Wednesday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while your arteries are clogging.

So, the Brewers have lost back to back games to the Pirates, who were 4-18 since taking two of three from the Brewers in their last meeting. The Grand National Championship says the Brewers are done and should look to sell off spare parts. Casa de Machado has a similar sentiment with significantly more NSFW language.

The Brewers allowed two more home runs last night to raise their NL leading total to 161, 17 more than the second place Reds. They're now on pace to allow 219 on the season, up from 175 a year ago. The Reds (201) were the only NL team to allow more than 200 last season. Ken Macha called the situation out of control.

So, it seems logical that the Brewers are still looking for answers to their pitching woes. Perhaps one of the answers will come from Dave Bush, who pitched three hitless innings last night on 37 pitches in front of a sold out crowd in Appleton. Cody Scarpetta relieved him and pitched six more shutout innings as the Rattlers beat Beloit, 1-0. Bush is expected to make one more rehab start in Huntsville before returning to the big leagues.

By then, the Brewers may also have worked out a trade. Doug Melvin says he's working on a deal involving Bill Hall, who needs to be traded or released by Friday. (Also noted in FanShot.) The Reds are rumored to be interested in Hall, and looking to deal one of two bad contracts they're stuck with: Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo. Scott Jensen of Dugout Central thinks a Hall-for-Arroyo swap makes sense for the Brewers, but Brewers Daily would rather have Harang.

Prince Fielder has a second post up on his blog with thoughts on roster moves, Alcides Escobar and Usain Bolt.

Brewer Paradise Lost is looking ahead to the center field situation in 2010. He doesn't expect the Brewers to offer arbitration to Mike Cameron, and thinks they should try a Jody Gerut/Jason Bourgeois platoon in center. I think the Brewers will offer Cam arbitration, but he'll likely reject it and head off to seek a multi-year deal in free agency. If that happens, the Brewers could do much worse than this platoon.

In the minors:
  • The Brewers promoted Brett Lawrie to Huntsville yesterday (FanShot), skipping over High-A entirely with last year's #1 pick. Doug Melvin told Tom H. that he expects Lawrie to DH in AA for ten days before leaving to play for Canada in the Baseball World Cup.
  • Jim Callis of Baseball America had some high praise for the Brewers' 2009 draft in his most recent chat, and especially seems to like Max Walla, Brooks Hall and 15th and 16th round picks Del Howell and Scooter Gennett. (FanShot)
  • For whatever it's worth, two Brewer draft picks (OF Scott Krieger and P Mike Fiers) appeared in John Sickels' shadow draft for the Twins.
  • The Brewers spent just over $6 million signing their 13 picks in the first ten rounds. That's the sixth highest total in baseball, but would rank much lower if the rankings were calculated by dollars per player.
At least this 2009 slide could net the Brewers a better player next June: Andy Seiler has updated his projected 2010 draft order, and has the Brewers picking 14th.

Could this slide cost Ken Macha his job? Ken Rosenthal lists Macha among 15 managers whose contracts expire by the end of the 2010 season, and notes that Mark Attanasio may not be patient with him.

On power rankings and playoff odds: Around baseball:

Astros: Placed Mike Hampton on the DL with a shoulder issue.
Cardinals: Are expected to sign John Smoltz when he becomes a free agent today.
Dodgers: Are expected to place Hiroki Kuroda on the DL with a concussion.
Rangers: Acquired Ivan Rodriguez from the Astros for two minor leaguers (three if the Rangers make the playoffs), and placed infielder Esteban German on the DL with a groin strain.
White Sox: Placed DeWayne Wise on the DL with a shoulder strain.

Felipe Lopez has been pretty good as a Brewer, but how much will the Crew miss Cole Gillespie? AZ Snakepit reports that the former Brewer farmhand is hitting .325/.448/.542 for AAA Reno, and could compete for a job with the D-Backs next spring.

A lot of money was handed out this week to draftees, but a fair amount is going overseas as well: The Twins signed German 16-year-old Max Kepler Rozycki this week, and his $800,000 bonus was the largest ever given to an amateur player outside of the US and Latin America.

On this day in 1985, Danny Darwin pitched a complete game one-hitter as the Brewers beat the Twins 4-1. And on this day in 1987, Rob Deer hit the first of his two grand slams in two days as the Brewers beat the Indians 13-2. Paul Molitor also picked up four hits in the game to extend his streak to 34 games.

Happy birthday today to J.J. Hardy, who turns 27, Chris Capuano, who turns 31, Ned Yost, who turns 54, and Paul Mitchell, who pitched in 35 games for the Brewers in 1979 and 1980 and turns 60.

Oh, and I know we've all spent a day inundated with news updates about a Wisconsin sports icon getting ready to return, but take a deep breath, everyone: Gorman Thomas isn't going to play for the Cubs.

Drink up.
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