Monday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while never getting too old.

Welcome back to the Jason Kendall Era. After Mike Rivera went 3-for-6 with two home runs and was on base seven times while starting back to back games for the first time since 2006, Jason Kendall was back in the starting lineup Saturday and Sunday, and responded by going 1-for-5, getting intentionally walked (!), and getting hit by a pitch. The performance actually raised Kendall's OPS to .599. Brew City Sports thought the Brewers had finally figured it out, but no such luck.

If you're going to argue that Kendall's defensive prowess earns him a free pass, save it. Baseball Digest Daily ranked Kendall as baseball's 11th best defensive catcher in 2009. I'm having a hard time believing that Kendall's middle-of-the-road defense makes up for the fact that he's one of baseball's worst hitters.

On the plus side, his HBP Saturday was the 499th in Miller Park history, which opened the door for Felipe Lopez to pick up the 500th.

If you're coming up with a new stat, it's probably a good idea to give it a smell test. For example, Joe Posnanski came up with a new hitting stat over the weekend, and Jason Kendall is fifth from the bottom. That smells about right.

Meanwhile, Ken Macha is updating the schedule to slot Dave Bush and Jeff Suppan back into the rotation in the coming weeks. Suppan's rehab start in Wisconsin wasn't good enough to earn him an immediate return to the Brewers, so he'll make a start in Nashville on Thursday and could rejoin the team on August 25. Bush, meanwhile, will start for Wisconsin tomorrow, in Huntsville on Saturday and hopefully for the Brewers on the 27th.

While Suppan is in Nashville he'll most likely get a chance to say hello to J.J. Hardy, who's doing very little to prove he deserves to return to Milwaukee. Even though he was given three days to report to the Sounds, Hardy showed up late on Friday and was only available to pinch hit. Then, he hit a home run on Saturday, but went 0-for-4 again last night, making him 1-for-9 in his first three games. Beyond the Box Score did the math and says the Brewers are about 2.3 runs better over the course of a season with Escobar playing short.

Meanwhile, Jason Bourgeois is hoping to prove he belongs in the major leagues on a permanent basis. He picked up his first major league RBI in Friday's game and hasn't been heard from since.

Prince Fielder has an eight-game hitting streak going, and has hit .412/.447/.824 over that time. Yesterday he hit his 30th home run, becoming the first Brewer ever to hit 30 home runs and drive in 100 runs in three straight seasons. Fielder has posted a .973 OPS in August, which is impressive enough, but he was actually better in May, June and July.

In the minors:
  • The Brewers were hoping to announce a deal with 2009 sandwich pick Kentrail Davis yesterday, but were unable to do so. Davis was at Miller Park yesterday, presumably to undergo a physical. Tom H. thinks a deal is done but is awaiting approval from the Commissioner's Office, which has to approve any deal for more than slot money.
  • If that deal is in fact done, the top two remaining unsigned picks would be high school pitcher Brooks Hall and shortstop Scooter Gennett, and the team is still negotiating with both of them.
  • 2001 first round pick Mike Jones is expected to be promoted to Nashville today. After years of battling shoulder and elbow problems, this will be the first time Jones has been above AA.
  • Josh Butler, currently working his way back from injury in Arizona, will take Jones' spot in Huntsville.
  • Also noted in the previous link: The Brewers are expected to send Lorenzo Cain, Taylor Green, Jonathan Lucroy, Mark Rogers, Josh Butler and Zach Braddock to the Arizona Fall League. Braddock's selection will depend on his health. Even if he goes, the Brewers will need to select one more pitcher.
Casey McGehee is still not playing every day, but FanGraphs ranked him fifth in the race for NL Rookie of the Year. McGehee could be having quite the magical season if his knee and Ken Macha allowed him to play more often.

On Power Rankings and playoff odds: Around baseball:

Mets: Placed David Wright on the DL with a concussion.
Pirates Designated outfielder Jeff Salazar for assignment.
Rangers: Placed Nelson Cruz on the DL with a sprained ankle.
Red Sox: Acquired Alex Gonzalez from the Reds for a minor league infielder and designated Chris Woodward for assignment.
Rockies: Released Mike Timlin.

How do you get a black eye in a bar fight you weren't involved in? That's the question someone needs to ask Brett Myers, who missed a rehab start over the weekend with said eye injury. To make matters worse, Myers initially told the team and media he suffered the injury playing catch with his son, then changed the story to say he fell out of his car, sober.

At least she finished the race, which is more than many of us would do: Trenni ran in the Sausage Race over the weekend, but finished in fourth place.

Of course, if you've been to Miller Park lately you know that the Sausage Race is also the start of the race to beat traffic out of Miller Park. Miller Park Drunk outlines the acceptable reasons to leave early. There's not many.

Baseball faces lots of issues: High ticket prices, poor umpiring, steroids, etc. With that said, American Polymath has a solution I've never heard before, but can get wholeheartedly behind: Baseball Needs Rob Deer.

How many times has a Brewer runner take off on a 3-2 pitch, just to return to your base when it's fouled off? I'm not sure I would have invested the time in tracking it, but Plunk Everyone reports they've done it 54 times this season, which puts them in the bottom third of teams. The Dodgers have fouled off a 3-2 pitch with runners going 103 times.

On this day in 1983, Tom Candiotti pitched a complete game in his first major league start and beat the Red Sox 5-1.

Happy birthday to Skip Lockwood, who pitched in 132 games for the Pilots and Brewers between 1969 and 1973 and turns 63 today. Jeff Liefer, who appeared in 16 games for the Brewers in 2004, also turns 35.

Oh, and I think we all wish our significant other was a little more like Sloane Peterson. (h/t C. Trent Rosecrans)

Drink up.
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