"The amazing thing about that is that I threw two out of three [pitches for] strikes with my eyes closed," Parra told reporters at Maryvale Baseball Park after his outing against the Rockies. "When you can do that with your eyes closed, you should be able to do it quite a bit with your eyes open. It builds a lot of confidence."The Brewers have been engaged in the science of biomechanics for at least the last five years under head team physician William Raasch, but with Peterson on board those efforts are more evident with the Major League squad. Early in camp, every pitcher on Milwaukee's Spring Training roster underwent a biomechanical analysis in which sensors were strapped to various parts of their body for a throwing session. That data was fed into a computer, and club officials are awaiting the results. With it, Peterson & Co. can help pitchers identify and eliminate stresses that could hinder performance and/or lead to injury. Brewers manager Ken Macha, who worked with Peterson in Oakland in the early 2000s, was happy to hear that so many of his pitchers have been embracing Peterson's philosophy. The Brewers finished 16th of the 16 National League teams last season with a 5.37 starters' ERA. Their team ERA was 4.83, 15th in the league. "If I was a pitcher and we were last in the league in starting pitching and next to last in [overall] ERA, I would listen to someone with a track record such as Rick's," Macha said. Peterson cornered Parra for a brief chat during the team's "On Deck" event in Milwaukee on Jan. 31, and Parra said that chat centered on another aspect of Peterson's teachings. "He told me how he understands the psychology of baseball," Parra said. "He told me he wants you to prepare to the point where you're pitching in a game and not thinking about anything but the next pitch. It was a very good first impression. I think everybody who talked to him in Milwaukee was impressed." Parra, Bush, Jeff Suppan and Chris Narveson are the competitors for the two open spots behind Yovani Gallardo, Randy Wolf and Doug Davis. Macha watched Bush pitch on Saturday and said those decisions are "up in the air." Parra and Bush will continue to pitch on the same date through March 18, when the Brewers have an afternoon "B" game scheduled with the Rangers before an "A" game between the same two teams in Surprise, Ariz. It's the only night game on the Arizona portion of Milwaukee's spring slate.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less