Cubs bring lefty Parra aboard on Minors pact

February 22nd, 2016

MESA, Ariz. -- The Cubs added another option for the bullpen, signing left-handed pitcher Manny Parra to a Minor League contract. Parra, 33, who was in camp Monday, posted a 3.90 ERA in 40 games last season with the Reds.
"He's done some really good work in the past, he's a veteran," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Monday. "There was a time he could get opposite-side hitters out better than same-side hitters, although he's really good from the same side now. I'm eager to watch it."
With the addition, the Cubs' spring roster now is 62.
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• Last season, Maddon had the pitcher bat eighth and Addison Russell was in the No. 9 spot in the Cubs lineup for 117 of his 142 games, batting .246 there. Will Russell continue to bat ninth? Maddon is still doing his research with the help of the Cubs baseball operations people.
"I need to get together with our [stats] geeks and talk about the batting order," Maddon said. "I really want to specifically know what they think about the one-two spot and what they think about Addy hitting in the nine-hole again this year. Last year, a lot of that had to do to benefit him, and I thought it worked out pretty well. I need more thoughts."
The Cubs also haven't settled on who will fill the leadoff spot following Dexter Fowler's departure. What about outfielder Jason Heyward?
"Whatever makes us go, that's what I want to do," Heyward said. "That's the beautiful thing about this team is that we have a lot of guys who can do a lot of different things. [Ben Zobrist] and I being added to that will be special because we bring another element that they wanted to add, which is put the ball in play and be able to move guys around on the bases."
• Position players report Tuesday, with the first full-squad workout Wednesday. ... Jon Lester had some fun with the media Monday, purposely throwing a ball off target during a drill in which pitchers were throwing to first.