electric arm. I think he's going to be OK in the long run."