Friday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while toning it down.

The Brewers were off yesterday, giving everyone a little time to reflect on the season to date. Todd Rosiak talked to Ron Roenicke about his first 24 games as a major league manager, and says the skipper is staying upbeat.

Injuries have been one of Roenicke's biggest early concerns, but thankfully things do seem to be getting better. Adam McCalvy has a story on Corey Hart (who has returned) and Zack Greinke (who will return soon).

Unfortunately, in the hours following that story Takashi Saito suffered a setback. He was removed from his rehab outing in Nashville last night with a "leg injury." (FanShot)

Obviously we'll have to wait for official word and details before we know how long this new setback will keep Saito on the shelf, but it's probably safe to assume we're looking at least an extra week or two before his return. I'm not sure how or if that will impact the fact that the bullpen is making Vaughn's Valley nervous.

Elsewhere in aging relief pitchers, Jordan took a look at LaTroy Hawkins' velocity and saw no reason for health-related concerns.

At least Corey Hart is back in right field. Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker says that Mark Kotsay and Erick Almonte cost the team roughly 1.5 wins offensively during their time in right field, and likely more on defense.

Hart will almost certainly be patrolling right field when the Brewers and Astros open a three game set in Houston tonight. Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com has a preview, and so do we.

A couple of Brewers have an opportunity to break or extend franchise records tonight:

  • Ryan Braun has reached base safely without an error in each of the Brewers' first 24 games, breaking the franchise record on Wednesday. (Jeff Cirillo, Turner Ward and Jeromy Burnitz all had longer streaks but reached on an error to extend them at some point.) The Golden Sombrero listed Braun as a nominee for their NL Player of the Month.
  • Prince Fielder has 23 RBI in April. The club record is 24, held by Greg Vaughn and Jeromy Burnitz.

At least the Brewers won't see the Reds again for a while: In-Between Hops notes that the Brewers would be 16-8 and three games up in the Central if they'd gone 5-1 against the Reds instead of 1-5. The two teams will meet again May 30-June 1 in Cincinnati.

At the moment, the Brewers are just focused on getting Zack Greinke healthy and ready to compete at the major league level. Jon Heyman has a reminder, though, that another issue is on the horizon: Greinke is one of many star players scheduled to become free agents following the 2012 season.

Did you realize that Doug Melvin is now baseball's ninth-longest tenured GM? MLB Trade Rumors has the full list. He's one of five GMs hired in 2002 who are still with their teams.

In the minors:

  • The storms that raged across the south this week took a serious toll on Huntsville. Baseball America reports that the city is without power and it could be 5-7 days before it's restored. The Stars are on the road right now but it's possible their upcoming home series, which is scheduled to open on Tuesday, could be in jeopardy.
  • The affiliates went 2-1 last night, with Khris Davis going 3-for-4 with a triple in Brevard County's 5-2 win over Dunedin. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
  • Call To The Pen has a list of five notable minor league pitchers who are struggling in April, and Mark Rogers is on it. He's averaging just 3.1 innings per start and has posted a 9.45 ERA in his first four outings in Nashville.
  • PocketDoppler has an interview with Wisconsin Radio Announcer and Director of Media Relations Chris Mehring.

On power rankings: Yahoo has the Brewers at 16, up two spots.

Around baseball:

Astros: Designated infielder Joe Inglett for assignment.
Indians: Placed pitcher Carlos Carrasco on the DL with right elbow inflammation.
Phillies: Placed pitcher Joe Blanton on the DL with an elbow injury.

Today in former Brewers: Franklin Stubbs is the subject of Friday's Cold Stahoviak at 7th Inning Stache.

In the division, yesterday's big story was the continued struggles for Cubs starter Ryan Dempster. He allowed seven runs while recording just one out in the first inning last night as the Cubs dropped their fourth straight game. You can read about that and more in today's Around the NL Central.

Today in baseball economics: Most of the time when we talk about attendance in Cincinnati, we're using words like "record low" and "anemic." The Reds are giving away Joey Votto bobbleheads on Saturday, though, and the game is almost completely sold out. Great American Ball Park holds over 42,000 people but the majority of the Reds' April home games have been played in front of 21,000 or less, and four games have failed to draw 15,000.

Here's confirmation of something we've long suspected: Readings on radar guns vary from park to park, and at least one team (the Padres) used to doctor radar readings to make their own pitchers look faster and the opposition look slower. (h/t Scoop Du Jour)

Unfortunately, for the second straight day I'm writing about a player in trouble: Braves starter Derek Lowe was pulled over for suspicion of DUI last night and taken to jail after he refused to take a breath test.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going back to my snowflake.

Drink up.

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