Thursday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while stimulating the economy.

In just a few hours, the Brewers will take the field looking for their first sweep of the Marlins since 1999. The Brewers may have an added advantage today, as it sounds like some Marlins aren't sleeping well: FishStripes is reporting that at least two pairs of Marlins are rooming together on this trip, as the team is staying in the Pfister Hotel, rumored to be haunted, and they're scared of ghosts.

The Brewers, meanwhile, have something else to be scared of. J.J. Hardy left last night's game with "very little" vision in his left eye and numbness in his left hand. He was given medication for a migraine headache. A decision on his ability to play today probably won't come until close to game time.

Mat Gamel, meanwhile, is expected to make his debut today. Gamel came to Milwaukee yesterday and has been called up to the team (noted in FanShot). He'll take Brad Nelson's roster spot: Nelson was outrighted to Nashville, and has 72 hours to either accept the demotion or opt for free agency. I know Nelson has struggled and many have been calling for his demotion for some time now, but I hope this isn't the last time we'll see him in a Brewer uniform.

There was brief confusion last night about Nelson's status, as the common procedure in this case would be to designate him for assignment, then attempt to outright him once he had cleared waivers. The Brewers' decision to skip the first step and outright Nelson immediately would suggest that he was put on waivers days ago and has already cleared. Tyler Maas of Bugs & Cranks says Nelson did nothing to earn a demotion.

As for Gamel, his short term role with the team will reportedly look a lot like Prince Fielder's 2005 role. Gamel will get some pinch hit at bats and spot appearances before DH'ing in interleague play, and is not expected to make many starts.

Mike Rivera probably shared a plane ride with Gamel. Rivera completed his rehab assignment in Nashville yesterday, and is expected to rejoin the team and start today. Carlos Corporan will return to AAA.

Major league history was made yesterday, as the very first home run was overturned by instant replay. However, it wasn't the home run in last night's Brewer game. Instead, it was a home run by Adam LaRoche, overturned about an hour earlier.

And, of course, each Trevor Hoffman save creates more history. The All Time Saves Leader picked up save #561 last night, his seventh as a Brewer, and Tom H. says there's still some gas in his 41-year-old tank.

The Brewers took advantage of an opportunity last night, but it was presented to them in the most unlikely way. Fish Bytes wants to know what's wrong with Ricky Nolasco after last night's two-out fourth inning rally, which went this way:

Mike Cameron grounded out.
J.J. Hardy lined out.
Corey Hart walked.
Jason Kendall walked.
Braden Looper singled.
Rickie Weeks singled.
Craig Counsell singled.
Ryan Braun walked.
Prince Fielder singled.
Mike Cameron walked.
J.J. Hardy struck out.

Obviously, there was some luck involved there, but any inning where a pitcher puts Jason Kendall, Braden Looper and Craig Counsell on base is cause for concern.

A Brewer win, Reds win and a Cardinal loss combined to form a three way tie atop the NL Central, with the Cubs just half a game back. Even before last night's game, Justin Inaz was projecting the Brewers as the expected NL Central Champions. They've also moved up from 15th to 8th in MLB FanHouse's Power Rankings.

Chase Wright picked up his second win in AAA yesterday but is still just 2-4, and entered yesterday's contest with an ERA over 5. At The Old Ball Game takes a look at Wright's starts individually, and they're not as bad as you might think, given his overall numbers.

Around the league:

Angels: Are reportedly close to signing reliever Rudy Seanez to a minor league deal.
Cardinals: Placed Ryan Ludwick on the DL with a strained hamstring.
Cubs: Ryan Dempster will not be suspended after throwing a pitch that nearly hit Ryan Braun in the head over the weekend.

Perhaps the hardest part of evaluating a 46-year-old pitcher is trying to decide when he's lost it: Jamie Moyer, who recently signed a two year contract, has posted an 8.15 ERA in his first seven starts, leading some to wonder if this is the end of the line for him.

Will anyone ever hit .400 again? Watching Jack Cust, of all people, led Joe Posnanski to take a look at some players who could feasibly do it, and some players who could have if they'd put the ball in play more.

Do the rules work both ways? Players are immediately ejected and eventually suspended for making contact with an umpire, so Craig Calcaterra of Circling the Bases would like to see umpire Paul Schrieber suspended for his unnecessary contact with Magglio Ordonez last night.

Baseball Digest Daily is all over the Twitter fad, and while mentioning it they linked to this list of MLB players who tweet. There are no current Brewers on the list, but Matt LaPorta is on it. Of course, if you Twitter, you should be following BCB.

Today is a Woot-off day, if you're looking for a present for your favorite blogger. If you'd like to get something for me instead, I've got my eye on this and these.

Oh, and the small-sample-size baseball world has a new elite power hitter: Willie Bloomquist.

Drink up.

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