PITTSBURGH -- Brewers left-hander Manny Parra needs elbow surgery, but not that elbow surgery. Parra, on the disabled list all season because of back and elbow injuries, had a setback this week related to a screw that was inserted in his elbow as a teenager to fix a stress fracture in the joint."The screw has caused him some issues, and we need to have it replaced," assistant general manager Gord Ash said. The issue is separate from the ones that scuttled Parra's return from a back injury in May. He developed discomfort in his elbow identified as strains to the flexor tendon and ulnar collateral ligament, problems that sometimes lead to Tommy John ligament replacement surgery. But Brewers doctors believe, and Dr. Lewis Yocum agreed in a second opinion, that Parra can work his way back without that major procedure. The Brewers' head physician, Dr. William Raasch, will examine Parra this weekend in Milwaukee to make a final call about surgery to replace the troublesome screw. Parra would have to spend the winter rehabbing, but would be ready for Spring Training. He is arbitration-eligible this winter for the second time.
Narveson to temporarily work out of 'pen
PITTSBURGH -- The Brewers' bullpen is about to get a dose of left-handedness, if only for a couple of days.Left-hander Chris Narveson will be in the bullpen for the team's upcoming series against the Cubs and Cardinals while he waits for his next start. Because of two team off-days, he is not slated to start again until Sept. 3 in Houston. That's 11 days between starts. Narveson's long wait will allow his left hand to heal up -- he was on the disabled list with a deep cut on his thumb, then left Monday's start against the Pirates when the nail on his middle finger began to pull up. More importantly, it allows the Brewers' other four starters to remain on a more regular schedule. The team could have kept the pitchers in order, with Narveson pitching Sunday against the Cubs and Zack Greinke taking the team's Tuesday series opener against the Cardinals. But Greinke would have gone seven days between starts, and told manager Ron Roenicke and pitching coach Rick Kranitz that he preferred a more regular schedule. That was fine with Narveson. "It's good to keep guys on their regular rest, and this is just one of the casualties of it," Narveson said. "I'll go to the bullpen now for a couple of days, and if I get a chance, go out there and try to do the job." If he does the job, Narveson could find himself in the 'pen again in the playoffs. The Brewers took a 10-game lead over the Cardinals into Wednesday, and are bidding for their first division title since 1982. Teams need only three or four starters in the best-of-five National League Division Series. "In the postseason, if you have to come out of the bullpen, this kind of prepares you or helps you to do that," Narveson said. "I told [coaches], all it is is a change of routine." The Brewers scanned the market for left-handed pitchers before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline and continued looking in August, but did not see any available arms good enough to warrant a trade. Roenicke has said all along that he is fine with the team's bullpen being entirely right-handed, because the eighth and ninth innings are covered with Francisco Rodriguez and John Axford, regardless of whether opposing hitters are righty or lefty. That leaves a narrow window in which a left-handed reliever would be used. It also helps that LaTroy Hawkins has had significant success against left-handers this season. "The way the team is set up, we're not the team that has to have a lefty just to get a lefty out," Narveson said.
Morgan calls cool spell 'just baseball'
PITTSBURGH -- Brewers sparkplug Nyjer Morgan hoped his four-hit game on Tuesday night spelled the end of the closest thing he's had to a cold streak this season.Morgan's four hits tied his career high, and came after a 12-game span in which he batted .179 (7-for-39), struck out 11 times, scored only four runs and played three games without a hit for the first time all season. He went 4-for-6 in the Brewers' blowout win, scored twice and drove in two runs. "You're not going to stay hot all year," Morgan said. "It's just baseball, it evens itself out in this game. I didn't get off my plan. When you stay in your plan, everything works out." Morgan's four-hit night was the fifth of his career and boosted his batting average back to .314.
Manager Ron Roenicke and general manager Doug Melvin will meet Friday at Miller Park to discuss whether to return to a 13-position player, 12-pitcher alignment for the final week before rosters expand Sept. 1. The Brewers are currently carrying an extra pitcher.Roenicke and Melvin will also discuss September callups, though the list will probably be limited. Triple-A catcher Martin Maldonado will probably be on the list, and rehabbing center fielder Carlos Gomez (fractured collarbone) could be ready to return from the DL by that date. All teams add a pitcher or two to protect the bullpen. "Doug doesn't want a big group, either," Roenicke said. "But we don't want to be short on areas. We want to be pretty specific with what we want, maybe a defensive guy, maybe a basestealer." Gomez reported that his batting practice and baserunning Tuesday went great. He will be examined by a team doctor on Friday and could report to a Minor League affiliate the next day. Class A Wisconsin is one option, and the Timber Rattlers finish their season with series at Burlington, Iowa, and Beloit, Wis.
The Brewers' upcoming pitching rotation looks like this: Randy Wolf, Yovani Gallardo and Zack Greinke will pitch in that order in a series against the Cubs that begins Friday at Miller Park. Shaun Marcum, Wolf and Gallardo will pitch the Brewers' key home series against the second-place Cardinals, followed by Greinke, Chris Narveson and Marcum at Houston.
The Brewers announced Wednesday that infielder Felipe Lopez cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Nashville. He was designated for assignment on Sunday.