Following up on some topics of recent posts here, Brewers GM Doug Melvin discussed expectations for Manny Parra for this season and the Jim Edmonds signing on 540 ESPN Milwaukee yesterday.
Here are his quotes on Manny:
“Manny is still young in experience. Again, when you talk about young pitchers, you do have to talk about being patient. We sent Manny out to the minor leagues last year. When he came back, he was 8-3. After he came back from the minor leagues, he did have a high ERA. So, he’s going to have to get deeper into the ballgames, give us a chance to pitch in the games.”
“He’s so talented. He’s got such good stuff, he’s a good arm, he’s big, he’s physical. He reminds me in some sense of a left-handed pitcher that we had here in our system and we grew a little impatient with him. We gave up on him. We were in the early stages of his development. He went to Colorado last year and won 16 ball games. That was Jorge De La Rosa, and that. So, you never want to give up on a young pitcher that has good stuff, especially being left handed, being physical.”
“And we recognize that this is a big year for Manny and I think he does too. So, we’re hoping that he and Rick Peterson will get together and put all that ability on the right path to success.”
He didn’t come out and say it, but I think it’s pretty obvious Melvin expects Parra to be in the rotation next season. That would leave the battle for the last rotation spot between Dave Bush and Jeff Suppan. Bush should win if it’s based on performance alone, but, unfortunately, Suppan’s hefty contract might have the final word there…
And here are Melvin’s quotes on Edmonds:
“Well, I talked to Jim Edmonds’ agent at the end of last year and he told me just to keep him in mind. He said that he expressed interest in getting back in the game and playing after sitting out a year. He has the same agent that represented Gabe Kapler. With Gabe Kapler that worked well for us. We took Gabe after a year of retirement, he came back and performed very well for us. He’s now in his second year with Tampa Bay.”
“So, you know, Jim Edmonds is an individual with a lot of experience, 15 years of experience. He has a number of Gold Gloves. He’s a .290 career hitter with 380-some home runs. But as the offseason went on, his agent said that he continued to work out. He continued to show a desire and an interest to play. He had the fires burning. And we were one of the teams that were on his short list of teams to play for. And if we had interest, he would be interested. So, we were able to convince Jim that this is a good place to play. He wants to stay in this division, the National League. He is familiar with the Cubs, where he had a year, with the Cardinals for most of his career.”
“He’ll come to camp and try to win a job. It’s not a lot of money. That wasn’t the issue with him. The fires were burning. He wants to get back in and play the game and play it at a level with a team that he can compete.”
“So, we’re looking forward to it. I think that it’s an opportunity that brings experience to our line-up, to our ball club and to the clubhouse because our outfield is all right handed with Hart, Gomez and Ryan Braun. So, there could be some playing time here for Jim Edmonds if he’s able to play.”
It sounds like Melvin feels Edmonds could be a valuable left-handed bat off the bench with the chance to spell all three outfielders at times. That’s the pinnacle of what I’d expect Edmonds to be able to contribute. I think the idea that he would be able to start regularly against right handers is a pipe dream for Edmonds. I hope he’s OK with a fourth or fifth outfielder role if he makes the team.