Friday's Frosty Mug

I feel like Craig Counsell should start at shortstop tonight. Any objections?

Some things to read while making short people proud.

How'd you spend your off day? Nyjer Morgan used the free time to go fly a kite, and Prince Fielder raised over $28,000 for charity at his bowl-a-thon.

Meanwhile, the rest of us spent the day discussing the merits of Ron Roenicke, who has quickly fallen from grace in many of our eyes. Ron Roenicke Stole My Baseball has a look at three occasions on Wednesday where Roenicke both made a puzzling decision and skipped an opportunity to explain afterwards.

After a full day of that, I think we're all ready to be back to baseball tonight when the Brewers and Twins open an interleague series. Here's CBS Sports' series preview. When the Twins arrive at the park today they're expected to have both reliever Joe Nathan and DH Jim Thome back on the roster.

This weekend's best pitching matchup will likely come tomorrow, when Yovani Gallardo faces off against Francisco Liriano. Jeff Sullivan of Baseball Nation used Gallardo as an example in his Handy Guide To Pitchers As Hitters.

This week's off day still didn't give the Brewers enough time to find a viable shortstop. Hindsight is 20/20, but here's what Brad from View From Bernie's Chalet had to say while looking back at the J.J. Hardy/Carlos Gomez trade:

The Brewers have received no gain after the trade that sent J.J. Hardy away, and right now he would fill the only hole in the lineup that is keeping the Brewers from being successful.

Down on the farm Takashi Saito pitched a perfect inning and struck one batter out for Nashville last night, needing just 11 pitches to do so. I can't remember if this is his third or fourth rehab assignment. He's likely due for at least one more appearance in Nashville before the Brewers consider activating him.

In the minors:

  • The Brewers have come to terms with another draft pick: Canadian high school catcher Dustin Houle, the Brewers' eighth round pick, signed and received a $150,000 bonus. I haven't heard where he's headed but I'd be surprised if it's not Arizona.
  • The affiliates went 3-2 last night and Helena catcher Parker Berberet stayed hot, going 2-for-3 with a double and two walks in Helena's 6-5, 12 inning win over Missoula. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
  • Berberet, a 25th round pick in the 2011 draft, is now hitting .400/.571/1.471 after three professional games.
  • Yesterday I mentioned that Wisconsin starting pitchers Tyler Thornburg and Austin Ross were being promoted to Brevard County. Chris Mehring reports that Wisconsin's second half rotation will feature Brooks Hall, Jimmy Nelson, Jameson Dunn, Matt Miller and Maverick Lasker.
  • Thornburg will also be the only Brewer in the MLB Futures Game (FanShot).
  • Baseball America has a story on Mark Rogers, but it's subscriber-only.

Here's another reminder of how lucky the Brewers are to have good ownership: The AV Club Milwaukee has a profile of Mark Attanasio.

Today in power rankings: Yahoo has the Brewers at 5.

Around baseball:

Athletics: Placed outfielder Josh Willingham on the DL with a strained Achilles tendon.
Braves: Infielder/outfielder Joe Mather has refused an outright assignment to the minors and is now a free agent.
Nationals: Manager Jim Riggleman has resigned. Bench coach John McLaren will serve as interim manager. (FanShot)

While the rest of the division was off last night, the Cardinals beat the Phillies to pull back into a first place tie in the NL Central. You already know that and much more if you've read this morning's edition of Around The NL Central, which is low on sodium and big on taste.

In former Brewers:

Here's an injury you don't see every day. After allowing five baserunners and recording just three outs in two outings this week against the Brewers, Rays pitcher J.P. Howell was sent home for examination and diagnosed with gout in his left foot.

Elsewhere in the bizarre: Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton thinks the ability to hit during the day is tied to eye color.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a new business idea.

Drink up.

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