2011 a lost season for Mark Rogers, Manny Parra

When you start the month of August 18-4, some stories that would normally be big news can fly under the radar. Consider that the case with Mark Rogers and Manny Parra.

In any other year, the Brewers would be depending on the likes of Rogers and Parra to contribute. This year, with the additions of Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum to the big league rotation, anything the team could have gotten out of Rogers and Parra would have been gravy.

To put it plainly, there’s been no gravy this year. Rogers has struggled with injuries all year, starting with shoulder problems in spring training and culminating in a battle with carpal tunnel system that wound up ending his season. Even when he was on the mound (I hesitate to say “healthy,” because it could be argued he never really was this year), he struggled.

The cherry was put on the crapcake last week when news came down of Rogers’ 25-game suspension for using a banned stimulant. There’s lost seasons, and then there are seasons where everything seems to go wrong. For Rogers, 2011 was the latter.

Unlike Rogers, Parra never really got going in 2011. He struggled with a mysterious back injury during spring training, and then a sore elbow. He made a total of 8 appearances in the Brewers’ minor league system for Wisconsin and Nashville before being shut down for good. Today, it was announced Parra will be undergoing surgery on his elbow to replace an old screw, which means an offseason’s worth of rehab.

While 2011 has been a disappointing season for both, if this was happening a year or two ago, the Brewers would be in much worse shape than they are. Thankfully, the rotation has been rock solid for much of the year, and Marco Estrada has stepped up to take the spot starter role that so many had Rogers or Parra pegged for. Combine that with Wily Peralta seemingly making The Leap this year, and it’s not crazy to think the Brewers would be able to avoid having to depend on any production out of Rogers and Parra in 2012, too.

That would be good news for the big league club, but perhaps not good news for those two. There could be a bit of a 40-man roster crunch this offseason, and both Parra and Rogers will likely be out of minor league options (Parra already is, while there’s some question as to whether or not Rogers will qualify for a fourth option). In addition, Parra is arbitration-eligible again this winter, and looks like a possible non-tender candidate.

In other words? It’s possible neither will be in the Brewers’ system next year.

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