Tuesday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while drinking something else.

It was more of the same for the Brewers on the road last night, as they fell to the Reds and dropped to 8-18 away from home this season and 4-11 in their last 15. Chris Narveson got roughed up and had to leave the game early: He now has a 18.47 ERA in two starts against the Reds this season and a 3.77 ERA in nine starts against everyone else. Rubie Q is ready to see Marco Estrada get another shot.

Coirey Hart was back in the lineup but left last night's game early as he continues to struggle with an illness that held him out of Saturday and Sunday's games. Nyjer Morgan replaced him in right field. Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker says that having Morgan and Carlos Gomez to platoon in center field should provide production and flexibility.

As you probably know if you've watched any of the games, the Brewers seem like a different team away from home this season. Keep Turning Up The Heat! wonders if the change is simply because the Brewers are playing better teams on the road.

Other notes from the field:

The two teams meet again today with Zack Greinke facing Chad Reineke, who is making his first major league appearance since 2009. Reineke is 29 years old and has a 2.52 ERA in ten appearances for AAA Louisville this season. Adam Berry of MLB.com has a preview.

Elsewhere in starting pitching, Josh Wussow of Inside Wisconsin Sports checked Pitch F/x and noticed an increase in the vertical break on Yovani Gallardo's curveball. That could explain some of his increased effectiveness lately.

Gallardo, by the way, has been on base six times and scored six runs this season.

Prince Fielder had three hits last night and has now reached base safely in 14 straight games. David Pinto of Baseball Analytics has heat maps showing that pitchers are leaving more balls up in the zone and over the middle of the plate to Fielder this season.

Yuniesky Betancourt had a single in four plate appearances last night, which is roughly an average performance for a guy with a .255 OBP. Rob Neyer listed shortstop as the Brewers' primary need in his Contenders' Wish List, and said "If there is a shortstop to be gotten, the Brewers should get him."

Jonathan Lucroy went 0-for-4 last night, and is now 0-for-8 since his game-winning bunt on Saturday. The Golden Sombrero commemorated his four strikeout game on Sunday.

How's your optimism level at this point? David Schoenfield of ESPN is still picking the Brewers to win the NL Central.

In the minors:

  • Zach Braddock will begin what could be his final rehab test today. He's expected to pitch back-to-back games tonight and tomorrow for Nashville, and could be activated from the DL after that if all goes well.
  • Mike Rivera has accepted his assignment to the minors and returned to Nashville.
  • Mark DiFelice also remains in Nashville. Adam McCalvy reports that DiFelice does not have a clause in his contract allowing him to request his release if the Brewers don't call him up. In other news, he needs a new agent.
  • The affiliates went 1-2 last night, with Wily Peralta allowing a run on just three hits over six innings in Huntsville's 4-3 win over Tennessee. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes

Meanwhile, down the untraveled path: Toby Harrmann noted that Brewer Rule 5 pick Pat Egan, who was returned to the Orioles, has a 3.49 ERA for their AAA affiliate.

In power rankings:

If you'd like more Brewer content today but you're sick of reading, the View From Bernie's Chalet podcast is up. This week's topics include the recent homestand, Ryan Braun and Yovani Gallardo.

Around baseball:

Mets: placed shortstop Jose Reyes on the bereavement list.
Pirates: Placed catcher Ryan Doumit on the DL with a sprained ankle.
Twins: Placed pitcher Francisco Liriano on the DL with shoulder discomfort.
White Sox: Designated infielder Dallas McPherson for assignment.

This morning's edition of Around the NL Central has more injury updates on Matt Holliday, Aroldis Chapman and Matt Garza. Go check it out if you haven't.

The Brewers don't need a catcher at the moment, but several other teams do. One of the primary catchers available is likely to be Ivan Rodriguez of the Nationals, but he won't come cheap. You probably already knew this, but in case you didn't: One of the ways bad teams remain bad is by asking for too much and getting nothing for their 39 year old, free agent-to-be .211/.259/.342 hitting backup catcher.

The MLB Draft is coming up on Monday, and several teams with a boatload of compensation picks will dominate the first couple of rounds. Marc Hulet of FanGraphs has a look at what happened in 2007, the last time a similar dynamic was in play. It didn't work out well for most of the heavy-drafting teams.

Every day I learn something new while looking for Mug content. Today, for example, I learned that MLB Instant Replay monitors are double-locked.

Today in former Brewers: The Hamilton Spectator reports that 1993 Brewer Matt Maysey is coaching little league baseball in Texas and working to develop a MMA Fighters Association.

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

Drink up.

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