Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 7/20/13
CINCINNATI Sometimes rummaging through a rubbish bin turns up something that looks unusable but turns out to have value.Find an old lamp with a shredded shade, tarnished stand and frayed cord and if you put on a new shade, polish it up and replace the cord and you might have light. Such is the case with Cincinnati Reds left-handed pitcher Manny Parra. The Milwaukee Brewers used him in nearly every way imaginable, trying to find life. In 2010 he started 26 games and pitched 16 games in relief and was 3-10 with a 5.02 earned run average. Then he hurt his arm and missed the entire 2011 season. The Brewers didnt yet give up. They signed him to a one-year deal for 2012 and used him exclusively in relief 62 times, 2-3 record, 5.06 earned run average. Then they gave up. Parra was a free agent and the Brewers didnt re-sign him. They didnt have much invested since he was a 26th round draft pick in 2001 out of American River Junior College, where was Junior College Player of the Year.And nobody else signed him until just before spring training began and the Cincinnati Reds took a chance on transforming an old broken lamp into something with luminescence. It looked like wasted effort in spring training when he was hit hard and often.But he made the team and in April it still looked like a waste of time and effort six appearances, 0-1, 8.10. And every time he popped his head out of the bullpen the multitudes booed. Fans and talk radio wanted him banished, his uniform burned and his glove buried.At the end of April, he strained his left pectoral muscle and missed nearly a month. He returned on May 23 and made three scoreless appearances in May.And the transformation was on. It was as if Parra did a complete body transfusion. He turned awful into awesome. Since returning from the disabled list, his earned run average is 2.08 for 17 appearances. And the recent numbers are perfection.When Parra faced two Pittsburgh Pirates Friday night, protecting a two-run lead, he struck both out, helping to preserve a 5-3 win. He has retired 26 of the last 29 batters he faced. He has stranded 13 of his last 14 inherited baserunners, including 12 in a row. He has allowed just two hits in his last 11 appearances. He has made 16 consecutive scoreless appearance.That cellphone that keeps ringing is the Brewers trying to get him back. Now when he sticks his head out of the bullpen the multitudes cheer.He is just what the Reds needed a left-hander to replace Sean Marshall, the teams setup man and the only left-hander in the bullpen other than closer Aroldis Chapman. Marshall is on the disabled list for the second time this season and Parra stepped right in.And Marshall has been aiming advice and sharing knowledge to Parra every step from the bullpen to the mound.Parra has worked hard and I told him, You know, you have to feed that baby thats coming, said manager Dusty Baker, referring to Parras upcoming date with fatherhood.Parra is looking for a home (in the bullpen) and slowly but surely he is finding one, Baker added. Earlier in the year he didnt have much confidence in himself and neither did we in him. Marshall went down and now he is helping Parra through the situation.We all try to keep pumping him up, me, (pitching coach) Bryan Price, all of us. He has been unbelievable in his role right now. Parra, a 30-year-old, 6-3, 203-pound native of Carmichael, Calif., credits Price with the major adjustment junk the curveball, implement a slider.Bryan came up to me with about a week left in spring training and said, Lets work on this slider. And I agreed because the curveball was just getting worse. It was just flipping up there. Id throw one good one out of six.I used to throw a breaking ball which requires more torque, you throw it differently, he said. On the slider you just stay behind it, more like a fastball and it seems easier for me to command. I can go in with it and out with it.For the last four years, my breaking ball has been hit or miss. When I did have a good breaking ball were the days I had success, he added.Im very comfortable in this role mostly facing left handers, said Parra. I know what I need to do to be successful. Before I was searching. Now I know if I execute the pitch and get ahead, Ill be successful." Parra disagrees with Bakers confidence and lack of confidence tag.I feel like I did have confidence this spring, he said. People talk about confidence and the question I often ask myself? Is it success that brings the confidence. I dont think confidence is one of those things that you can just make up. Success helps confidence.Somebody laughed and said they thought it was the facial hair sprouting on his chin because he isnt shaving during this on-course success.Ive never done it and I said, Im going to grow this thing like the other guys in the bullpen, he said. Were having fun with it. I have some pretty bad facial hair and I said, Let me show it off.He can show off all the facial hair he wants as long as he continues to show off that new slider that has him on a run of perfection, something his beard never will be.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Bubba Watson's caddie owns heckler at PGA Championship

NFL denies sending Donald Trump letter about schedule

Michael Bennett calls out NFL stars for not speaking up on social matters

Nationals make astute move in acquiring Melancon

Son of former NFL player Antonio Armstrong charged with death of parents

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

U.S. Senator “appalled” by Bettman’s stance on concussions

Team USA’s Opening Ceremony uniforms look a little treasonous

Lawyer who reps concussion lawsuit wants to speak with Bettman

Tyler Eifert says he will never play in the Pro Bowl again

Australian athletes evacuate the Olympic village after fire

Russian weightlifting team banned from Rio

Texans GM 'disappointed' in DeAndre Hopkins

Can Andre Johnson end his regression in Tennessee?

Favre opens up about painkiller addiction during career

Miami women’s basketball coach criticizes Texas A&M following slideshow

Twin Cities preparing for influx of sex trafficking during Super Bowl LII

WATCH: Bautista bat flip will be available as NHL 17 celebration

Former USMNT, current MLS forward Davies battled cancer, in remission

The definitive guide to U.S. Men's Basketball at Rio 2016

Tony Romo training camp picture leads to fat jokes, concern

Matt Cullen’s family eats cereal out of the Stanley Cup

Texas A&M suspends coaches for sexist slideshow

10 most dangerous college football defenders in 2016

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker