MILWAUKEE -- For the third straight season, the Brewers are removing left-hander Manny Parra from the starting rotation.The team bumped Parra to the bullpen beginning Wednesday night, and fellow lefty Chris Capuano will assume Parra's spot in the rotation starting Saturday against the Pirates. Capuano, who made a comeback this season from his second Tommy John elbow surgery, had been pitching in relief since a July 19 start -- and win -- in Pittsburgh. "He deserves a chance to get out there and get a few starts in him," manager Ken Macha said. "We'll see how he's coming along with his track back to being a starting pitcher. "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."
Capuano gets his wish to start
MILWAUKEE -- Chris Capuano said he wanted to be a starter again. He didn't have to wait long.The left-hander will replace Manny Parra in Milwaukee's starting rotation beginning Saturday and will get a series of starts as the Brewers evaluate him ahead of an interesting offseason. Capuano has had past success as a starter -- he was 18-12 with a 3.99 ERA in 2005 -- but that was long before his second Tommy John surgery. He will be eligible for free agency this winter. "I was hoping for a chance to start before it got too late in the year," Capuano said. "I'm excited for the opportunity." Capuano will get "a number of starts," manager Ken Macha said. The Brewers do not currently plan to promote any starting pitchers when rosters expand on Sept. 1. In his two starts and 15 relief appearances this season, Capuano is 2-2 with a 3.72 ERA. "Not too much is going to change," he said. "We're just going to have to get the pitch count a little bit. The other night when I went 3 2/3 [innings in Friday's win over the Padres], getting up four times, I felt strong the whole way through. The start I had in Pittsburgh, too [on July 19], I felt good getting up and down for those five innings. I'm just hoping to go five or six my first time and build on it. "From my perspective, one of my goals was to build up my innings and get back into the rotation at some point. I'm thankful they're giving me the opportunity."
Brewers, prospect Odorizzi take long view
MILWAUKEE -- There might have been some drama in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, after Brewers pitching prospect Jake Odorizzi preserved his no-hitter through eight innings on Tuesday night, but back at Miller Park, there was no doubt about it.Odorizzi was absolutely not going back out for the ninth. The 20-year-old right-hander was supposed to be on a limit of 105 pitches, but his 28-pitch eighth inning pushed him well over that mark. Word during the game broadcast was that Odorizzi threw a total of 107 pitches, but the official report from the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers' medical staff was that he threw 117. So Odorizzi made way for right-handed reliever Adrian Rosario, who finished the no-hitter and a 3-0 win. Odorizzi watched the final three outs from the top step of the dugout. "I was fired up at the moment," Odorizzi told the Cedar Rapids Gazette. "Wasn't too happy about it then they told me how many pitches I had. You just have to let it go. Your career is more important than just one game." Lee Tunnell, the Brewers' Minor League pitching coordinator, was on hand for the game and consulted with Timber Rattlers manager Jeff Isom before pulling the plug on Odorizzi, a supplemental first-round Draft pick in 2008. "He had good stuff, and was free and easy the whole way," said Brewers farm director Reid Nichols. "If Lee wasn't there, they would have been on the phone telling us, 'We're coming up on this inning, this is where we are [in terms of pitch count].' They are very good about that procedure."
Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash said he did not anticipate Odorizzi's next start being impacted by Tuesday's longer-than-usual effort. It helps that the Timber Rattlers have been juggling their starting rotation this month, giving Odorizzi seven full days of rest before each of his past two starts.Nichols was not surprised to see Odorizzi involved in a no-hitter. "He's a big league pitcher," Nichols said. "He just needs some experience."
Weeks: No in-season contract talks
MILWAUKEE -- It remains to be seen whether Brewers general manager Doug Melvin and the new representative for second baseman Rickie Weeks are able to find any common ground on a contract extension. But there's one thing that Weeks and Melvin appear to agree upon."After the season," Weeks said. "I don't want to think about anything right now other than finishing the season strong." The Brewers are interested in gauging Weeks' interest in an extension and had preliminary talks with agent Lon Babby along those lines, but Babby left the business this year to become president of the NBA's Phoenix Suns. Weeks only recently chose a new agent, Greg Genske. There's no rush to negotiate. Weeks, who is earning $2.75 million in 2010, is arbitration-eligible this winter for one last time. He's on track to reach free agency following the '11 season.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.