Some things to read while getting pink eye from a skunk.
Before I get started, I wanted to take a moment to thank Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar for spending the morning filling in for me yesterday. Jaymes did a great job (as always), and I'd encourage you to check out more of his work at The Brewers Bar, if you haven't already.
The Brewers are hot, but this week that hasn't prevented them from making moves to improve the team. After yesterday's game the Brewers announced they've claimed infielder Josh Wilson from the Diamondbacks, moving Takashi Saito to the 60-day DL to make room (FanShot). Jordan has a great reaction post here, noting that Wilson really isn't anything special but it doesn't take much to be an improvement over Yuniesky Betancourt.
Wilson is 30 years old and the Brewers will be his sixth major league team. He went 2-for-10 with a double before being designated for assignment by the Diamondbacks, and is a career .227/.280/.315 hitter. He's primarily a shortstop but has also played some second and third base. He doesn't play short exceptionally well (-6.6 UZR/150 for his career), but his flexibility gives the Brewers some options.
With Wilson expected to be in uniform tomorrow, Nyjer Morgan expected to be activated off the DL and Zach Braddock close to returning, the Brewers have a lot of roster moves to make before tomorrow's series opener with the Giants. Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker wonders if this might be the end of the road for Craig Counsell.
Zack Greinke had another solid start yesterday, allowing three runs (on a Michael Morse home run) over seven innings with a walk and a season-high ten strikeouts. All anyone really wants to talk about this morning, though, is his home run. It was the second of his career and gave the Brewers a 4-3 lead in the fifth. Here's more about it:
- Big League Stew talked to Greinke about hitting back in 2009, and has a link to the video of yesterday's shot.
- Greinke is only the third active pitcher who has homered for both an AL and an NL team. CC Sabathia is one of the others.
- Greinke's parents were in attendance yesterday.
Greinke, by the way, is the end result of this MLB Trade Tree stemming from the Carlos Lee deal.
With John Axford having pitched four times in five days, Kameron Loe recorded yesterday's final four outs for his first save of the season and the second of his career. The other one came on August 6, 2005 as a member of the Rangers.
Other notes from the field:
- Prince Fielder, Zack Greinke and Kameron Loe are leading FanGraphs' Star of the Game voting.
- Mark Kotsay started in center yesterday for the second straight game and went 0-for-3 with a walk. He's now 1-for-12 with said walk on the homestand.
- The sweep in Milwaukee finished off a 1-7 road trip for the Nats.
- Todd Coffey pitched at Miller Park yesterday for the first time since being non-tendered this winter, allowing an unearned run on one hit over 1.1 innings. The Brewers busted out his old "Coffey time" logo and theme music for the occasion.
- The Italian won the sausage race with a season-best time of 17.82 seconds.
Yesterday's win improved the Brewers' home record to 19-6 on the season. Tom Haudricourt notes that they were 8-16 after 24 home games in 2010, and this start is the best in franchise history. Hangwith'em Rach awarded this week's El Super to Miller Park.
Looking back a couple of days, the Brewers have had a fair number of home run trots to discuss this week. Larry Granillo of Baseball Prospectus timed Corey Hart, Rickie Weeks and Jonathan Lucroy's home runs from Tuesday at 23.31, 22.49 and 21.17 seconds, respectively. Hart's three home runs on Monday clocked in at (in order) 21.82, 23.07 and 22.3 seconds.
Tim Dillard got another day of rest yesterday. If you cross out "Jeff Gray" and write Dillard's name into this Lookout Landing post it becomes a hilarious Brewer-relevant read.
It's possibile Dillard will be on his way back to Nashville by the time the Brewers and Giants open a three game series tomorrow night. John Shlegel of MLB.com has the preview.
Tomorrow night is College Night at Miller Park, and unfortunately too many of us know what that frequently means. SgtClueLs is quoted in this AP story about the problems caused by drunkenness in ballparks.
In the minors:
- Zach Braddock's late scratch from Monday's scheduled rehab appearance with Wisconsin had nothing to do with his sleep disorder: He had a cracked nail. The team sent him to a manicurist and the problem seems to have passed.
- In this week's All Questions Answered thread, John Sickels of Minor League Ball predicted a .278/.355/.410 career MLB line for Erik Komatsu, said he's very concerned about Mark Rogers, said Nick Shaw's high OBP is unlikely to carry him to the big leagues, and selected Zelous Wheeler as the best Brewer prospect to write a joke question about Brewer prospects in All Questions Answered threads.
- Bernie's Crew has updated their list of the top 30 prospects in the Brewer organization, moving Scooter Gennett up to #1.
- The affiliates went 1-1 yesterday, with Brock Kjeldgaard going 2-for-3 with a walk, stolen base and home run in Brevard County's 6-3 win over Palm Beach. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- Eric Farris played shortstop for Nashville on Monday. It was his fifth appearance at the position this season.
- Elsewhere in Nashville, Nick Petakas of The Brewers Bar has a look at Mat Gamel's long wait for a major league opportunity.
- Moments like this are part of the reason Gamel is still there: Toby Harmann of You Know And That chronicled a couple of failed rundowns by Gamel and George Kottaras in a recent Sounds game.
- Wisconsin was rained out in Peoria last night as severe thunderstorms chased the players, fans and broadcasters into tunnels under the stadium. Rattler Radio has a slideshow.
The Brewers escaped notice in the first installment, but they couldn't hide forever: Jason Brannon of SBNation.com has found eleven more ugly baseball caps for sale and one of them features the Barrelman.
I think they'll have a little easier time escaping this: Phil Wood of MASN thinks the Brewers should be moved back to the AL for reasons of fairness.
In power rankings:
- Paul Swydan of FanGraphs has the Brewers eighth.
- Beyond the Box Score also has the Brewers at eight.
- USA Today has the Brewers 16th, up three spots.
- ESPN also has the Brewers at 16, up three spots.
I guess this is somewhat related: Jim Caple of ESPN listed Mark Attanasio as baseball's 11th best owner.
If you want more Brewer content but you're sick of reading, check out this week's View From Bernie's Chalet podcast. This week's topics include John Axford, Corey Hart and the brewer bench.
Athletics: Designated pitcher Jerry Blevins for assignment.
Braves: Placed outfielder Nate McLouth on the DL with an oblique strain.
Cubs: Placed pitcher Matt Garza on the DL with a bone contusion in his elbow.
Diamondbacks: Placed pitchers Sam Demel (shoulder tendonitis) and Juan Gutierrez (shoulder inflammation) on the DL.
Dodgers: Designated pitcher Lance Cormier for assignment.
Nationals: Returned Rule 5 pick Brian Broderick to the Cardinals.
Padres: Designated pitcher Samuel Deduno for assignment.
Rays: Claimed pitcher Jay Buente off waivers from the Marlins, designated pitcher Rob Delaney for assignment and placed infielder Elliot Johnson on the DL with a sprained knee.
Tigers: Placed pitcher Phil Coke on the DL with a bone bruise in his right foot and designated pitcher Robbie Weinhardt for assignment.
Twins: Placed pitcher Kevin Slowey on the DL with an abdominal strain.
Yankees: Claimed pitcher Kanekoa Texeira off waivers from the Royals.
Last night's big story around baseball came from Philadelphia, where the Phillies beat the Reds in a 19 inning, 6:11 marathon. Of course, you know all about that game and much more if you've read this morning's edition of Around the NL Central.
Today in former Brewers:
- Carlos Villanueva made a spot start for the Blue Jays on Monday and allowed just one run on two hits over five innings, walking one and striking out five. He has a 1.53 ERA on the season.
- The B-Ref Blog notes that Paul Molitor had a career .326 batting average on balls in play, eighth most among 22 players with 2975 or more hits. Robin Yount's .303 was 14th, and Hank Aaron's .291 was 19th.
Here's an interesting historical note today: The Braves beat the Pirates last night to improve to 28-19 on the season, and are now .500 as a franchise for the first time since 1923. (h/t Rowland's Office) The Brewers would have to win 300+ consecutive games to match that feat.
I don't know whether to file this under "some people have all the fun," or just "weird:" The Rays have and have announced dress up plans for several upcoming road trips.
Today in baseball economics: The Mets are scrambling to spin and cover after owner Fred Wilpon told reporters the team might slash payroll by up to 30% before next season.
It's relevant to nothing Brewer related, but this Baseball Past and Present story about a fishing trip with Ted Williams is worth a read anyway.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to have a word with the children.