If the Brewers are successful in 2010, lefty Manny Parra will probably have a lot to do with it. The 27-year-old pitcher seems to have the tools to be a high-end starter, but sputtered to a 6.36 ERA in 27 starts last year and is looking to bounce back this season under the guidance of new pitching coach Rick Peterson.
And Parra is welcoming higher expectations for himself, the pitching staff and the team as a whole heading into the 2010 season. In an interview with SportsRadio 1250 WSSP out of Milwaukee, Parra was asked to predict a win total. And here was his response:
“I would say let’s shoot for 90. Like everyone knows, this team can hit. When we pitch, we win. I’ll be the first to say, even with the way I pitched in the second half, I was able to have a winning record in the second half because of how good our offense is. I think that just goes to show that we don’t have to be Cy Young award winners. We just need to go deeper into games and give our team a better chance of winning ballgames. We’re right there. I don’t see why we can’t go back and get right back into contending for the division.”
You can listen to the full interview here: Manny Parra WSSP Interview
Despite a suddenly crowded rotation with three lefties in the mix, I can’t imagine the Brewers not penciling in Parra as a starter to begin the year, barring injury or an epic spring training implosion. And there might not be a single player on the team that has more room to grow this year than Parra. I appreciate the optimism and I hope he can start to deliver on his great potential this season.