Tuesday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while weeping for the future.

The Brewers and Cardinals open a three game set in St. Louis tonight, and the matchup is drawing plenty of national attention: David Schoenfield of ESPN named it his series of the week, while Greg Schimmel of The Washington Post named tonight's game his game of the day.

Edwin Jackson will take the mound for the Cardinals tonight, and I think we all remember what happened the last time he did that. Randy Wolf won that game and was tossed a THT Award for good luck.

We've known for a few days now that Shaun Marcum would face Jackson in the series opener tonight, but now we know the rest of the matchups: Randy Wolf and Yovani Gallardo will face Jake Westbrook and Chris Carpenter on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.

If you're headed to one of this week's Brewers/Cardinals games, you no longer need to watch your head. Several decorative panels have been removed from the outside of Busch Stadium after one fell off and dented the sidewalk last week.

Hopefully Yuniesky Betancourt can keep his hot streak going this week. Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar has a look at his recent performance and noticed that Betancourt's line drive rate and BABIP are off the charts recently. Betancourt and Casey McGehee were the co-winners of this week's El Super.

Elsewhere in unlikely contributors, here's some more reaction to Craig Counsell's flirtation with history: Todd Rosiak says the veteran's Brewer teammates are happy he's still on their side.

These are the kind of things you worry about when there's nothing else to worry about: Adam McCalvy has a discussion of the Brewers' lack of an "ace."

If we learned one thing on the off day, it's this: new Brewer Jerry Hairston Jr. is not someone to mess with. In this Wall Street Journal article he reveals a story on how he got former teammate Gerald Laird arrested as part of an elaborate clubhouse prank. (h/t @brewcitybocce)

Thankfully, the clubhouse isn't the only place where the 2011 Brewers are exciting: Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs lists them as baseball's fourth most interesting team and ranked Ryan Braun and Zack Greinke first in his player and pitcher NERD rankings.

In the minors:

  • The team officially announced the signing of second round pick Jorge Lopez yesterday and assigned him to Arizona. Lopez received a $690,000 signing bonus, $168k over slot and the largest bonus of any player drafted outside of the top 65 to this point.
  • The affiliates were rained out a couple of times last night but still managed a 3-2 day, and Taylor Green homered again in Nashville's 6-4 win over Reno. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
  • Logan Schafer is the Monday Morning Prospect this week at Disciples of Uecker.
  • The Brewers also signed independent league pitcher Mark Williams this week. Brewerfan.net has much more about him.

The Brewers have less than a week to finish agreements with their first round picks, Taylor Jungmann and Jed Bradley. Tom Haudricourt is predicting it'll take "at least $4 million" to get the two deals done.

Good news today on the TV front: FS Wisconsin announced this morning they now plan to televise August 18th's Brewers/Dodgers game, September 1's Brewers/Cardinals game and September 21's Brewers/Cubs game. All three are weekday afternoons that had previously been left off the TV schedule.

In power rankings:

If you haven't yet, please take a moment today to vote in the BCB Tracking Poll. The poll will remain open through tonight and results will be posted tomorrow morning.

Around baseball:

Indians: Placed pitcher Carlos Carrasco on the DL with elbow inflammation.
Mariners: Placed shortstop Brendan Ryan on the DL with a shoulder sprain.
Mets: Placed shortstop Jose Reyes on the DL with a hamstring strain.
Orioles: Placed infielder Cesar Izturis on the DL with a groin strain.
Padres: Placed third baseman Chase Headley on the DL with a broken finger.
Phillies: Outfielder Shane Victorino has been suspended three games for his part in a brawl Friday, and plans to appeal.
Rangers: Released pitcher Arthur Rhodes.
Rockies: Signed pitcher Kevin Millwood.
Tigers: Signed GM Dave Dombrowski and manager Jim Leyland to four and one year contract extensions, respectively.
Yankees: Released reliever J.C. Romero.

"Rehab" is the word of the day around the division, and today's edition of Around the NL Central has updates on the progress of Pirates outfielder Jose Tabata, Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips and new Astros outfielder Jordan Schafer.

Here's how you can tell what time of year it is: This morning I read a story about "intestinal turmoil" and was surprised to discover the State Fair wasn't a factor.

Today in baseball economics:

If you use the internet correctly, it can teach you almost anything. Here, for example, is a perfect demonstration of how to lick a bat.

That's not even my favorite graphic from today, though: Lookout Landing has a person-by-person breakdown of a great catch at the wall by new Mariners outfielder Trayvon Robinson.

Today in former Brewers:

  • Here's confirmation of something you might have suspected: Jeff Suppan is among the major league career leaders in cheap wins, defined in this case as wins where the starting pitcher posted a game score below 50. 42 of Suppan's career 138 wins (over 30%) fall into that category, and he's the only pitcher with less than 193 career wins among the leaders.
  • Scott Karl and Mike Caldwell (19) are the Brewer franchise leaders in cheap wins, with Suppan at 11.

I know at least a handful of BCB'ers that fall squarely into the crosshairs of this debate: 39% of voters in this Baseball Nation poll say it's ok to be a fan of two teams, as long as they're in different leagues. 31% say it's not ok under any circumstances.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to find something else to watch.

Drink up.

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