Friday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while keeping your pimp hand fuzzy.

The search for a new pitching coach might be about to get much more interesting: Rick Peterson, considered by most the odds on favorite to get the job, is also interested in the vacancy in Florida. If Peterson turns out to be unavailable, the search may start from scratch.

Meanwhile, yesterday was interview day for Ned Yost in Houston. Inexplicably, Yost still doesn't seem to understand why he was let go in Milwaukee, and said this when asked about it:
"Don't lose 10 out of 13 games is the best thing I can figure," Yost told reporters in Houston, "and hope your offense stays on track so you don't struggle to score runs."
Alyson Footer also quoted him as saying the Astros are "one starter away from having a really good staff." If the Astros hire Yost, fans in Houston can look forward to a 2010 season full of "really battling" and "being one pitch away from getting out of it."

In yesterday's Mug, I noted that Mike Burns had been outrighted to AAA, but neglected to mention that he's injured: He presumably still has the labrum pathology that he was diagnosed with at the end of the season. It's a bit more challenging to demote an injured player, but TheJay has a look at the CBA's rules regarding such transactions.

I also mentioned Jon Heyman's decision to leave Prince Fielder off his MVP ballot. Thankfully, we're not the only ones upset about it: James Bailey of Hardball Cooperative has an in-depth look at Heyman's ballot, and the reasons Fielder should be on it.

Plunk Everyone has compiled a list of difficulty rankings for several stats around baseball: Follow the link to see where Jason Kendall, Ryan Braun, Dave Bush, Jeff Suppan, Prince Fielder, Braden Looper, Mike Cameron, Yovani Gallardo and Felipe Lopez rank among the best in baseball at the things they do.

If we learned one thing about Jody Gerut this season, it's this: he's miscast as a bench player. Among the 20 most frequently used pinch hitters in baseball this season, Gerut ranked 17th in OPS off the bench, ahead of only Mark Loretta, Greg Norton and Greg Dobbs. I have a feeling we'll have "Who is the real Jody Gerut?" conversations on more than one occasion this winter.

Further proof that it'd be really, really difficult to get fair value back in a deal involving Ryan Braun: Rowland's Office has a hypothetical deal sending Braun to the Braves for Jair Jurrjens, one of the game's top young pitchers. Even if you assume their expected values were exactly the same, Jurrjens has a few days over 2 years of service time, meaning he's under team control for four more seasons (through 2013), and will be arbitration eligible after next season. Braun, meanwhile, is under contract and cost controlled for two extra seasons (through 2015), and his salary never exceeds $12 million.

(I use Cot's Contracts all the time for info like that, and frequently forget to cite them. If you need contract info, Cot's is the place for it.)

In the AFL and on the farm:
  • Project Prospect's Friday topic of conversation is Lorenzo Cain, who's off to a pretty good start in the AFL and is expected to play roughly 4 times a week in an effort to bounce back from a rough 2009 season. They've also got a nice primer on what to expect from the AFL and they're looking for a scouting report on the speed of Taylor Green.
  • Wisconsin Sports Tap has a look at the season that was for the Huntsville Stars. It's kinda bleak down there, but Jonathan Lucroy is a nice bright spot.
  • Actually, statistics would suggest it was pretty bleak all over the Brewer minor leagues this season. Baseball America has the final batting leaderboards for 2009, and the only Brewer appearances are among the leaders in stolen bases (Eric Farris had 70) and strikeouts (Brock Kjeldgaard, Joe Koshansky and Brendan Katin all made the list).
  • As noted in BA's Minor League Transactions, the Brewers released 12 minor leaguers yesterday (FanShot). The most notable name on the list was 2004 third round pick Josh Wahpehpah.
  • Alcides Escobar, Mat Gamel and Angel Salome all made Baseball America's list of the top 20 prospects in the Pacific Coast League. Tom Haudricourt had mentioned this previously, but that link will take you to the team's press release.
  • John Sickels of Minor League Ball has a look back at his top 50 pitching prospects entering 2009, including a pre-suspension Jeremy Jeffress.
The Hendies tournament continues over at Brew City Sports: Follow the link to cast your vote in the Excrement Eight.

If you like your roundups of Brewer news, but wish there was less reading involved and maybe a bit more rambling, then you may be the perfect candidate to try out View From Bernie's Chalet's new video blog.

Or, if you like Brewer related fan fiction, you may want to try out Witrado's Quest and Doug Melvin's Hunt for October.

I'm sure this is exactly what Major League Baseball had in mind for the postseason: After a long delay between rounds, baseball is back and the main topics of conversation are weather and divorce. Jon Heyman thinks the Yankees and Angels will get the game in tonight, but could have a hard time tomorrow. Diamond Leung has the scoop on each side's attorney in the McCourt fiasco.

It could be worse, though: Fans in Texas aren't getting playoff baseball, and they're also not getting their playoff ticket money back until sometime in November. (h/t 6-4-2) The money is reportedly "tied up with MLB," and may already have been used to pay off some of the cash the Rangers reportedly had to borrow to make payroll this season.

If you ever doubted the usefulness of Twitter, doubt no longer: In amidst conversation about last night's NLCS opener, Jason of IIATMS presented me with a Nickname of the Year contender: Ronnie "Staypuft" Belliard.

On this day in 1982, the Brewers scored six runs in the seventh inning en route to a 7-5 victory over the Cardinals, evening the World Series at two games apiece.

Happy birthday today to Freddy Parejo, who spent the 2009 season patrolling the outfields in Huntsville and Nashville and turns 25 today. Birthday wishes also go out to Brian Harper, who spent the 1994 season as a Brewer and turns 50.

That's all I have for you today, unless you wanted to read about the rebound of Krispy Kreme or the rising price of chicken wings. I found both of those links via C. Trent Rosecrans.

Drink up.
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