Just doesn't get it.
A complete and total letdown.
What do these words in common? They aren't words that my parents used to describe me. Those involve much more f-words. No, they are all words and phrases people have used to describe Manny Parra. Last week Manny Parra was removed from the starting rotation and the talk about him, his potential and his future place in Milwaukee reached it's zenith.
Manny Parra is one of the most divisive figures in the Milwaukee Brewers organization and everyone has their own opinion on him. We once said that Manny Parra was the one and only job that Rick Peterson had when he joined this organization. (Fire Rick Peterson!) Whether we like it or not as Brewers fans Manny Parra is deep in our DNA, like herpes.
The thing is and always has been that Manny Parra does have talent, a lot of it. Maybe more than any starter that hasn't been robbed a gunpoint. Everyone knows this. We're at the point now where talking about Manny Parra is bordering on obsession. I spend more time on the internet reading and writing about Manny Parra than I do googling pictures of Christina Hendricks. That's just not right.
Anyways, as with any post about Manny Parra we need to get the required "Manny is actually kinda good" stuff out of the way first. I'm going to let other blogs do the heavy lifting on this one.
The Brewers started the 2010 season with Parra in the bullpen. He was moved to the rotation and has started 13 games. He's responded with the best strikeout rate of his career (over 9 per 9) and has dropped his walk rate back down to about 4.3 per 9. His FIP is at 4.6, with a bad rate on home runs: his expected FIP is right at 4. The BABIP is right back up in the .360s, however, and his rates of line drives, fly balls, and ground balls are similar to last year's, and they're pretty much fine. And his ERA is 5.6.
If you're skeptical of FIP and tERA makes more sense to you, look at it this way: in the past three years, Parra's expected ERA based on his amount of line drives, fly balls, groundballs, strikeouts, and walks allowed, have been: 4.67, 4.78, and 4.67 again this year.
Something very strange is going on with Manny Parra. If someone can give me a justifiable reason why Parra is carrying the one of the highest BABIPs in history, I'm willing to listen.
So, Manny Parra is the same pitcher he's always been despite performing noticeably worse the last two years, but that's mostly because he gives up a lot of hits and homeruns. He's just run into some bad luck or something else, something presumably far more sinister. He's not this bad and this should even itself out at some point. Maybe.
Now for Disciples of Uecker:
The problem for Parra is the 6th inning. Parra has made it to the 6th inning in 16 games (including, I believe, one relief appearance). He has recorded 29 outs in these 16 games, allowing 18 earned runs, 25 hits, and 16 walks while striking out 15. I think it’s fair to say that Manny has “lost it” in the sixth inning on multiple (almost every?) occasion in which he’s had the chance.
The previous five innings are pretty good. 79 innings pitched, 40 ER (4.56 ERA), 81 Ks, 36 BBs. The only black spot is 13 HRs, and that’s a number that will likely regress, as Parra’s HR/FB rate is a career high this season. I’m hard pressed to explain why Parra struggles so mightily in the sixth inning. This isn’t an isolated issue for 2010, either – he has a 9.20 ERA in the sixth inning for his career.
So Manny Parra is an average to above average pitcher before the fifth inning then the wheels come off and he totally sucks. Got it.
See? Some times advanced statistics can prove exactly what we thought about people all along. Manny Parra is an underachiever who hasn't improved during his time with the team who gives up too many hits and homeruns despite being really good at striking people out. Also, he sucks after the fifth inning. I wonder if there's an advanced statistic that proves how easy your mom is.
It's hard not to hate him for this. He's talented, he's not working to get better and he's kind of good looking. He's everything I hate! It's like looking in a mirror! A mirror of self hate! He ruined my life!
Still, maybe we shouldn't hate him. I mean, he might figure it out one day and then it would be all weird between us. We should try not to hate him. We don't have to like him, but we should at least try and get along. Like I did with my mom and my new stepdad. Actually, that's a bad example. I still hate that asshole.
Anyway, here's five reasons not to have Manny Parra.
5. He's not Jeff Suppan: I realize that we all need someone to hate now that Jeff Suppan is gone, but it's not Manny. Manny can surprise you. Remember when he struck out four Cardinals in one inning this season? That was AWESOME. Jeff Suppan would have never done something like that. He probably would have struck one person out, gave up three homeruns and then kicked your dog on the way to the dugout. Dick.
4. He doesn't want to talk about negative things: Apparently all the reporters ever want to do is talk about negative things with Manny and he doesn't want to do that. Who cares if the only thing that comes up in relation to him is negative things? He doesn't want to talk about it, okay!?
3. He’s classically handsome. "He could turn heads in any era. Like Paul Rudd… with less pitching talent. Pitching-wise, he often misses his spots. I can only hope those control issues would transfer to the bedroom for my posterior’s sake."
(Tyler's words, not mine.)
2. Chris Narveson is no better. I know everyone likes to think that Narveson is a good pitcher because he has 10 wins compared to Manny's three, but trust me they are the same guy. Same ERA, same HR/9, same batting average allowed and all the other numbers are close. If anything Parra is better because he's better at striking people out and Narveson is just... luckier? I guess.
1. The season's almost over: Give the guy a break. The season is over. We'll hate him for ruining the team next year.