Some things to read while wandering the parking lot.
The Milwaukee Brewers were off on Thursday, but first place will be on the line this weekend as they head to St. Louis to open a series with the Cardinals. Wily Peralta will take on Adam Wainwright at 7:15 p.m. tonight, and Daniel Popper has the MLB.com preview.
While the players were off on Thursday, Doug Melvin and the front office staff were plenty busy. In the final hours before the non-waiver trade deadline, they acquired outfielder Gerardo Parra from the Diamondbacks for two minor leaguers, outfielder Mitch Haniger and pitcher Anthony Banda.
Parra is a 27-year-old, left-handed hitting Venezuelan native who has hit .274 with a .326 on-base percentage and .395 slugging over six MLB seasons, but is hitting a much-lower .259/.305/.363 in 104 games this season. His primary calling card is his defense, as he was a National League Gold Glove Award winner for Arizona in both 2011 and 2013. He can play all three outfield positions but has been used much more often in left and right field for the Diamondbacks.
Meanwhile, the Brewers traded away one of the top prospects in the organization in Haniger. The No. 38 overall pick in the 2012 draft, Haniger was a career .263 hitter with a .340 on-base percentage and .426 slugging percentage in 210 games over three minor league seasons, including 67 with Double-A Huntsville in 2014. Banda is still just 20 years old and was pitching for Low-A Wisconsin, where he has a 3.66 ERA and 8.9 strikeouts per nine innings over 83 2/3 innings this season. @BerniePleskoff reports the Diamondbacks were high on him.
To clear a spot on the roster for Parra, the Brewers optioned Logan Schafer back to Nashville and moved Tyler Thornburg to the 60-day DL (h/t @Brewers). One has to wonder if this might be the end of the line as a big-league regular for Schafer, who turns 28 in September and has a .605 career OPS in 211 MLB games.
Here’s more on the deal from around the web:
- @AdamMcCalvy reports that the Brewers do not plan to platoon Parra with Khris Davis as previously suggested, but will get him into the lineup from time to time at all three outfield positions.
- Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs notes that the Brewers are betting on Parra to be better than he’s been over the season’s first few months, and says they “paid relatively little for a guy who, several months ago, would’ve cost an upper-level prospect.”
- Ryan Topp of Disciples of Uecker says the move “does fill a real need for the Brewers and improves their ability to play matchups on a day to day basis.”
- Jim McLennan of AZ Snakepit notes that Parra was the fourth-longest-tenured player by games played in Diamondbacks franchise history.
- Gerardo is pronounced with a soft, but not silent, G. I’m struggling to get used to that.
- Parra will wear No. 28 as a Brewer (h/t @MikeVassallo13), the number that used to belong to Prince Fielder (h/t @jh_moore).
- He’s also on Twitter as @88_gparra.
So Gerardo Parra is the Brewers’ biggest addition this season, which will likely disappoint some fans. @AdamMcCalvy also reports the team was in on at least three big-name relievers, but none of them were traded.
If the Brewers add a reliever to the roster this week, it’s likely to come from within the organization. @AndrewGruman notes that Jim Henderson’s 30-day minor league rehab assignment has expired and he’ll need to be reinstated to the active roster or placed on waivers. Henderson is on the 60-day DL, so the Brewers will also need to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for him.
With all due respect to Parra, the best news for the Brewers today may be the fact that the calendar has turned over to August. The Brewers were 9-16 in July, easily their worst month. A series of weak performances during this down stretch has raised some concerns about the team’s status as a true contender, but Nicholas Zettel of Disciples of Uecker has evidence that sometimes great teams play awful baseball.
For many Brewers, once the calendar turns to August, they can stop worrying about where they might be traded. Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel talked to Francisco Rodriguez, Kyle Lohse and Aramis Ramirez about the challenges of packing up and moving to a new team midseason.
In the minors:
- The affiliates went 2-5 on Thursday with one win coming from Wisconsin, where Omar Garcia’s eighth-inning triple powered the Timber Rattlers to a 7-3 win over Kane County. You can read about all of the day’s action in the Brewerfan.net Link Report.
- Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio has highlights, postgame audio and more from Wisconsin’s win.
- With the win, Wisconsin has moved into sole possession of the Midwest League Western Division’s final Wild Card spot with about a month to play.
Today in power rankings: Tim Brown of Yahoo has the Brewers eighth in all of baseball, up two spots from last week.
If you’d like more Brewers coverage today but you’re sick of reading, I’ll be making my weekly appearance on The Sports Den with Downtown Ollie Burrows on Sports Fan 100.5 in Wausau at 5:30 p.m. today. Follow that link to listen in live.
Meanwhile, Thursday was a very busy deadline day around baseball:
Athletics: Acquired pitcher Jon Lester and outfielder Jonny Gomez from the Red Sox for outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, acquired outfielder Sam Fuld from the Twins for pitcher Tommy Milone and designated utility man Jake Elmore for assignment.
Braves: Acquired pitcher James Russell and infielder Emilio Bonfiacio from the Cubs for a minor leaguer.
Cardinals: Acquired pitcher John Lackey from the Red Sox for outfielder Allen Craig and pitcher Joe Kelly.
Cubs: Placed pitcher Felix Doubront on the DL with a calf strain.
Mariners: Acquired outfielder Chris Denorfia from the Padres for outfielder Abraham Almonte and a minor leaguer.
Marlins: Acquired pitcher Jarred Cosart, infielder Kike Hernandez and a minor leaguer from the Astros for three minor leaguers and a competitive balance draft pick, and designated pitcher Donnie Joseph for assignment.
Nationals: Acquired infielder Asdrubal Cabrera from the Indians for a minor leaguer.
Orioles: Acquired reliever Andrew Miller from the Red Sox for a minor league pitcher.
Pirates: Claimed pitcher Angel Sanchez off waivers from the White Sox and designated pitcher Josh Wall for assignment.
Rockies: Designated infielder Ryan Wheeler for assignment.
Tigers: Acquired pitcher David Price from the Rays in a three-team deal sending outfielder Austin Jackson to Seattle and pitcher Drew Smyly and second baseman Nick Franklin to the Rays.
Twins: Signed catcher Kurt Suzuki to a two-year, $12 million contract extension.
Yankees: Acquired shortstop Stephen Drew and cash from the Red Sox for second baseman Kelly Johnson, acquired infielder Martin Prado from the Diamondbacks for a minor leaguer and a PTBNL or cash, claimed pitcher Esmil Rogers off waivers from the Blue Jays, released infielder Scott Sizemore and designated second baseman Brian Roberts for assignment.
Lester will make his A’s debut on Saturday, but it’s going to be an awkward scene in Oakland as the team is scheduled to hand out Yoenis Cespedes T-shirts to the first 10,000 fans in attendance. The Brewers had a similar moment once, giving away Bob Wickman All-Star posters a day after he’d been traded to the Indians in 2000.
Let’s go around the NL Central:
- After a brief run in second place earlier this week, the Pirates have fallen back into third place with a 7-4 loss to the Diamondbacks. Todd Walker’s 16th home run of the season was not enough.
- The Cardinals got 10 hits from nine different players in their 6-2 win over the Padres. Matt Carpenter was on base three times with two hits and a walk.
- The Reds came from behind for a 3-1 win over the Marlins. Cincinnati trailed 1-0 in the top of the eighth when Zack Cosart appeared to be out attempting to score on a fly out, but after replay, umpires decided that Miami catcher Jeff Mathis was blocking the plate. Cosart was awarded the game-tying run.
- The Cubs picked up a 3-1 win over the Rockies at Wrigley Field. Jake Arrieta allowed a single run on just three hits over seven innings for the victory.
- The Brewers were off on Thursday.
Here are today’s updated standings and probables:
|Brewers||60||49||—||@ Cardinals, 7:15 p.m.||Wily Peralta vs Adam Wainwright|
|Cardinals||57||50||2||vs Brewers, 7:15 p.m.||Adam Wainwright vs Wily Peralta|
|Pirates||57||51||2.5||@ Diamondbacks, 8:40 p.m.||Edinson Volquez vs Vidal Nuno|
|Reds||54||54||5.5||@ Marlins, 6:10 p.m.||Mat Latos vs Jarred Cosart|
|Cubs||45||62||14||@ Dodgers, 9:10 p.m.||Kyle Hendricks vs Dan Haren|
The Pirates remain on the fringe of the playoff race this morning, but chose not to wade into the trading pool before Thursday’s deadline. Charlie Wilmoth of Bucs Dugout has a look at Pittsburgh’s decision to stand pat.
- Wisconsin Timber Rattlers outfielder Omar Garcia, who turns 21.
- Huntsville Stars first baseman Nick Ramirez, who turns 25.
- Brandon Kintzler, who turns 30.
- 1974 Brewer Roger Miller, who would have turned 60.
- 1978 Brewer Tony Muser, who turns 67.
- 1978-80 and 1985-86 Brewers manager George Bamberger, who would have turned 91 (Today In Brewer History).
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m catching up.
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