Monday's Frosty Mug

Apr 22, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Mat Gamel (24) reacts after he was called out at first base in the ninth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

Some things to read while not getting excited.

Francisco Rodriguez's rough April continued yesterday as he allowed multiple runs in an inning for the third time in five appearances and picked up the loss as the Brewers fell 4-1 to the Rockies. Noah has the recap, if you missed it. Meanwhile, J.P. Breen of Disciples of Uecker noticed that Rodriguez appears to be staying away from his changeup, which has typically been his best pitch.

Rodriguez's rough outing spoiled a great performance by Yovani Gallardo, who allowed just one run on six hits and struck out eight in seven innings. Mike Vassallo notes that Gallardo has posted a 1.71 ERA since his Opening Day loss.

Meanwhile, Noah may have picked up on this team's biggest problem in April. Following yesterday's loss they're 2-6 in day games, and 5-3 at night. Adam McCalvy says "these guys have been around too long to panic" following their 7-9 start.

The Brewers honored Ryan Braun before the game yesterday for winning the 2011 NL MVP and Adam McCalvy has a link to video from the ceremony. Braun, by the way, circled the bases in 22.31 seconds following his long home run Saturday. Hit Tracker says that blast traveled 448 feet, which would make it the ninth longest homer in all of baseball this season.

Yesterday was also Jonathan Lucroy's bobblehead day, and the Brewers' tumblr account has a picture of the giveaway. If you missed it, last I checked there are 23 of them available on Ebay.

Other notes from the field:

The Brewers continue one of their longest homestands of the year when they open a three game series with the Astros tonight. Zack Greinke will take on Lucas Harrell at 7:10, and James Walker has the MLB.com preview. Tonight's game is also free on MLB.tv. I answered some questions yesterday for Crawfish Boxes' series preview, and we'll have their answers to our questions later today.

The weekend's biggest news broke on Friday, when the Brewers announced that Chris Narveson has a torn rotator cuff and placed him on the DL (FanShot). Narveson is seeking a second opinion but is likely to require season-ending surgery. Jordan has a look at what losing him will mean for the Brewers' starting pitching depth. Marco Estrada started in his place on Saturday and will likely be in that spot for the foreseeable future.

When Narveson's roster spot opened up it opened the door for the major league return of Mike McClendon, who was recalled from Nashville. McClendon told Adam McCalvy he knew he'd be back with the team soon. He had posted a 1.17 ERA and struck out seven in 7.2 innings over five appearances for Nashville.

Carlos Gomez entered the game as a pinch hitter yesterday and got a hit. He's now come to the plate 32 times this season and has just one strikeout. His career average is one strikeout every 4.5 PA's.

Alex Gonzalez went 0-for-4 at the plate yesterday but made a couple of nice defensive plays and is still slugging .489 in his first 13 games as a Brewer. Ron Roenicke told Adam McCalvy he hasn't been surprised by Gonzalez's power. He circled the bases in 25.65 seconds following his home run Saturday, the second slowest trot of the day.

If you missed Friday's game, you missed Norichika Aoki becoming the first Brewer ever to get his first home run on an inside-the-parker. LOLBrewers has the whole play in gifs, if you'd like to see it again. Larry Granillo of Baseball Prospectus reports that Aoki circled the bases in 15.5 seconds.

Saturday's game sparked an interesting debate about bunting and the usual side-taking on the values of advancing baserunners versus giving away outs. Adam McCalvy has more on the topic here. Justin Hull and I also discussed it at length in my appearance on The Home Stretch on Friday.

George Kottaras actually got the weekend off, as Jonathan Lucroy caught all 27 innings in the Rockies series and he wasn't used as a pinch hitter. Nonetheless, GK9 was the runaway winner for 2012's second Brewer of the Week.

in the minors:

The Chef's Table concession stand on the Loge level at Miller Park continues to provide a new, opponent-themed food item during each home series. This weekend against the Rockies they served buffalo burgers. I haven't heard what the new featured item will be against the Astros tonight. My wife tried the "LA Style Sliders" during the Dodgers series, and they're one of several concession items I'll be reviewing later this week.

Far from Milwaukee, progress continues on necessary improvements to the Brewer spring training facility in Maryvale. AZCentral.com is reporting that the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority has approved $1 million in funding for improvements to the park as required in the team's new lease. (h/t @Mass_Haas)

In power rankings: Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star has the Brewers holding steady at 13.

Around baseball:

Athletics: Claimed pitcher Rich Thompson off waivers from the Angels and infielder Luke Hughes off waivers from the Twins.
Blue Jays: Placed pitcher Sergio Santos on the DL with shoulder inflammation.
Cubs: Placed pitchers Ryan Dempster (quad strain) and Kerry Wood (shoulder fatigue) on the DL.
Diamondbacks: Placed pitcher Daniel Hudson on the DL with a shoulder impingement and acquired infielder Josh Bell from the Orioles for a PTBNL.
Phillies: Placed pitcher Cliff Lee on the DL with an oblique strain.
Red Sox: Acquired outfielder Marlon Byrd and cash from the Cubs for pitcher Michael Bowden and a PTBNL.
Royals: Placed pitcher Greg Holland on the DL with a left rib stress reaction.
Tigers: Acquired pitcher Zach Miner from the Royals for cash.

You already know about the Byrd trade and much more if you've read this morning's edition of Around the NL Central.

If you were near a TV or the internet this weekend you probably heard about Phil Humber of the White Sox (formerly of the Mets, Twins and Royals) pitching a perfect game against Seattle on Saturday. Grant Brisbee of SB Nation notes that the Mariners aren't actually the worst offensive team ever to have a perfecto thrown against them.

Elsewhere in inept offense: At one point this weekend the Pirates had scored just 29 runs all season, which was less than half (63) the average major league offense. They haven't scored more than five runs in a game this season, and scored four over three games against the Cardinals this weekend.

In former Brewers:

  • Yuniesky Betancourt has played in eleven of the Royals' 15 games this season. He's hitting .324/.375/.459 but they're 1-10 in those games, and 2-2 in the others. He also batted leadoff on Saturday.
  • NotGraphs has a gif of Blue Jays teammate Jose Bautista wearing protection while high fiving Brett Lawrie.

If you see me at a game this season (I'm going to the game tonight), odds are I'll be carrying my scorebook. I will not, however, be carrying five different colored highlighters. Benjamin Hill of MiLB.com talked to Wisconsin broadcaster Chris Mehring and several others about some of their more unique scorekeeping practices.

Today in baseball economics: The MLBPA has decided to ban "personal services" agreements and milestone bonuses in new contracts. Albert Pujols' new deal with the Angels is one of the more prominent recent contracts that has featured both.

This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History celebrates what would have been the 91st birthday of legendary Milwaukee Braves pitcher Warren Spahn. Plunk Everyone notes that Spahn's seven career HBP as a batter are also the fifth most ever for a player born on April 23. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times also noted these milestones:

  • Today is the 27th anniversary of Teddy Higuera's major league debut.
  • It's also the 43rd anniversary of the White Sox playing their first of eleven home games at County Stadium in 1969.
  • Finally, it's the 58th anniversary of Hank Aaron's first major league home run.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need a waterproof suitcase.

Drink up.

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