Brewers' Parra feeling healthy
"Now, it's just going out and pitching," said the Milwaukee Brewers' left-handed reliever. "That stuff is not there anymore."
"That stuff" last year included an ailing back, followed by an ongoing elbow issue. When all was said and done, he had missed the entire 2011 major-league season, not to mention eventually undergoing elbow surgery to remove a bone spur.
Parra, 29, has shown no residual effects from those maladies this spring. He has looked better each time out, to the point where in essence he claimed the left-handed role in the bullpen when Zach Braddock was optioned to Class AAA Nashville on Thursday.
"Manny is showing us close to that guy that they put in the bullpen two years ago, when he was so good (2.39 ERA in 26 relief appearances)," manager Ron Roenicke said.
The former starting pitcher has a 2.70 ERA in six spring outings.
The Brewers could know by the end of the weekend if they'll have right fielder Corey Hart for opening day.
Hart played his second Class AAA game on the minor-league side as he continued his comeback from right-knee surgery, going 0 for 2 with two walks. Today, he'll hit again as well as play three innings in the outfield for the first time.
How he feels after playing Saturday and Sunday will play a big role in what happens because that's the last opportunity Hart will have to play in minor-league games here. If he's deemed not ready, he will start the season on the disabled list. With backdating, he would miss at least the first four games of the regular season.