According to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Brewers left-hander Manny Parra was lifted from his Thursday Cactus League appearance against the A’s after just one batter due to tightness in his lower back.
Parra revealed after the game that he has been dealing with back issues for much of spring training. The Brewers are likely to give him several days of rest while the discomfort calms.
Parra, 28, registered a lousy 5.02 ERA across 122 innings last season while serving as both a starter and reliever. He fanned 129 batters for an impressive 9.52 K/9, but he walked 68 batters and was generally far too inconsistent.
The Brewers made a couple of major upgrades to their starting rotation this winter via the trading block (see: Zack Greinke, Shaun Marcum) and are expected to use Parra solely in relief in 2011.
The Mets signed catcher Jose Lobaton to a minor league contract, the team announced Friday. The deal includes an invitation to spring training, where it’s assumed Lobaton will be in the mix for a backup role behind Travis d'Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki.
Lobaton, 33, is coming off of a four-year stint with the Nationals. He put up his worst career numbers in 2017, producing -0.6 fWAR after slashing just .170/.248/.277 with four home runs in 158 plate appearances. While he’ll give the Mets little to work with at the plate, his near-decade of experience behind the dish should make him a decent emergency option, if nothing else.
In the meantime, the Mets are expected to roll with a d’Arnaud/Plawecki platoon to start the season. Both catchers saw slight upticks in value over the 2017 season: d’Arnaud turned in 0.8 fWAR after hitting a career-high 16 home runs, while Plawecki collected 0.6 fWAR and three homers after raising his batting line over the Mendoza Line for the first time since 2015.