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 Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.