Link-O-Rama: Parra's collapse, Contreras' revival

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* Milwaukee dumping Manny Parra from the rotation
yesterday was a long time coming. Not only has he been awful recently,
going 0-4 with a 13.50 ERA over his last five starts, Parra is 5-14
with a 6.41 ERA since last season’s All-Star break. Prior to that he
was 8-2 with a 3.78 ERA, so the collapse has been pretty shocking.

* On the other hand, Jose Contreras has thrown 16 straight scoreless innings since returning from Triple-A after starting the season 0-5 with an 8.19 ERA.

* Much like with Brandon Wood, it sounds as though manager Mike Scioscia has no plans
to make call-up Sean Rodriguez a regular in the Angels’ lineup.
Rodriguez has hit .290/.377/.637 with 42 homers over 124 games in the
admittedly hitter-friendly environment at Triple-A, whereas Maicer
Izturis is a career .273/.338/.377 hitter in the majors.

* Rodriguez was called up because the Angels sent Howie Kendrick
back to Triple-A after he hit just .231 through 51 games this year.
Kendrick came into the season as a career .306 hitter in 252 games
through the age of 24. Here’s a list
of all the second basemen in baseball history who hit for a higher
batting average than Kendrick through the age of 24: Eddie Collins,
Robinson Cano, Dustin Pedroia, Rod Carew.

* Eric Chavez’s season is over and his career is seemingly in serious jeopardy following news that he needs a second back surgery to go along with his three shoulder operations. As manager Bob Geren put it: “This is his best chance to play again.”

* Joe Morgan’s mind is playing tricks on him.

The Padres have homered in 25 consecutive games, tying an NL record

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JULY 16:  Adam Rosales #9 of the San Diego Padres hits an RBI single during the tenth inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants at PETCO Park on July 16, 2016 in San Diego, California.   (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
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A third-inning two-run home run by Adam Rosales off of R.A. Dickey put the Padres up 2-0, but it also helped the Padres tie a National League record. The Padres have homered in 25 consecutive games, matching the 1998 Braves, the 1994 Tigers, and the 1941 Yankees. The major league record is 27, set by the 2002 Rangers.

The Padres hit three in total on Wednesday in an 8-4 victory against the Blue Jays. One of those dingers was an eighth-inning solo shot by rookie Alex Dickerson, who has now homered in four consecutive games himself. The one he hit on Monday is worth watching, as it got into the upper deck at the Rogers Centre.

As the Padres recently traded Melvin Upton, Jr. to the Jays, Dickerson is likely going to see regular playing time. That’s especially true if he keeps hitting like this.

Braves trade Lucas Harrell and Dario Alvarez to the Rangers

CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 20: Lucas Harrell #63 of the Atlanta Braves pitches in the second inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on July 20, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
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The Braves have traded pitchers Lucas Harrell and Dario Alvarez to the Rangers, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. The Rangers are sending 21-year-old infielder Travis Demeritte to the Braves, per MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan.

Harrell, 31, has made five starts for the Braves this season, posting a 3.38 ERA with a 21/12 K/BB ratio in 29 1/3 innings. The rest of his season has been spent at the minor leagues, including Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo with the Tigers, as well as Triple-A Gwinnett with the Braves.

Alvarez, 27, has an even 3.00 ERA with a 28/5 K/BB ratio in 15 innings of relief for the Braves. He throws from the left side so he’ll give a particular boost to the Rangers’ bullpen when needed.

Demeritte was taken in the first round — 30th overall — by the Rangers in the 2013 draft and was considered the Rangers’ 20th-best prospect by MLB Pipeline. This year, with Single-A High Desert, he has hit .272/.352/.583 with 25 home runs and 59 RBI in 378 plate appearances. He has played second base almost exclusively, but has also logged time at shortstop and third base in his minor league career.

Harrell will be arbitration eligible for the first time after the season. Alvarez has accrued only 61 days of service time.