Tuesday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while wearing unnecessarily dangerous hats and vests.

Well, I'm married, honeymooned and moved, and I think I'm finally ready to be back. Thanks to Jordan for filling in on the Mug in my absence, and to all the site's contributors and mods who posted in my absence. It doesn't look like the site missed a beat while I was gone, which is great to see.

Unfortunately, the Brewers are 4-9 since I left on my honeymoon, and 0-3 since I've moved into my new house. I've started putting things back in boxes.

As I'm sure you know, the Brewers' starting pitchers haven't been very good lately. FanGraphs notes that Brewer pitchers posted a 6.08 FIP last week, and five different pitchers posted ERAs over 10. Meanwhile, Dave Bush will likely be pushed back a few days, or could skip a start entirely to recover from arm fatigue.

Who will take Dave Bush's spot in the rotation? Tyler Mass handicaps the favorites over at Right Field Bleachers. Seth McClung appears to be the early favorite. I doubt consideration will be given to Manny Parra (who has only made one start in AAA) or Carlos Villanueva (don't mess with a good thing in the bullpen), but Mike Burns is already lined up to start Thursday, so he could also be an option.

At least Yovani Gallardo looked pretty good on Sunday. He also ranks eleventh in Baseball Analysts' list of pitchers ranked by strikeouts per 100 pitches. Jeff Suppan ranks 90th out of 98 pitchers listed.

The Brewers close out interleague play with a three game series against the Twins starting tonight, but don't expect it to be the end of the line for Mat Gamel. Anthony Witrado says Gamel is getting comfortable in the big leagues and the team appears committed to keeping him around.

Prince Fielder, meanwhile, simply continues to produce. Adam McCalvy has a look at Fielder's consistency, and notices that Fielder has not gone more than three games without an RBI this season.

It seems increasingly likely that the Brewers will make a move to strengthen their playoff chances, but how much money can they spend? Jon Heyman lists them among ten teams that could add payroll, but I'm not sure they could add much, as they were already claiming they were out of money before giving $5 million to Braden Looper months ago.

I still think it's too early to start discussing the Wild Card, but MLB FanHouse notices that the Brewers are tied with the Giants for the lead in the race for the final playoff spot, and five teams are within 2.5 games of it.

Meanwhile, in power rankings:

Around the league:

Angels: Placed Ervin Santana on the DL with triceps inflammation.
Mets: Placed Carlos Beltran on the DL with a bone bruise on his right knee, designated infielder Wilson Valdez and minor league pitcher Connor Robertson for assignment and released Javier Valentin, Wily Mo Pena and Bobby Kielty from minor league deals.
Phillies: Will place Clay Condrey on the DL with an oblique strain.
Pirates: Designated Craig Monroe for assignment after he showed a lack of hustle.
Rays: Akinori Iwamura's knee injury was not as bad as previously thought, and he could be back in 6-8 weeks following an arthroscopic procedure.
Yankees: CC Sabathia is expected to make his next start after being pulled in the second inning of his last start with arm soreness.

This is how you know your infield situation is pretty bad: Lookout Landing crunched the numbers and discovered that the Mariners may actually be better off starting veteran journeyman Chris Woodward at shortstop. Woodward spent 2008 in Nashville.

Where would the Mariners be without Russell Branyan? The USA Today has a profile of Branyan and his breakout season, and Larry Stone of the Seattle Times notes that Branyan is on past to collect the least RBI ever accumulated by a 40 home run hitter.

On top of making all the roster moves listed above, the Mets had another reason to panic yesterday, as Jose Reyes and a team trainer were rear ended by a fire truck on their way to an appointment with Reyes' doctor. Everyone is ok, thankfully.

Oh, and today is a Woot-off day.

Drink up.

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