Tagged: Juan Perez

Milwaukee Brewers Uniform Number History: #46

Wondering who wore a certain uniform number all-time for the Milwaukee Brewers?

The Brewer Nation has got you covered. If you found this list on its own, head back here for the full repository after checking out this one.

#46

Dave Baldwin (’70)
Ken Reynolds (’73)
Jerry Augustine (’75-’84)
Bill Wegman (’85-’95)
Cris Carpenter (’96)
Paul Wagner (’97-’98)
Bill Pulsipher (’98-’99)
Ray King (’00-’02)
Todd Ritchie (’03)
Mike Adams (’04-’06)
Allan Simpson (’06)
Claudio Vargas (’07, ’10)
Daniel Herrera (’11)
Juan Perez (’12)
Hiram Burgos (’13)
Corey Knebel (’15-Current)

Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers: #21 Zach Braddock

Three weeks!

We’re a mere 21 days away from Opening Day! Two more weekends without regular-season baseball!

It’s warming up throughout the country and people are dreaming of summer nights spent at the ballpark.

No pun intended, but one man who spent a little too much time dreaming last season which cost him his job in the bullpen is today’s profile subject:

Zach Braddock.

There is no guarantee that William Zachary Braddock makes the 25-man roster this year.

That’s a common statement around the game of baseball in Spring Training, one which wouldn’t apply to Braddock if he had a season in 2011 like he did in 2010.

In 2010, Braddock threw 33.2 major league innings over 46 appearances. His ERA was 2.94 with an opponent batting average of .228 and 41 strikeouts. In short, he was an effective reliever both in LOOGy situations and when working more than just a single out.

During the course of the entire season, he only had two appearances where he allowed more than a single run. It was a good year.

Heading into 2011, Braddock seemed destined for another quality year. Young, left-handed with quality stuff and the ability to get both left- and right-handed hitters out… It appeared that everything was going swimmingly.

It ended up not being the case.

Braddock went north with the team and made 25 appearances through the 14th of July. The results weren’t good enough.

Over his final three appearances, Braddock only recorded two outs and allowed seven earned runs on five hits and three walks.

There was talk that Braddock had been showing up to the ballpark late, which is kind of a trick when you consider that most games are played in the evening.

Eventually, Braddock was placed on the disabled list with a sleep disorder. He was unable to get proper rest and, as such, wasn’t able to perform when on the mound.

He was sent on a rehab assignment but wasn’t ever able to get himself back to the majors last season. It cost the team down the stretch as they didn’t have a left-handed pitcher in the bullpen. Manny Parra missed the entire season as did Mitch Stetter.

Reports began to come out during the winter that Braddock finally had gotten his issues under control and was looking forward to being a healthy contributor in 2012.

A blister issue slowed him down this spring, and so far the results have been mixed but it is Spring Training. Results don’t mean as much right now, especially when coming off such a long break as Braddock has. His most recent outing saw him pitch a full inning, recording two strikeouts while allowing one hit and one walk. He allowed no runs though.

There appears to be an opening or two in the bullpen right now, but like I said at the top there is no guarantee that one of them will belong to Braddock. In fact, I’ll guess that Braddock will begin the season with the Triple-A Nashville Sounds to round himself back into form.

As far as left-handed pitchers go, Manny Parra is healthy and throwing well and non-roster invitee Juan Perez has impressed, though he is currently recovering from a partially-collapsed lung.

Braddock could still make the team by default, especially depending on the rest of the bullpen options.

Bottom line, though, is that even if he doesn’t make the 25-man roster on April 6th, chances are good that we’ll see Braddock contributing at the Major League level before the season is through.

Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers: #26 Manny Parra

26 days away from Opening Day. The Brewers are 4-4-1 in Cactus League play for Spring Training.

Which of these numbers means more?

Clearly the Opening Day countdown! Spring Training records are even more meaningless than the statistics of the players which have played to the record attained.

Another number that means something to the fans and players alike is the number on each player’s back. Something about jersey numbers becoming identifiable with certain players just rings true.

Today’s player wears the number 26 on his back while pitching for the Milwaukee Brewers. It reflects his path to the Major Leagues as one of unlikelihood because this player was originally drafted in the 26th round(!) of the 2001 First-Year Player Draft. He is none other than:

Manny Parra.

The southpaw who hails from Sacramento, California stands 6’3″ tall while doing that pitching. The scale officially reads 205 pounds when he steps atop it. The frame and athleticism has never been in question for Manuel Alex Parra, even when he was drafted at 6’2″ and 185 pounds.

Originally drafted, as are so many pitchers, to start games, Parra’s slow and steady climb through the organization has been one of determination and drive. He has had to overcome a number of obstacles to both reach and stay in the big leagues. From injuries to mechanics to bouts of ineffectiveness, something has continually been placed in Parra’s path to success.

If there’s anything that his draft position tells you, however, it’s that he’s not going to let anything stand in his way. Ultimately, if it can be overcome, Parra will find a way.

After being unable to stick in the starting rotation over the years, Parra was resigned to a role change and a spot in the bullpen for 2011. Unfortunately, Parra got exactly two pitches into the Cactus League season when he injured his back on March 3, 2011.

Officially a “facet joint injury”, Parra was on a rehab assignment as early as April 9th. He then appeared in seven more games at Triple-A before having elbow pain and being diagnosed with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow as well as a flexor strain.

(The ulnar collateral ligament, or “UCL”, is the ligament in the elbow that requires ligament replacement surgery to fix should the ligament tear. This procedure is commonly referred to as “Tommy John Surgery”, having been named after the pitcher who first underwent the experimental procedure and was able to come back to pitch in the big leagues.)

Not wanting to risk further damage and possible surgery, Parra was prescribed rest and rehab. He did not pitch the rest of the season.

To put a surgical capper on 2011, Parra underwent surgery at the end of August to remove a bone spur from his left elbow.

To put it mildly, last year was an exercise in fortitude once again.

Being out of minor-league options, as he was last year, it’s another important Spring Training for Parra. He isn’t guaranteed a spot on the 25-man roster (ultimately, few are) but his handedness works in his favor.

The team lacked for not having any left-hander to call upon, let alone a quality one with the pure stuff which Parra possesses. He has competition for that role though. Zach Braddock has reportedly overcome his sleeping disorder and subsequent personal issues from last season and non-roster invitee Juan Perez has been raising eyebrows and turning heads in camp so far.

(***UPDATE: Since the writing of this article, word came down today that Juan Perez was admitted to a hospital with a partially collapsed lung. Clearly his recovery and health are of the utmost importance, but from a roster standpoint, it could work in Parra’s favor if it takes Perez a while to regain the form he was previously showing.***)

The other element working in Parra’s favor is that he isn’t simply a LOOGy type. Parra has been effective against both right- and left-handed hitters throughout his career. He could fill a middle or long relief role in the bullpen but could also be called upon for those short appearances as well.

Parra uses a low-to-mid 90’s fastball, a split-fingered fastball as his out pitch, along with a curveball and straight change up. They’re all effective pitches and he can throw each of them for strikes.

So far this spring, Parra has had some effective appearances where he has missed down for the most part when he’s missed. The key for Parra though is that he’s felt healthy before, during, and after each of his stints on the mound both in games and doing side work.

There is absolutely a spot open for a left-handed relief pitcher on this 25-man roster, and since Braddock does have options and Perez is in camp on a minor-league deal, it would seem like Parra has a leg up for depth-related reasons if all else is equal.

We’ll learn more as the spring progresses, but you can’t just expect Brewers Manager Ron Roenicke to make his determination early enough that we’ll all be able to analyze it to death. He isn’t prone to announcing decisions such as that one any earlier than he is forced to.

In the meantime, Parra has plenty to prove this spring. After all, Roenicke hasn’t seen Parra pitch a whole heck of a lot in person. That could make all the difference as familiarity can breed preference.

Luckily, Roenicke seems to rely on performance much more than familiarity to this point in his career as manager.

And at this point, Parra could use a bit of luck on his side.

You can follow Manny Parra on Twitter: @MannyParra26

Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers: #52 Cody Scarpetta

Three of the last four days in our player preview countdown to Opening Day have been lost to Brewers coaches. Yesterday’s culprit was bullpen coach Stan Kyles who wears #53 when in uniform.

Today however, and for the next seven days following today, a player wears the number in question. That would make it eight straight for “Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers”, a stretch which shall not be broken this year and which is only duplicated once, but this stretch includes a non-roster invitee to Spring Training who I’m still debating on whether to profile. Unless I hear an outcry of want, that player, Juan Perez who was assigned #46 when the Brewers acquired him, probably won’t be previewed.

I won’t be holding my breath while waiting for his fan base to cry out in support, but I still haven’t officially made up my mind. After all, I strive to preview players on the 40-man roster and/or those who could contribute to the 25-man roster at some point in 2012. The only thing working in Perez’ favor is his handedness.

But enough about those other members of the Brewers organization; as it is 52 days until Opening Day, we are here today to discuss the player who wears 52:

Cody Scarpetta.

Working as a starting pitcher for each of 23 appearances in 2011 as a member of the Double-A Huntsville Stars, Cody Michael Payne Scarpetta posted a season linescore of 8-5, 3.85 ERA, 100 H, 61 R (50 ER), 8 HR, 61 BB, 98 K, 1.38 WHIP over 117.0 innings pitched. He held opponents to a .234 batting average.

Scarpetta’s play in the first half of the minor league season earned him a reward of sorts. With a bit of an overworked bullpen just before the Major League All-Star Game break, Milwaukee officially optioned Mat Gamel back to the minor leagues on July 10, 2011 and called up Scarpetta for a game that same night against the Cincinnati Reds.

With the game tightly contested the entire way (eventually won by the Brewers with a bottom of the ninth walk-off from Craig Counsell), Scarpetta didn’t enter the game and therefore has no official Major League career to speak of yet. The fact remains that Scarpetta was in uniform for the game and no doubt learned plenty from his 24-hour tour of Milwaukee.

The level of performance that earned him that one-day callup would not carry over to the 2011 Arizona Fall League where, in five appearances (four starts) as a member of the Peoria Javelinas, Scarpetta lost three games and allowed 16 earned runs on 13 walks and 14 hits, two of which were home runs, in just 7.1 innings pitched. That was bad for an ERA of 19.64 and a WHIP of 3.68!

Small sample size or not, and regardless of the fact that the AFL is littered with on-the-cusp talent, it’s clear that Scarpetta simply didn’t have much of anything to offer in Arizona. The future remains bright enough for Scarpetta, though, and he likely could contribute out of the bullpen if needed in 2012.

For a look at how he got to this point, let’s go back and review Scarpetta’s early years as a professional.

Scarpetta was originally drafted in the 11th round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft out of Guilford High School and forewent a commitment to Creighton University to sign with the Brewers organization. In an odd circumstance, Scarpetta (who is still only 23 years old today) had his original deal voided because of an injury and when the team resigned him it was forced to add him to the 40-man roster at the end of the same year (2008) or risk losing him to the Rule V Draft.

What that also means is that Scarpetta’s minor league options began having to be used up immediately to keep him in the system beginning with the 2009 season. Normally a player has three options but with the unique circumstances of Scarpetta’s situation, the league granted a fourth minor league option to the Brewers on Scarpetta therefore allowing them to stash him in the minors for one more year before doing so would require exposing him to waivers first.

As you can surmise, 2012 will be an important year in Scarpetta’s development as his final minor league option will be used.

Scarpetta will be working on a fastball that’s already been described as “very good” and sits in the low 90s, a plus curveball that was described as “the best in the system” by Baseball America prior to the 2011 season and a changeup which, while improved, is still developing. He’ll need all three of those pitches to profile well if he’s to get a legitimate shot at joining a Brewers rotation that could, technically, have four openings in 2013. As it stands today, Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum will both be free agents at the end of 2012, Randy Wolf could become of a free agent if the Brewers decline their 2013 option and Chris Narveson becomes arbitration-eligible prior to the 2013 season which could always lead to a non-tender if Narveson doesn’t perform well enough this year.

Preparing for that final step, Scarpetta will take the next step in 2012 by most likely beginning the year in the rotation for the Triple-A Nashville Sounds. If he doesn’t start in Triple-A, he’ll likely be one of the first looks for an early-season promotion thereto.

To be successful at the highest minor league level, Scarpetta will have to overcome the command and delivery issues that have some baseball people saying that his best (or possibly only) path to the majors is a complete dedication to the bullpen. It’s been said that Scarpetta has “enough stuff” to start, but you have to be able to control that stuff to be successful at starting.

Listed at 6’3” and 244 pounds, Scarpetta has good size and a build that should hold up well throughout a season regardless as to his eventual role. Naturally everyone in Milwaukee hopes Scarpetta can be an effective contributor in the rotation, but again it remains to be seen if he’s got those kinds of chops.

With pitchers and catchers set to officially report to Spring Training in just five days, and all the uncertainty beginning in 2013 both individually and with the big league pitching staff, the most important season so far in Cody Scarpetta’s career is about to get underway.

What he does with it could make all the difference.