Some things to read while looking within.
The Brewers tried something new with their lineup yesterday, batting Ryan Braun second and hitting the pitcher eighth in the closest approximation of their optimal lineup we've seen all season (FanShot). Of course, the only Brewer to have a good day in this lineup was the one that didn't move: Rickie Weeks remained in the leadoff spot and hit two home runs. Meanwhile, Braun was the ninth Brewer to hit in the #2 spot this season.
There wasn't a save situation yesterday, but it'll be interesting to see what Ken Macha does with the next one: He used John Axford instead of Trevor Hoffman to close out Saturday's two run win, but said he's not ready to name him the closer just yet.. Axford told Colin Fly he doesn't "hold a flame to Trevor Hoffman," but The Ax might be the heir apparent to his job.
Other notes from the field:
- Yesterday's ten runs tied for the most the Mets have scored all season.
- The Brewers scored four runs yesterday despite having just one AB with runners in scoring position.
- Dave Bush was called upon again yesterday to pinch run for Joe Inglett, and was driven in on Rickie Weeks' home run. It was the second time in the homestand that exact series of events took place.
- Luis Castillo, Angel Pagan and Rickie Weeks are leading FanGraphs' Star of the Game vote.
- CoolStandings has the Brewer playoff chances at a season-low 2.5%.
- 36,559 fans attended yesterday's game.
- Corey Hart's walkoff home run on Friday was Wezen-ball's Home Run of the Day.
- Ryota Igarashi, who surrendered that home run to Hart, was celebrating his birthday.
The Brewers and Mets have a fair amount in common, but in at least one regard they could not be more different: In Friday's series preview, Rubie noted that several Mets have spoken out about their problems with manager Jerry Manuel, while the Brewers have been largely silent about Ken Macha. Both teams also have a failed starter soaking up space in their bullpen: Brewer players haven't said a word about Jeff Suppan publicly, while Met teammates are calling for OIiver Perez to be gone (h/t Hotstove.com).
Of course, that doesn't mean no one is calling for Suppan to be gone: Master Reid of Quevedo at the Buffet is carrying the torch today.
Meanwhile, Jon Heyman is carrying the "Prince Fielder needs to be traded" torch. He says the Brewers can't afford him, and the Giants make sense as a trading partner. After Kendry Morales broke his leg celebrating a grand slam on Saturday, the Angels are suddenly without a first baseman. With that said, Halos Heaven says the Angels are not in the trade market at this point.
The Brewers have been playing with a short bench for a while now, but at least one player on it isn't seeing much action anyway: Craig Counsell only got two plate appearances over the six game homestand, and one was a sac bunt. His fake Twitter account isn't concerned.
The people who put together the MLB schedule have a tough and thankless job, for sure, but today is a case where they've failed. There are six afternoon games today, on the first day of a new series. If ever there was a weekend where a wraparound four-game series makes sense, it's a holiday weekend like Memorial Day. Instead, the Brewers play at noon in Florida today. and they're traveling with a significantly overworked bullpen: Jim Breen guesses that Carlos Villanueva, John Axford and Trevor Hoffman might be the only relievers available today.
When the Brewers take the field in a few hours, they'll do so in their alternate holiday caps.
In the minors:
- Battlekow reports that Angel Salome has returned to Huntsville, and could return to game action as soon as today. It's great to hear he's doing better.
- This morning I kicked off Draft Week (it's like Shark Week, only draftier!) here at BCB with a look back at the 2008 draft. Four of the six players drafted in the first two rounds don't look so good, but there are still plenty of bright spots.
- On the field, Scooter Gennett went 3-for-5 with a run scored for Wisconsin yesterday, continuing his hot start. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- 2009 11th round pick Andre Lamontagne was also off to a great start with the Rattlers: He posted a 2.36 ERA in 16 relief appearances, and has been promoted to Brevard County.
- The Appleton Post-Crescent has a profile of pitcher Del Howell.
- The Nashville Sounds have posted a video of Tim Dillard's Harry Caray impression on Facebook.
- Baseball America has a story on Cutter Dykstra and a mock draft, but both are subscriber-only so I haven't read them.
On the draft:
- Prospect Insider has the Brewers selecting RHP Asher Wojciechowski of The Citadel at #14.
- Of course, once the Brewers are rumored to be interested in a player, there has to be a red flag: Keith Law reports that Wojciechowski just threw 100 pitches on three days' rest after throwing 117.
- If you'd like to read much more about the MLB Draft, you can pre-order Andy Seiler's Draft Notebook. We'll have more from Andy later this week.
On power rankings: MLB Fanhouse moved the Brewers up from 26th to 22nd.
If you missed anything this weekend, be sure to take a look at Noah's Weekend Mug to catch up.
Astros: Placed pitcher Bud Norris on the DL with biceps tendinitis.
Athletics: Pitcher Justin Duchscherer will have season-ending hip surgery.
Dodgers: Designated infielder Nick Green for assignment.
Mariners: Placed catcher Josh Bard on the DL with a calf strain and designated infielder Jack Hannahan for assignment.
Pirates: Placed pitcher Charlie Morton on the DL with shoulder fatigue.
Rangers: Placed Nelson Cruz on the DL with a torn hamstring.
Rockies: Released catcher Paul Lo Duca.
White Sox: Released pitcher Alan Embree.
Yankees: Designated outfielder Randy Winn for assignment.
Two weeks ago I mentioned a story on baseball players potentially being detained on their way into Canada. Over the weekend, Orioles outfielder Adam Jones was one of them. Apparently border authorities confused him with frequent offender Adam "Pac-Man" Jones. The moral of the story: If you have a relatively common name, don't go to Canada.
Apparently not being very good at baseball isn't enough for some: Jason Kendall and Willie Bloomquist of the Royals insist they're serious about racing a two-man bobsled in the 2018 Olympics.
Happy birthday to:
- Nashville Sound Ray Olmedo, who turns 29 today.
- 2000 Brewer Charlie Hayes, who turned 45 on Saturday.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm being kicked out.