CLEVELAND -- Left-hander Manny Parra worked six quality innings Wednesday in his season debut for Triple-A Nashville, and there is still a chance he'll return to the Brewers' starting rotation next week.
Parra, demoted Saturday after falling to 3-8 with a 7.52 ERA, worked six innings against Round Rock at Nashville's Greer Stadium and allowed two runs -- though only one of them earned because of an errant pickoff throw by catcher Carlos Corporan. Parra surrendered four hits and four walks and notched four strikeouts.
"That's a positive step for him," said assistant general manager Gord Ash, who oversees Milwaukee's top two Minor League affiliates.
Thanks to a pair of off-days, the Brewers are working with four starting pitchers until June 27, when they'll need to make a move. Manager Ken Macha has indicated that he would rather leave Seth McClung in the bullpen, where McClung has been a valuable component of an overworked group. If that's the case, then the Brewers would have to promote someone from Nashville for a start against San Francisco at Miller Park. But that gets complicated, because the Sounds have an off-day Monday, five days before the Brewers need a pitcher. That's also the day Parra would make his next start on a regular five-day rotation. "Unfortunately, they have a day off on the wrong day for us," Ash said. Instead, Parra will probably start on Tuesday at Albuquerque, Ash said on Wednesday afternoon, "but that hasn't been decided yet. It depended on what he did [Wednesday], and I haven't seen any reports yet." There are no plans to have Parra work at Double-A Huntsville on Monday, Ash said. The Stars are at home that night. The report on how Parra did in Wednesday's start will come from Nashville manager Don Money and pitching coach Chris Bosio. Also in attendance on Sunday to see Parra was Minor League pitching coordinator Lee Tunnell. Bosio and Tunnell both pitched in the big leagues and have been charged with getting Parra straightened out. Before leaving Milwaukee, Parra conceded that his trouble's were rooted in a lack of confidence, but pitching coach Bill Castro indicated there were also mechanical fixes to be made. Parra tended to lean back too far during his windup, Castro said, causing pitches to sail high. "I don't think we're going to bring [Parra] back up here if he's not doing the things he needs to do," Macha said. If Parra indeed starts Tuesday, he would have to pitch for the Brewers four days later on short rest. Another option is right-hander Mike Burns, who is already on the 40-man roster and worked four scoreless innings in Florida on June 2 in his only appearance during a brief stint with the Brewers this month. Burns is scheduled to pitch Saturday in Oklahoma City, so he would be pitching for the Brewers on six days' rest. The decision won't be made until this weekend at the earliest, when general manager Doug Melvin joins the Brewers in Detroit. On Wednesday, Parra threw 114 pitches, and most of the damage against him came in the first inning after he retired the first two hitters. The next four batters went walk, single, walk, single, with Yordany Ramirez driving in the first run with a grounder that was slowed by a wet infield for a single to second base. Parra retired Lou Santangelo to leave the bases loaded, the first of 10 straight Round Rock batters retired in order. He surrendered a leadoff double in the fifth inning but would have escaped without allowing a run if not for Corporan's throwing error. Parra exited with the Sounds trailing, 2-1, but they rallied for a run in the bottom of the eighth inning and then won the game in the 11th on a single by reigning Pacific Coast League Player of the Month Jason Bourgeois. "Hopefully that will get Manny back on track confidence-wise," Castro said.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.