Milwaukee will be without Marco Estrada for at least 3-4 starts because a quadriceps strain and he was only in the rotation to begin with as an injury replacement for Chris Narveson, so the Brewers are running short on starters.
Instead of dipping down into the minors for help manager Ron Roenicke indicated that he’ll give Manny Parra a chance by moving him from the bullpen to the rotation, where he spent the first three seasons of his career. And had some really ugly results.
Parra has started 74 career games with a 5.44 ERA, allowing opponents to hit .291 with an .820 OPS while walking 4.7 batters per nine innings. And those numbers include some good work as a rookie way back in 2008, after which Parra really fell apart.
Toss in the fact that Parra’s time in the bullpen means he hasn’t built up the arm strength to pitch deep into games as a starter and Estrada’s injury could prove more costly to the Brewers than it appears as first glance.
Former Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi is up for grabs this offseason, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that as many as nine suitors are interested in bringing the righty aboard. While the Red Sox are eager to retain Eovaldi’s services after his lights-out performance during their recent postseason run, they’ll have to contend with the Brewers, Phillies, Braves, White Sox, Padres, Blue Jays, Giants, and Angels — all of whom are reportedly positioned to offer something for the starter this winter.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the 28-year-old in 2018, however. After losing his 2017 season to Tommy John surgery, he underwent an additional procedure to remove loose bodies from his right elbow in March and didn’t make his first appearance until the end of May. He was flipped for lefty reliever Jalen Beeks just prior to the trade deadline and finished his season with a combined 6-7 record in 21 starts, a 3.81 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, and 8.2 SO/9 through 111 innings.
Despite his numerous health issues over the last few years, Eovaldi raised his stock in October after becoming a major contributor during the Red Sox’ championship run. He contributed two quality starts in the ALDS and ALCS and returned in Games 1-3 of the World Series with three lights-out performances in relief — including a six-inning effort in the 18-inning marathon that was Game 3.
A frontrunner has yet to emerge for the righty this offseason, but Cafardo points out that the nine teams listed so far might just be the tip of the iceberg. Still, he won’t be the most sought-after starter on the market, as former Diamondbacks southpaw Patrick Corbin is expected to command an even bigger payday following his career-best 6.0-fWAR performance in 2018.