Some things to read while settling it once and for all.
The Brewers lost yesterday to fall back to nine games below .500, but at least they're done with the Braves for a while. A handful of HBP's turned a rather run-of-the-mill weekend series split into a high tension weekend. That was great, because banning trolls is exactly how I wanted to spend it.
Following Saturday's game, Ken Macha called for an investigation into the weekend's incidents. On the season, Braves pitchers have either hit the Brewer batter after a home run or hit a Brewer their next time up after a home run on three occasions over seven games. Macha met with Bobby Cox before Sunday's game and was assured that the hit batsmen were not intentional. It's possible that's true, but it certainly seems unlikely. 67% of voters in this poll think Venters should be suspended for his actions Saturday, and 44% think Cox should get some time off too. That poll link includes my thoughts on the situation, but Howie Magner did a better job of summing it up:
Biggest problem with Fielder/Venters incident. You wanna hit someone & pay consequences, fine. But headhunting sickens me.
Yesterday's game featured another strange HBP situation: Both benches were warned when Manny Parra hit Jason Heyward with a pitch in the sixth, but no ejections took place when David Riske hit Troy Glaus a few batters later.
After one false start, Lorenzo Cain finally made his major league debut on Friday, taking the roster spot vacated when Doug Davis was placed on the DL with elbow tendinitis. Davis' injury is a perfect example of how quickly things can change: on Friday the Brewers were looking at a six man rotation, and now they're giving Chris Capuano a spot start today because no one else can go.
Meanwhile, Cain is enjoying his first taste of life in the big leagues. There's a good chance it'll be short-lived, because he's probably the most likely candidate to go down when Yovani Gallardo is activated on Thursday.
Other notes from the field:
- Manny Parra allowed ten runs yesterday, becoming just the eleventh pitcher in 2010 to do it.
- Corey Hart went 1-for-4, extending his hitting streak to nine games and 29 of 30.
- Brian McCann, Matt Diaz and Rickie Weeks are leading FanGraphs' Star of the Game voting.
- CoolStandings has the Brewer playoff chances at 0.6%.
- Here are yesterday's MLB,com video highlights.
Manny Parra had another frustrating performance, so it's time once again for folks to line up to defend him. Carson Cistulli pointed out that six of Parra's first ten balls in play yesterday were on the ground, but five got through for hits. Jaymes Langrehr of the Brewers Bar stresses patience with Parra, and brings up the name everyone brings up: Jorge de la Rosa.
I know Parra has good stuff, and I know the cliche says that lefties take longer to develop, but how long are we really expected to sit around and wait for signs of progress? Sure, Parra could figure it out and have two serviceable seasons (which is all JDLR has had in Colorado), but he could just as easily be the next Valerio de los Santos. Parra will turn 28 in October. If he doesn't figure it out soon, I'm not sure he ever will.
Speaking of frustrating Brewers, Carlos Gomez went 0-for-3 yesterday and grounded into two double plays for the first time in his career. Jim Breen of Bernie's Crew has the line that sums it up:
It is safe to say that the organization, Doug Melvin and the scouting department, thoroughly whiffed on the Carlos Gomez acquisition.
We'll have more on Gomez later today.
Looking ahead, the Brewers open a four game series in Pittsburgh tonight, followed by a three-gamer at home against the Nationals. The Bucky Channel says the Crew needs to go 6-1 this week or the season is over.
On the trade front:
- Apparently Padres manager Bud Black approached Corey Hart at the All Star Game to let him know the Padres are interested in acquiring him. Isn't that tampering?
- Jeff Passan of Yahoo says the Rays aren't interested in Prince Fielder.
- Brewers Mix says the Brewers need to trade Corey Hart now, but can probably wait until December to deal Fielder.
- MLB Trade Rumors has a list of potentially available relievers, and Trevor Hoffman is on it.
- Ryan Braun likely isn't going anywhere, but FanGraphs has him as baseball's 12th most valuable trade chip.
Speaking of Hart, John Sickels of Minor League Ball took a look at his surprising season as part of a Prospect Retro. This is the money quote:
With two and a half months left to play, we don't know exactly how 2010 will look in the end for Hart, but I suspect that this will be the best season of his career.
Casey McGehee missed out on the All Star Game again this season, but the Fresno Bee has a look at what he did instead.
In the minors:
- LaTroy Hawkins made his second appearance in Arizona over the weekend and will be moved to Nashville to continue his rehab. If all goes well he could rejoin the team next week. His velocity has been down a bit in his rehab, but he's still working in the low 90's.
- On the field the affiliates went 2-4 yesterday. Hiram Burgos was one of the bright spots, pitching eight innings and allowing just one run in Helena's 8-1 win over Orem. Burgos, a sixth round pick in 2009, has a 1.06 ERA in 34 innings over his last five starts, with 44 strikeouts. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- The organization has finally promoted Kyle Heckathorn to Brevard County, after he posted a 2.96 ERA in 17 appearances for Wisconsin. Burgos has been promoted from Helena to take his place.
- Heckathorn's former teammate Jake Odorizzi was #2 on this week's Baseball America Prospect Hot List. (FanShot) Odorizzi is also #2 on A Brewer Perspective's list of the team's top five prospects.
- Eric Arnett talked to the Appleton Post Crescent about his rough season and second chance with Wisconsin. He doesn't think the pressure got to him, but mentions some mechanical adjustments he made in Arizona.
- The Post Crescent also has a profile of Timber Rattlers 1B/DH Chris Dennis. (h/t Rattler Radio)
- Fourth round pick Hunter Morris was hitting .255/.321/.422 for Wisconsin entering play Sunday. At The Hardball Times, Jeff Sackmann noted that he's one of just 18 players to make their professional debut in a full season league in 2010.
- Brewer 10th round pick Rafael Neda is one of the team's few remaining unsigned high draft picks. He's spending his summer playing for the San Luis Obispo Blues of the California Collegiate League.
- The Timber Rattlers have planted a vegetable garden beyond the left field wall.
If you weren't around this weekend, you might have missed Bob Uecker's nomination post for the SBN Wisconsin Hall of Fame. At Wezen-ball, Carson Cistulli has a look at what you can learn about life by observing the iconic Brewer broadcaster.
Also, if you were a little late stopping by this morning, you might have missed Hank Aaron's nomination post. Take a moment to check it out.
Angels: Placed pitcher Scott Kazmir on the DL with shoulder fatigue and designated infielder Paul McAnulty for assignment.
Astros: Placed pitcher Felipe Paulino on the DL with a shoulder strain, placed Brian Moehler on the DL with a groin strain and designated pitcher Casey Daigle for assignment.
Blue Jays: Designated infielder Nick Green for assignment.
Indians: Placed closer Kerry Wood on the DL with a blister.
Marlins: Designated infielder Mike Lamb for assignment.
Padres: Placed reliever Mike Adams on the DL and are expected to announce a three year contract extension for manager Bud Black.
Phillies: Released infielder Juan Castro.
Red Sox: Designated catcher Gustavo Molina for assignment (h/t hotstove.com)
Yankees: Are expected to place Andy Pettitte (groin strain) and reliever Damaso Marte on the DL.
This seems borderline impossible, but somehow it happened. Between June 8 and yesterday, the Pirates went 1,097 at bats without a multi-run home run.
Today's former Brewer note is another unlikely event: Seth McClung, who apparently hasn't found a major league team interested in his services, is the new girls basketball coach at a Tampa high school.
Billy Wagner was perfect in his only appearance against the Brewers this weekend, striking out two while recording the save Thursday. R.J. Anderson of FanGraphs notes that Wagner, who will turn 40 on Sunday, is having his best season.
This weekend's most interesting read might belong to Indians beat reporter Anthony Castrovince, who chronicled a day in the life of a beat reporter covering a day-night doubleheader.
On this day in 1969, the Twins and Seattle Pilots played 16 innings before suspending their game, tied at 7. The Twins would eventually win 11-7 in 18 innings.
On this day in 2009, the Brewers acquired Felipe Lopez from the Diamondbacks for pitcher Roque Mercedes and outfielder Cole Gillespie.
Happy birthday to:
- Tim Dillard, who turns 27 today.
- Helena Brewer Brian Garman, who turns 22 today.
- 1960-65 Brave Joe Torre, who turned 70 yesterday.
- 1994 first round pick and 1997 Brewer Antone Williamson, who turned 37 yesterday.
- 2001-08 Brewer Ben Sheets, who turned 32 yesterday.
- 1982-85 Brewer Pete Ladd, who turned 54 Saturday.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to think about how little things have changed.