Gerardo Parra: Issue for Colorado Rockies Next Manager?

Aug 17, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies left fielder Gerardo Parra (8) hits a triple RBI double in the first inning against the against the Washington Nationals at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 17, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies left fielder Gerardo Parra (8) hits a triple RBI double in the first inning against the against the Washington Nationals at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /
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One thing that was both a positive and a negative for Walt Weiss as manager of the Colorado Rockies was his dedication to his players. Even when players didn’t warrant it, as Nolan Arenado recently told The Denver Post, he felt Weiss “always had your back.”

His dedication to his players was obvious with the way that the DJ LeMahieu batting title situation was handled toward the end of the season. Rather than take a chance on LeMahieu not winning the title, Weiss played him sparingly over the final five games of the season. It was a decision that has not been viewed favorably by many throughout the nation. However, Weiss believed strongly enough that LeMahieu should win the title that he said he would “fall on the sword” for his second baseman.

It’s an admirable quality but it was also detrimental at times for the team in 2016, most notably when it came to Gerardo Parra.

Weiss was adamant to play Parra throughout the season, even when the outfielder signed in the offseason didn’t deserve it. Connor Farrell wrote an all-encompassing article about Parra’s failures for Purple Row, but there is one section of the article that stood out to me.

Parra’s approach at the plate could be politely described as “not ideal.” He walked at a rate of 2.4 percent—that’s nine walks in 381 plate appearances. Over the course of six months and 102 of his baseball games, we all saw Gerardo Parra walk just nine times. Gerardo Parra attempted to steal 10 bases and walked just nine times. Gerardo Parra grounded into 16 double plays and walked just nine times. Gerardo Parra had nine outfield assists and five errors this season. He walked just nine times.

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The only thing that kept Weiss from playing Parra more this season was the ankle injury he suffered in mid-June that kept him out of action until August 7. After coming back, Parra hit just .232 with a pair of homers and 12 RBI. He also struck out 33 times in his 125 plate appearances.

Yet Weiss kept pushing Parra out into the field. When the outfield was stocked with rookie David Dahl, Charlie Blackmon and Carlos Gonzalez, Parra was inserted into the lineup at first base. Playing there for the first time in his career, Parra saw action at first base in 19 games. His Rdrs/yr was -26 while at first base. As a comparison, Mark Reynolds was a 5 this season at first base. Ben Paulsen was a -31 at first base … and he was designated for assignment.

Colorado’s next manager will inherit a plethora of talent, including the aforementioned Arenado, Gonzalez, Dahl, Blackmon, Trevor Story, and a young, budding starting rotation. He’ll also have Parra on the roster.

Next: Jordan Patterson Using 2016 as a Springboard for Future

Parra is scheduled to make $8 million in 2017 … the same amount he made in 2016. He’ll need to improve dramatically in the offseason or Colorado’s next manager will have to once again figure out how and if Parra fits into the Rockies’ plans … without pushing him out there every game in the hopes Parra figures it out for himself.

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