Friday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while reevaluating your Oregon Trail strategy.

Jon Heyman is reporting the Brewers and Diamondbacks have until mid-day today to reach a deal that would send Doug Davis to the Brewers, but Doug Melvin says he's not engaged in conversation with the D-Backs at this point. Obviously, Melvin has thrown us off the trail before, but it seems unlikely a deal will get done in this case.

It's a huge day today for Mike Rivera, who will get his second consecutive start, the first time that's happened since the last two days of the 2006 season. Rivera's two home run day yesterday raised his OPS from .617 to .736 and spurred several blogs to call for him to see increased playing time: Cute Sports, The Bucky Channel and badgermaniac (in the FanPosts) all made the case.

Is Ken Macha starting to feel the pressure a bit? He had an interesting exchange with Tom Haudricourt while talking with reporters before yesterday's game. With Bill Hall DFA'd, Billy Castro gone and J.J. Hardy in AAA, Jason Kendall and Brad Fischer might be the only scapegoats left before the blame falls squarely on Macha.

Speaking of Hardy, Dave Cameron of FanGraphs has a look at his service time situation, and hopes the Brewers will call Hardy back up before it becomes an issue. I've come out against service time manipulation before, and I'm against it again here. I understand it's legal and whatnot, but Hardy has been a valuable member of the team for quite some time now, and screwing with his payday this way just seems unethical.

Meanwhile, Zach Sanders of Baseball Digest Daily has a look at what to expect from Alcides Escobar. He doesn't expect Alcides to hit much (.637 OPS), but expects him to pick up 12-15 steals and play exceptional defense. Baseball America listed Escobar as the PCL's most exciting player, best infield arm and best defensive SS.

The multi-home run games by Prince Fielder and Mike Rivera overshadowed Ryan Braun, who also homered yesterday. Casa de Machado profiles Braun's five tools.

By the way, as a consistent reader of many Brewer blogs, here's a quick guide to starting a new one:
  • Pick a favorite obscure former Brewer. Robert Machado, Ruben Quevedo, Chuckie Carr and Gary Sheffield are all taken. Scott Podsednik, Alex Sanchez, Brady Clark and Everett Stull are all available.
  • Pick a place they're likely to be.
  • Combine the two and start blogging.
  • If those steps were too hard, here are some suggestions: Podsednik's Palace, Alex Sanchez on the Waiver Wire, Jogging to First with Johnny Estrada.
Jeff Suppan will make his first rehab appearance Saturday in Appleton. Once he's ready to return to the majors, he'll need to rack up some innings to become the 55th pitcher since 1954 to qualify for the ERA title while allowing a .500 slugging percentage. He could also become just the fifth to do it while allowing a .900 OPS.

The Brewers are hoping to generate some run support for Yovani Gallardo today, and are expected to try Jason Bourgeois in right field. It will be Bourgeois' first career start, but he might get several more against lefties as the only right handed outfielder on the bench.

The Brewers held steady at #24 in Beyond the Box Score's Power Rankings.

Around baseball:

Mariners: Placed Adrian Beltre on the DL with a bruised testicle.
White Sox: Placed second baseman Chris Getz on the DL with an oblique strain.

I use Baseball Reference a lot for my work here on the site, probably 8-10 times daily or more. As a result, I've sponsored a couple of pages (Claudio Vargas and Yovani Gallardo, most recently), and I try to encourage you to do the same when given the opportunity. If you've always wanted to help out B-Ref but don't have the cash to spare, I'd encourage you to check out this opportunity to help them by entering some data from the 1930's. It's easy work, but it's time consuming.

Or, if you have some cash that's burning a hole in your pocket, you could spend $85 per person to camp on the field at Miller Park. This is a cool idea but the price is way out of line...two people could stay somewhere really nice for $170/night.

While you're there, though, you could run atmospheric tests to attempt to determine why a ball hit at Miller Park carries less than the league average.

Sometimes a pitch count is just a number. Tigers beat reporter Jason Beck twittered last night that Justin Verlander hit 99 on the radar gun with his 119th, 120th and 121st pitches, and hit 100 on #123. Incredible.

Manny Parra had a pretty rough outing yesterday, but somehow escaped with a win, meaning we're all due for a reminder that it could be worse. On this day in 1977, Brewers starter Bill Travers allowed 14 runs on 18 hits and four walks in 7.2 innings of work as the Brewers lost game two of a doubleheader to Cleveland, 14-5. Travers' game score for that outing was -13, the lowest by a starter in franchise history.

Happy birthday today to Mark Loretta, who played 796 games over seven positions as a Brewer between 1995 and 2002 and turns 38 today. Also, happy birthdays to David Manning (37) and Chris Saenz (28), whose storied Brewer careers combined to cover three games.

Drink up.
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