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Thursday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while celebrating your first positive contribution.

I'm attending two Brewer games this week: Last night's, and Miller Park Drunk's Pants Party on Sunday. Over the weekend I checked to make sure neither would be a Manny Parra start, because I'd seen enough of those. It turns out I didn't need to bother: Para has been removed from the rotation, with Chris Capuano taking his place on Saturday (FanShot). Jack Moore suggests that the Brewers may be preparing to non-tender Parra this offseason.

I've been one of Parra's most vocal critics for some time now but I'll be surprised and actually a little disappointed if the Brewers do decide to non-tender him this offseason, for a couple of reasons:

  • First of all, it wouldn't actually save that much money. Parra will be arbitration eligible for the first time immediately following two awful seasons. I'd be surprised if he receives more than $1 million, and shocked if he gets $2.
  • Secondly, I still think there's a chance he could be better in a different role. He did pitch pretty well in opportunities out of the bullpen this spring, and has demonstrated the ability to be effective in short bursts. As Kameron Loe, John Axford, Mike McClendon (and to a lesser extent, Todd Coffey and Carlos Villanueva) have shown us, having a guy in the bullpen who can consistently pitch multiple innings can be pretty valuable.

I don't think Parra will ever be an above-average major league starting pitcher, and I think he's been given enough opportunities to demonstrate that. But I do think he has good enough stuff and upside to make it worth the Brewers' time to see if he can add value somewhere else.

With that said, if you're one of many that believe Parra's problems are partially tied to attitude and mental makeup, he gave you some more ammunition yesterday. He didn't want to talk to reporters about his demotion, which is understandable, but followed that up by complaining that reporters only want to talk to him about negative stuff. Unless they wanted to talk about the weather, there hasn't been much positive to discuss with Parra lately.

Meanwhile, Carlos Gomez got a night off last night with Corey Hart returning from his brief hiatus. Gomez's comments about being the best center fielder on this team continue to draw reaction from around the web: Tom Haudricourt buried him, while Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar said he can see where Gomez is coming from, and Brian Anderson and Bill Schroeder (via Hang With 'em Brewers) characterized the comments as out of character.

From across the Mississippi, John Shipley of the Pioneer Press has another look at the trade that sent J.J. Hardy to the Twins and Gomez to the Brewers, and asks who won. Hardy has played in just 75 games for the Twins (missing much of the season with a bone bruise in his wrist), and his offensive contributions have been virtually nonexistent.

On the field, another Brewer starter couldn't hold a lead (Randy Wolf this time) and the Brewers lost again. Here's some stuff about that:

It looks like talks regarding a potential contract extension for Rickie Weeks are on hold, at least temporarily. The two sides are going to wait to negotiate until after the season, with Weeks telling Adam McCalvy, "I don't want to think about anything right now other than finishing the season strong." Weeks is eligible for arbitration one last time before the 2011 season.

If you've been to Miller Park this week, you might have noticed a baseball lodged in the scoreboard underneath the "6" in the line score. The origins of said baseball have been the subject of various rumors all week (including this note suggesting it belonged to Chris Dickerson), but Adam McCalvy finally solved the mystery: The ball was thrown up there by a player's kid.

In the minors:

  • The affiliates went 5-2 yesterday, with Tim Dillard pitching seven scoreless innings in Nashville's 2-1 win over New Orleans. Dillard has now allowed just one run on five hits in his last 15 innings of work. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
  • Chris Mehring has the best and most complete recap I've seen of Wisconsin's combined no-hitter from this week, featuring photos from the game, a roundup of coverage and much more.
  • It had been previously reported that Jake Odorizzi was lifted from that game after throwing 107 pitches, but he had actually thrown 117. His pitch count for the day was supposed to be 105.
  • Jim Callis of Baseball America said Odorizzi has "a good shot" to make their top 100 prospect list this year.
  • The Nashville Sounds are auctioning off a Prince Fielder autographed bat to raise money for their foundation's effort to help local youth sports organizations recover from this summer's floods. At the moment the high bid is $125, which would be quite a bargain.

Around baseball:

Astros: Claimed infielder Matt Downs off waivers from the Giants.
Nationals: Outfielder Nyjer Morgan has been suspended for seven games after a ball he threw into the stands hit a fan in the head.
Rockies: Placed reliever Manuel Corpas on the DL with an elbow injury.
Twins: Claimed reliever Randy Flores off waivers from the Rockies.
White Sox: Placed relievers Matt Thornton (elbow inflammation) and J.J. Putz (patella tendinitis) on the DL.

On this day in 1987, Paul Molitor's 39 game hitting streak came to an end, as Molitor was standing on deck when Rick Manning hit a walkoff single giving the Brewers a 1-0, ten inning victory over the Indians.

Happy birthday today to:

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to pre-order my tickets.

Drink up.