Tuesday's Frosty Mug

Ron Roenicke watches from the dugout as the Brewers got shut out again.

Some things to read while keeping warm.

Tom Haudricourt summed up last night's game pretty well with this sentence:

If the Brewers learned anything about Josh Collmenter the last time they faced him, you couldn't tell it Monday night.

Collmenter beat the Brewers last night for the second time in two weeks, holding them to just three hits over eight innings. It's hard to believe the Brewers could look so woeful against a pitcher with such pedestrian stuff: Brooks Baseball says he got through eight innings without breaking 90 mph, and 98 of his 105 pitches were either a four seam fastball, cut fastball or a changeup.

Last night's loss was the ninth time the Brewers have been shut out on the road in 50 games this season, meaning slightly less than 20% of their games away from home have ended before they scored any runs.

No one else was hitting either, but it's worth noting that Craig Counsell popped out last night in a ninth inning pinch hit appearance. He's now 0-for his last 32, the longest hitless streak by a Brewer since Counsell went 0-for-34 in 2004.

Ryan Braun was available for pinch hitting duty last night but was held out of the lineup once again. Ron Roenicke says the team still isn't considering putting Braun on the DL. Because he played over the weekend, he wouldn't be eligible to return from a DL stint until August 2.

In better injury news, Shaun Marcum visited a chiropractor yesterday and said he'll be good to go for his next scheduled start on Friday.

Other notes from the field:

The two teams meet again tonight, with Yovani Gallardo taking the mound against Barry Enright. Tom Green of MLB.com has the preview.

The Brewers probably won't see reliever Aaron Heilman this week. The Diamondbacks released him last night to make room on the roster for Enright, who was called up from AAA Reno.

Unfortunately, yesterday's biggest news may have come off the field. Zach Braddock, who was optioned to AAA over the weekend, has been placed on Nashville's inactive list instead of being added to their active roster. We don't know much more beyond that at this point, but given Braddock's recent history this almost certainly isn't good news.

How high are the stakes for Doug Melvin this season? His approval ratings have been pretty high recently but he only has one year remaining on his contract and Ken Rosenthal says "A disappointing finish could prompt (Mark) Attanasio to review the entire baseball operation." (h/t MLBTR)

While the Brewers shop for a shortstop, Ron Roenicke is saying one thing and doing another with his available players at the position. Before the game he told Adam McCalvy he's going to play the hot hand when he can, but then he sat Josh Wilson (4-for his last 8) in favor of Yuniesky Betancourt last night. Betancourt went 1-for-3 with a bunt single.

Meanwhile, Jon Heyman is reporting that the Brewers are one of eight teams that have contacted the Mets regarding center fielder Carlos Beltran, who is in the final season of his seven year, $119 million deal. It seems unlikely the Brewers would spend what it would take to acquire a player who doesn't fill a position of need, but I guess it doesn't hurt to ask.

I'd say it's pretty safe to assume Rickie Weeks won't be going anywhere for a while. Dave Cameron of FanGraphs says Weeks has the ninth most trade value of any player in baseball at this point.

In the minors:

I read a fair amount of stuff this morning, but I don't recall seeing anything cooler than friend of the site J. Scott Loomer's post on the weekend he spent with his sons following the Brewers in Denver. Go check it out.

J. Scott and the boys got to see a couple of pretty exciting one run games over the weekend. Cory Provus has a new post stressing the importance of winning those contests.

The Brewers have been pretty bad on the road this season, but at least they're interesting: Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs' NERD rankings have the Brewers as baseball's most interesting team, Zack Greinke as baseball's most interesting pitcher, and Ryan Braun as the sixth most interesting batter.

In power rankings:

Craving a Brewer-themed music video today? MLB Fan Cave has a Ryan Braun mashup titled "Clutch Singles."

If you haven't yet, please take a moment this morning to vote (once) in this week's Brew Crew Ball Tracking Poll. It will remain open until game time tonight and results will be posted tomorrow.

Around baseball:

Indians: Placed outfielder Grady Sizemore on the DL with a knee contusion.
Mets: Signed pitcher Gustavo Chacin and outfielder Fernando Perez to minor league deals.
Orioles: Reliever Kevin Gregg has dropped his appeal and had his suspension reduced from four to three games.
Rays: Designated pitcher Adam Russell for assignment and placed pitcher Juan Cruz (strained groin) and catcher Jose Lobaton (sprained knee) on the DL.
Red Sox: DH David Ortiz has dropped his appeal and had his suspension reduced from four to three games.
Yankees: Placed infielder Ramiro Pena on the DL following an appendectomy.

As we approach the trade deadline, it's possible all six NL Central teams could be active in the market in one way or another. Rubie has the latest on Cardinals outfielder Colby Rasmus, Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez and Astros outfielder Hunter Pence in today's edition of Around the NL Central.

In former Brewers: Gaslamp Ball has an interview with Tony Gwynn where they discuss Trevor Hoffman and his Hall of Fame chances.

The Brewers are pretty fortunate to be getting relatively good production from their catchers in 2011. Not everyone has that luxury: Halos Heaven notes that Angels starting catcher Jeff Mathis doesn't always compare favorably to Bob Uecker.

Defensive shifting has been a hot topic this season, as the Brewers have been using the strategy frequently to try to cover for the fact that the team defense is weak at best. The Pirates used a similar strategy last season, but are happy to be rid of it this year.

Today in awful umpiring: Home plate C.B. Bucknor drew a a fair amount of negative comments for his work during last night's Royals game, and Royals Review has a picture showing why.

Elsewhere in awful things: In what has to be the worst television environment I can imagine, the Marlins' FS Florida broadcast crew spent the weekend covering this weekend's Cubs series from a production truck with no air conditioning.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to find something more appropriate (h/t @someecards).

Drink up.

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