Some things to read while correctly assigning blame.
There's not a lot of positives for us to discuss today, but I'll lead with something we can all be hopeful for. Cal State Fullerton is looking for a new manager for their baseball team, and Mark Kotsay has expressed interest. Kotsay went 0-for-4 in place of Ryan Braun last night and is now hitting .236/.312/.283 on the season. Even that line is inflated by three intentional walks. Here's hoping he's offered the job and decides to start today.
Kotsay started last night in place of Ryan Braun, who missed his first game of the season while dealing with an upper respiratory viral infection (also known as a cold). Todd Rosiak says Braun should be good to go today.
Meanwhile, we're spending a fair amount of time once again today discussing poor major league umpiring. Home plate umpire Bob Davidson injected himself into the game last night by refusing to award Nyjer Morgan first base on an HBP and then ejecting Dale Sveum and Ron Roenicke for arguing the call. As you might expect, Davidson's Wikipedia page has undergone some renovations since. Tom Haudricourt notes that MLB had a chance to be rid of Davidson in 1999 as part of a failed mass resignation scheme, but dropped the ball and let him back in.
Last night's game also featured a bizarre (and likely not legal) moment in the eighth inning. After a bullpen miscommunication led to the wrong pitcher warming, Rays manager Joe Maddon sent outfielder Sam Fuld (who had pinch hit for the pitcher in the previous inning) to the mound to warm up to pitch. The Rays used the delay to warm up another pitcher, then pulled Fuld before he'd faced a batter. You're only supposed to be able to remove a pitcher like that in case of injury, so the Rays reportedly told the umpires that Fuld was hurt.
Other notes from the field:
- Jonathan Lucroy got the Brewers on the board with his first home run in June last night, and circled the bases in 20.84 seconds.
- While finishing the seventh inning in relief of Chris Narveson, Tim Dillard became the first Brewer pitcher ever to hit a Ray with a pitch. Plunk Everyone has more.
- Here's a transcript of Ron Roenicke's postgame comments.
- Jeff Niemann, Evan Longoria and Justin Ruggiano are leading FanGraphs' Star of the Game voting.
- The Chorizo won the Sausage Race.
- Casey Kotchman went 1-for-5 with a pair of strikeouts last night. Entering the game he was one of just two players with a lifetime batting average over .480 in interleague play.
Looking ahead another day: Shaun Marcum pitched a bullpen session yesterday and plans to make his scheduled start tomorrow. Marco Estrada is still likely to start in his place if something changes.
Rickie Weeks had two more hits last night, and is now batting .375/.400/.667 over his last eleven games. Weeks completed a rare sweep yesterday, winning both Brewer of the Week and this week's El Super.
So here's something I wasn't expecting: The Giants, who are in the market for a catcher, have reportedly been informed that George Kottaras is available. Grant from McCovey Chronicles appears to be interested. Kottaras probably wouldn't net a lot in return, but Bay City Ball notes that he won't be eligible for free agency for the first time until after the 2013 season.
Elsewhere in transaction rumors: The Brewers still don't have a lefty in their bullpen, and likely won't until Zach Braddock is eligible to return from AAA. MLB Trade Rumors has a list of lefties that could potentially be available. Meanwhile, Daniel Ray Herrera cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Nashville.
Here's another reminder about the Brewers' struggles to develop pitching: The B-Ref Blog says they've gotten eight positive WAR contributions from pitchers under 25 years old in the last five seasons. That's tied for 24th in all of baseball.
And here's another reminder of the pitfalls of fan voting for the All Star Game. Yuniesky Betancourt, who probably wouldn't even be selected for the All Star Team in AA, is fifth in the NL voting at shortstop. Before last night's game Ron Roenicke gave Betancourt a vote of confidence.
At least Randy Wolf has been pretty good lately: Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker says his performance to this point has been good, but we should expect something closer to a 4.00 ERA going forward.
Over the weekend we got to see Prince Fielder face off against Adrian Gonzalez, who likely received a contract similar to what the Brewer first baseman will command this offseason. Nate Woelfel of The Brewers Bar compares their numbers and asks if Prince is worth the money.
In the minors:
- The affiliates went 2-1 last night, with Helena picking up a walkoff victory in their first game of the season. Minor League Notes is off today, so you can read more about yesterday's games in the Brewerfan.net Link Report.
- Joey Paciorek hit that walkoff homer for Helena, and it was his second of the game. 2011 draft pick Parker Berberet also hit his first professional homer in the game and, as the picture at this link shows, he's got a mustache.
- Brock Kjeldgaard also homered last night for Brevard County, tying the team record with 18 in a season.
- Eric Arnett allowed one earned run over six innings in Helena's game. The Helena Independent Record has a nice profile of him, and mentions for the first time that he's been rehabbing a torn rotator cuff this spring. (h/t @SessileFielder)
- The AZL Brewers open their season tonight, and will do so with Dominican outfielder Ruben Ozuna in uniform. Ozuna was transferred yesterday after hitting .304/.419/.376 in parts of two seasons for the DSL Brewers.
- Wisconsin was off yesterday as part of the Midwest League All Star Break, and Jimmy Nelson spent most of the day getting a new tattoo.
In draft notes: The Brewers announced the signings of seven draft picks and two undrafted free agents yesterday. A couple of them have been mentioned before, but most were new. Here's the quick breakdown:
Green Week continues at Miller Park this week, and John Steinmiller and Caitlin Moyer have a review of three "green" food options at the ballpark. All three entries receive either one or two stars.
In power rankings:
- The New York Daily News has the Brewers at four, down one spot.
- Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune has the Brewers fifth, down one spot.
- FanGraphs has the Brewers holding steady at five.
- ESPN has the Brewers at five, up two spots.
- Beyond the Box Score has the Brewers at six.
If you'd like more about the Brewers today but you're sick of reading, we've got two options for you: First of all, Justin Hull of 1570 The Score has the audio from my appearance on his show yesterday. Second, this week's View From Bernie's Chalet Podcast is up. Topics include Randy Wolf, Yuniesky Betancourt and the minor leagues.
If you haven't yet, please take a moment today to vote in this week's BCB Tracking Poll. It'll remain open until tonight and results will be posted tomorrow.
I don't have any transactions for "Around baseball" today. Weird.
By now you're probably well aware of the fact that Albert Pujols is going to miss 4-6 weeks with a broken bone in his forearm (FanShot). You know all about that and much more if you've read this morning's edition of Around The NL Central, which won't dry your skin like soap.
Someone needs to print this off and slip it into Ed Sedar's pocket: Baseball and Not Baseball has the best chart I've ever seen showing when you benefit from sending and holding runners. (h/t Baseball Musings)
Since the Brewers got shut down by Jeff Niemann last night, this seems relevant today: Jeff Zimmerman of FanGraphs has a look at how pitchers typically perform after coming off the DL.
Today in former Brewers:
- Nationals Enquirer has video of Todd Coffey sprinting in a tuxedo.
- The B-Ref Blog notes that there are only eleven players in major league history with 2500 hits, 500 doubles, 100 triples and 200 home runs. The Brewers have two of them: Robin Yount and Paul Molitor.
A fair number of these are going to sound painfully familiar: Royals Review has the definitive list of Stuff That Baseball Broadcasters Like.
Marlins interim manager Jack McKeon has one game under his belt, and he's likely about to get his first fine. He lit a cigar in the Marlins dugout during a rain delay last night. McKeon, by the way, was a manager in the Pioneer League when Bob Uecker made his pro debut in 1956.
Here's another reminder that interleague play is a pretty notable financial success for baseball: This weekend's attendance around the league was the highest since 2008.
That's all I've got for you today, unless you're in desperate need of help naming your children.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I must make this.