Some things to read while hanging out in Nashville with Richard Sterban of The Oak Ridge Boys.
If you would have guessed that Todd Coffey would be the Brewer getting the most attention two weeks into the season, you probably could have won a fair amount of money. Coffey is profiled in the JS this morning, in a story that makes it sound like he really needed a change of scenery last fall.
Don't let Coffey's performance trick you into thinking the bullpen is fixed, though: As Chuckie Hacks notes, Brewer bullpen pitchers not named Coffey have combined to post a 6.00 ERA in 30 innings. Take out Mark DiFelice and it jumps to 6.65.
Speaking of problems that aren't resolved yet, Brewed Sports rips a hole in the argument that Jeff Suppan has made a sudden transformation.
On the other side of the coin, we have Corey Hart. The Official Site takes a look at his altered approach in 2009, and his new philosophy on selecting pitches to hit might be the most encouraging thing I've read all spring.
After the always popular road off-day, the Brewers open a three game series with the Phillies tonight. It doesn't sound like weather will delay or postpone any games in the series, but it doesn't sound like it will be pleasant either. Weather.com is predicting on and off showers in the afternoon and evening today and again tomorrow. Perhaps Philadelphia needs a visit from Brick, the bad weather hating bactrian.
Down on the farm:
- Mat Gamel and Brett Lawrie are on Baseball America's Prospect Hot Sheet. (h/t FanShot)
- Baseball America's Minor League Transactions notes the Brewers signed 26 year old infielder Kevin Melillo to a minor league deal. Melillo has spent five years in the minors and hit .260/.348/.444 in AAA over the last two seasons. He's also among today's top performers in the Minor League Notes.
The Brewers had two rough weeks, so for some it's obviously time to give up on them: The Hardball Times Dartboard has them at 23rd and Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star dropped them from 14th to 26th.
I'm guessing every reader of this site has already heard that Corey Hart and J.J. Hardy dyed their hair black over the weekend. The story is several days old, which makes it even more impressive that the best headline was a late entry: "The Brewers Will Win or Try Dyeing."
Around the league:
Braves: Acquired Brian Barton from the Cardinals for Blaine Boyer. Also, Brian McCann will see an eye doctor today regarding blurred vision that has kept him out of several games.
Marlins: Placed reliever Andrew Miller on the DL with an oblique strain.
Mets: Signed Wily Mo Pena to a minor league deal.
Padres: Reacquired utilityman Chris Burke from the Mariners.
Red Sox: Placed Rocco Baldelli on the DL with a hamstring injury.
Twins: Placed reliever Jesse Crain on the DL with shoulder inflammation.
So, even though it's only been a couple of weeks, there have been several occasions in game threads and elsewhere where Ken Macha's decision making has been called into question. If you're one of those consistently baffled by his moves, Joe Posnanski wants to hear from you.
The sky is still falling: Baseball Digest Daily reports attendance from the first two weeks of 2009 is on pace to be 6.9% lower than last season. Here are the problems with that number:
- As Fox Sports notes, attendance is always down in April and September because of weather. They don't mention it, but attendance is also down in April, May, some of June and September because kids are in school.
- As noted ad nauseum, two new ballparks opened in baseball's largest market this spring, and they're both smaller than their predecessors.
In a related note, Bleed Cubbie Blue takes a look at the forecast in Chicago today, where rain and snow are expected and the high is only 46, and wonders if baseball could do more to keep early season baseball out of the cold. It's an idea that seems good in concept but will never work: Giving more April home games to teams like the Brewers would give them more low-attendance dates and cost them high-revenue home games later in the season. Warm weather and dome teams wouldn't, and shouldn't have to, agree to that deal.
Sometimes statistical analysis drops to a new low: The Book blog discusses the merits and value of a 3'2" pinch hitter.
Oh, and I'm starting a recipe blog.