Thursday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while abbreviating your quotes.

It's another rough week to be a Brewer fan, but at least Doug Melvin found a way to unload Bill Hall. Reactions from around the web:
  • Tom H. reports the Brewers are saving at least $1.3 million in salary for next season by trading Hall. That's the portion of his salary that will be paid by the Mariners.
  • Brewer Paradise Lost says Melvin is a genius for finding a team willing to take on any of Hall's salary.
  • Gord Ash told Adam McCalvy that one other team was interested in Hall, but the rumors about Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo were incorrect. Both potential trades were for minor leaguers.
  • Over at The Hardball Times, Jeff takes a look at the decision to give Hall a long term deal following the 2006 season, and still concludes it was the right move to make at the time.
  • The Bucky Channel is surprised Jack Z. had any interest in Hall.
  • Meanwhile, on the Mariners' side, Lookout Landing is playing the "He could be a great player if he puts it all together" card we've all become so familiar with over the last few years.
  • Pro Ball NW is calling Hall a "free lottery ticket" and expects him to platoon with Jack Hannahan at third.
Meanwhile, the Brewers are off today while they travel to Washington to open a four game series there. If you're a Brewer fan in the DC area, the Nationals have quite the deal for you: For one dollar, fans can get into the ballpark at 2 pm tomorrow, see the press conference introducing Stephen Strasburg and stay to see the Nats take on Manny Parra and the Brewers. Nats320 has more about the promotion.

The trip to Washington will be a return home for Felipe Lopez, who had a very forgettable three-year run as a National between 2006 and 2008 before being released. As part of tomorrow's game preview, Adam McCalvy has a look at Lopez's time as a Brewer and his rebound from some defensive lapses a couple of weeks ago.

Unfortunately for the Nats, they won't get to face Carlos Villanueva this weekend, at least as a starter. With today's off day, the Brewers had the opportunity to skip a starter this weekend, and Carlos Villanueva is the one getting the hook, with Mike Burns getting the start Saturday. Both Jeff Suppan and Dave Bush are expected back in the rotation by the next turn.

With Yovani Gallardo stuck on 11 wins, it looks like the Brewers will be without a 20 game winner again this season. As Chris Jaffe notes at The Hardball Times, 23 teams have had a 20 game winner since Teddy Higuera did it for the Brewers in 1986. Only Baltimore, Philadelphia, San Diego, Montreal/Washington, Colorado and Tampa Bay have longer active droughts.

In the minors:
  • Mike Jones' AAA debut didn't go so well last night, as he allowed six runs on ten hits and struck out no one in four innings and the Sounds lost 11-1. Hopefully it was just nerves and he'll settle down in his next start.
  • The Brewers spent $1.2 million signing Kentrail Davis, well over slot value for his pick, but it could have been much worse: The Biz of Baseball noted that Davis' deal was about 42% over slot, the lowest percentage among Scott Boras clients who signed on deadline day.
  • Brewerfan.net has a new Power 50 with Alcides Escobar moving into the #1 spot and most of the 2009 draft picks being slotted in. (FanShot)
  • The Tuscaloosa News has a look at the negotiation process with 15th round pick Del Howell, who at one point said he was "90% sure" he was returning to Alabama next season.
  • The Brevard County Manatees continue to have a successful season: They have the fourth best winning percentage in all of minor league baseball, according to Baseball America.
  • Timber Rattlers reliever Nick Tyson is the prospect of the week over at Between the Green Pillars.
On power rankings and postseason odds: Maybe I should just forget all of this and write a blog about Anthony Witrado. Miller Park Drunk's post from a couple of weeks ago calling for his firing was the seventh most popular post in site history. That's saying a lot, because he's consistently got some pretty good stuff over there.

Speaking of people we don't like much around here, Jason Kendall received one fifth place vote in Dugout Central's poll asking for former stars who are playing their way out of the big leagues.

Around baseball:

Dodgers: Signed Vicente Padilla.
Indians: Placed Trevor Crowe on the DL with an oblique strain.
Rangers: Placed Eddie Guardado on the DL with knee inflammation.
Reds: Placed Johnny Cueto (shoulder inflammation) and Willy Taveras (strained quad) on the DL.

At FanGraphs, R.J. Anderson looks at the Dodgers' decision to sign Vicente Padilla and wonders if they made the wrong decision when they traded Claudio Vargas to the Brewers. Vargas has turned out to be a useful arm in the bullpen, but wouldn't have been stretched out enough to fill a vacancy in the rotation for the Dodgers.

Sometimes you just have to take a step back and be happy for what you have. The 2009 Brewers may be a disappointment, but the team continues to invest in the future, signing all of this year's high draft picks. The Blue Jays, meanwhile, have fallen out of contention, dealt Alex Rios and Scott Rolen to free up money, and still let three of their top four draft picks walk away. Things are going to get worse before they get better in Toronto. Maybe much worse.

The Royals are 47-73, in last place in the AL Central and in the conversation for baseball's worst record. Yet somehow, they've almost made it through the entire season without a single player making their major league debut. One would think that will change in September, but the fact that it hasn't changed yet is pretty surprising.

Earlier this week Jason Marquis was brought up as a potential free agent signing for the Brewers this offseason. If the Brewers plan to pursue him, they'll also need to purchase a copy of Connect Four, because that's apparently how he prepares for starts.

On this day in 1992, the Brewers tagged David Wells for 13 earned runs on eleven hits and five walks in 4.1 innings en route to a 16-3 victory over the Blue Jays. Six Brewers had multiple hits, but John Jaha had the only home run.

Happy birthday today to Nick Green, who turns 25, and Tom Brunansky, who hit .187/.263/.317 as a Brewer in 1993 and 1994 and turns 49.

Oh, and I consider myself somewhat of a mac and cheese expert, but I don't get how this is even possible.

Drink up.
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