Tuesday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while enjoying the off day.

Over the weekend there were a couple of posts on Manny Parra, with The Junkball Blues arguing Parra should throw his fastball more, and Jordan making the case he should not. On the field yesterday, Manny Parra was lights-out, allowing just one hit in four innings of work while striking out three. Turns out he's throwing his changeup more, something he learned from CC Sabathia.

Perhaps Eduardo Morlan needs to throw a changeup too. Morlan blew the save yesterday, giving up a double, single and home run to the three batters he faced and negating Casey McGehee's go-ahead home run in the top of the 9th.

That three run, walk off home run was hit by Ryan Rohlinger, and demonstrated Tom H.'s incredible ability to put his foot in his mouth. Tom's initial post-game post mentioned a home run by "Ryan Rohlinger, whoever he is." As it turns out, Rohlinger grew up in West Bend, less than 40 miles from Milwaukee. Here's more on Rohlinger from after the game.

Off the field, two pitchers have been sent down to minor league camp: Joe Bateman and Cody Scarpetta. Being the first guy sent down has to be a serious blow to Bateman's hopes of pitching in the majors this season: One could assume he'll likely have half a dozen or more pitchers in line ahead of him should the need arise.

Adam McCalvy has updates on all the Brewer injuries. Braden Looper is scheduled to throw a bullpen session tomorrow, Mike Rivera has been cleared to take batting practice, Angel Salome was the bullpen catcher yesterday, Mat Gamel is almost ready to start taking infield practice and Tony Gwynn is pain free but waiting for direction.

Meanwhile, Omar Aguilar is happy to be out of the trainer's room. The Journal Sentinel has a profile of Aguilar and details on his long battle with elbow issues and recovery from Tommy John surgery. Aguilar is still a long shot to make the team, but will likely be in Milwaukee eventually.

It looked like Mark DiFelice and Vinny Rottino might return to Brewer camp today, but it'll be at least a few more days instead, as the Italian team eliminated Brett Lawrie and Team Canada yesterday in WBC play. Italy plays Venezuela again today, with the winner advancing to the second round. Dixieflatline has a look at the pitches (or pitch, really) DiFelice threw in Italy's first game, when he shut out Venezuela for four innings.

We likely won't see Carlos Villanueva in Cactus League action for a few days, but for a different reason. Villanueva is throwing bullpen sessions so he can throw more pitches in a controlled environment. He'll likely go two innings in his next game appearance.

Crawfish Boxes has moved on to second base in their position-by-position ranking of the NL Central. They rate Rickie Weeks second among NL second baseman, which will be encouraging news to some and a sign of a weak position division-wide for others.

The less optimistic among us may think Weeks is more qualified for this job: The Brewers are hiring Ticket Sales Interns for the 2009 season. They're also giving away tickets to one lucky designated driver.

In other camps:

A's: Eric Chavez has been shut down again due to shoulder issues. Bobby Crosby has begun working out at third base.
Mets: Angel Pagan faces surgery to remove a bone spur in his right elbow.

So what are the odds Rich Harden pitches a complete season in 2009? Whatever they were, they're getting lower: Matthew Berry of ESPN doesn't go into specifics, but seems to imply he knows something we don't about Rich Harden's health, and projects him for less than 22.5 starts this season.

Sure, we'd all love to say it to some of the esteemed journalists covering the Brewers, but outgoing Padres owner John Moores probably didn't make history's greatest PR move when he responded to San Diego Union-Tribune columnist Tim Sullivan's questions about Trevor Hoffman with the following email:
"You are an idiot. Please do not write me again."
Classy.

Speaking of classy things, other managers may have more wins and championships than Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, but do they know a professional Elvis impersonator? Probably not.

Here's the coolest graph I've seen in a while: Beyond the Box Score has a chart of expected run values based on pitch location to right-handed batters. Go take a look.

Major League Baseball is expecting a lot fewer people to come through the turnstiles in 2009, perhaps as much as a 17-20% decrease. I know we don't know when the recession will end, but barring total economic collapse that number seems high, especially with two new ballparks opening in New York.

Oh, and if you have a leather jacket, Giants OF Fred Lewis may need to borrow it.

Drink up.
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