09/11/10 12:08 AM ET
Former No. 1 pick Rogers strong in debut
Healthy season in Minors a huge step forward for right-hander
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
Active roster stacked with first-round picks
MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers are suddenly stacked with former first-round Draft picks.When right-hander Mark Rogers, the fifth overall selection in 2004, was called up on Friday, he gave the Brewers five former first-rounders on the active roster, all selected in consecutive First-Year Player Drafts from 2002-06.
Rogers joined first baseman Prince Fielder (seventh overall in 2002), second baseman Rickie Weeks (second overall in '03), left fielder Ryan Braun (fifth overall in '05) and right-handed reliever Jeremy Jeffress (16th overall in'06)."It made it a lot easier to come into the clubhouse with a lot of young guys here," Rogers said. The team's first-round pick in 2007, Matt LaPorta, was traded to Cleveland in the July '08 CC Sabathia deal, and he is currently the Indians' starting first baseman. And '08 first-rounder Brett Lawrie and supplemental first-rounder Jake Odorizzi remain top prospects. Lawrie has a very good chance to reach the Majors by the end of 2011. Subsequent high picks show the first round of the Draft is no sure bet. The Brewers' other supplemental first-rounder in 08, left-hander Evan Frederickson, continues to battle major command issues. Right-hander Eric Arnett, the Brewers' top pick in 2009, is coming off an awful year at two Class A affiliates -- 3-9 with a 6.79 ERA -- that called his future into serious doubt, though supplemental '09 first-rounders Kentrail Davis, an outfielder, and Kyle Heckathorn, a right-hander, remain on an upward path. Milwaukee's 2010 first-round pick, Dylan Covey, did not sign after a last-minute diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes.
Parra's move to bullpen not yet permanent
MILWAUKEE -- Manny Parra is having success since his move to the Brewers' bullpen, but manager Ken Macha is not ready to call it a permanent switch."I still view what he has done as a starter this year as better than what he did last year, regardless of what the numbers are," Macha said. Parra was 11-11 with a 6.36 ERA in 2009. He was 3-10 with a 5.65 ERA when the Brewers bounced him from the rotation last month in favor of fellow left-hander Chris Capuano. Macha praised Parra for cleaning up his delivery, for showing an improved curveball and being more consistent with his split-fingered fastball, an offspeed offering that Parra likes to use to put hitters away. "I'm positive on him, as far as what's happened with him this year," Macha said. "Perhaps coming in out of the bullpen and just letting it rip is going to help him out. "Last year, when I first saw him, there were so many things wrong with his delivery that it was a mess. You have to give him credit, he's corrected a lot of them."
Ryan Dempster presented Trevor Hoffman with a bottle of wine on Friday afternoon, a gift from the Cubs to congratulate Hoffman for reaching 600 saves. Cubs closer Carlos Marmol, who entered the series with 51 career saves, was in awe of the feat. "I love baseball," Marmol said, "but I'm not going to be here that long." Marmol would have to average 30 saves a year for the next 18 years -- give or take -- to reach 600. "No chance," Marmol said. ... The rookie-level Helena Brewers defeated the Missoula Osprey by a 3-1 score on Wednesday to secure a spot in the Pioneer League playoffs. After a rainout on Thursday, the teams tried again Friday to begin a best-of-three series for the league's North Division championship. Right-hander Matt Miller, Milwaukee's fifth-round Draft pick in June, was scheduled to start the opener. Miller went 7-2 with a 4.06 ERA in the regular season.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.