Some things to read while making a choice.
On the field the Brewers were off yesterday, but they still had a busy day when it comes to transactions. First, the team activated Jonathan Lucroy off the DL and designated Jeremy Reed for assignment (FanShot). Lucroy played four games over the weekend in Huntsville, told Adam McCalvy he feels "really, really good," and will rejoin the team in Pittsburgh today. Reed has until Wednesday to decide if he'll accept an assignment to the minors or choose free agency.
By replacing Reed with Lucroy, the Brewers are keeping three catchers on the active roster. Gord Ash told Adam McCalvy the team feels like it has enough outfielders to make it through until Corey Hart returns off the DL in 10-14 days, so Reed was expendable. In addition, the move delays a decision on George Kottaras and Wil Nieves: Both are out of options, and would have to be designated for assignment to be removed from the roster. Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker is just glad Kottaras is safe for now.
As many of you were likely getting ready for bed the Brewers made another move, putting Takashi Saito on the DL with a hamstring strain and recalling Brandon Kintzler from Nashville (FanShot). Saito hasn't pitched in over a week since allowing a pair of home runs to the Braves, so his DL assignment is retroactive to April 6. Kintzler, meanwhile, had only been with the Sounds for a few days but is allowed to return to replace an injured player.
The Brewers have won their first small sample size award of 2011: Prince Fielder was named the NL Player of the Week after hitting .440/.500/.840 with two home runs between April 5-11 (FanShot). Toby Harrmann of Brewerfan.net also noted that Fielder has only struck out twice in 35 at bats this season.
Elsewhere in very prestigious awards, Hangwith'em Rach split this week's El Super between Nyjer Morgan and Chris Narveson. Howie Magner says Morgan and Narveson deserve extra credit for easing the pressure to rush Corey Hart and Zack Greinke back from injury. Brewers Daily thinks Morgan should be the Brewers' primary center fielder against right handed pitching.
Of course, Fielder, Narveson and Morgan weren't the only Brewers to win an award this week. Reds pitcher Sam LeCure awarded John Axford with the inaugural NL Mustache of the Week award. Axford accepted gracefully.
The Brewers and Pirates are scheduled to open a three game series in Pittsburgh tonight, but it looks like we'll have to attach the "weather permitting" tag to that: The Weather Channel is predicting a 70% chance of rain throughout the game tonight. As you might expect, Tom Haudricourt has noticed the weather too.
With that said, the next six games (against the Pirates and Nationals) could be an opportunity for the Brewers to get hot and gain some ground on the field in the NL Central. Toby Harrmann of Brewerfan.net says they need to win three of six, and four or five would be a huge swing.
I talked with Charlie from Bucs Dugout this week for our series previews. You can read my interview with him here and see my answers to his questions over at their site.
In the minors:
- The affiliates went 2-1 on the field last night, and Tyler Thornburg struck out five while allowing one run over three innings in his Midwest League debut. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
As Miller Park opens its eleventh season, OnMilwaukee.com has a look at how the ballpark has changed the direction of the Brewer franchise.
The Brewers are only .500 through ten games, but at least they're fun to watch: Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs used his NERD formula to rank the Crew as baseball's eighth most interesting team.
Elsewhere in power rankings:
- Daniel Moroz of Beyond the Box Score has the Brewers at 10.
- Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk has the Brewers at 14, up one spot.
- MLB Soup also has the Brewers at 14.
- ESPN has the Brewers at 18, up two spots.
- USA Today has the Brewers at 20, down five spots.
If you haven't yet, please take a moment to vote in this week's BCB Tracking Poll. The poll is open until the first pitch tonight and results will be posted tomorrow morning.
Athletics: Signed pitcher Trevor Cahill to a five year, $30.5 million contract extension with club options for 2016 and 2017.
Blue Jays: Placed outfielder Rajai Davis on the DL with an ankle injury and signed outfielder DeWayne Wise to a minor league deal.
Cardinals: Released pitcher Ian Snell.
Dodgers: Shortstop Rafael Furcal is expected to be placed on the DL with a broken thumb.
Nationals: Placed third baseman Ryan Zimmerman on the DL with an abdominal strain.
Around the NL Central:
- The Reds beat the Padres 3-2 to improve to 2-2 on their west coast road trip.
- The Cardinals beat the Diamondbacks last night, 8-2. They're currently 2-2 on a ten game road trip that will take them through San Francisco, Arizona and Los Angeles.
- The Cubs beat the Astros 5-4 in the opening game of their series.
The Cubs' win moved them into a three way tie for second in the Central. Here are this morning's standings:
Today in former Brewers:
- Bill Hall got a day off for the Astros yesterday, so they turned to another former Brewer: Joe Inglett started in his place.
The B-Ref Blog has a list of 59 pitchers with 1500+ innings pitched, a career ERA+ over 100 and no All Star appearances. By my count six of them are former Brewers: Chris Bosio, Tom Candiotti, Danny Darwin, Doug Davis, Rick Helling and Dave Burba.
Today in baseball economics: Despite having Felix Hernandez on the mound, the Mariners set a new Safeco Field record low with 13,056 in attendance last night.
Sometimes we all need a reminder of how little we actually know. If you're in need of one, try this Sporcle quiz asking you to name the players who have started the most games in the top four spots in the order for all 30 teams since 2000. I got 65, and for once I actually used all the time. (h/t Lone Star Ball)
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going back to bed.