Thursday's Frosty Mug

Apr 25, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Jose Veras (40) sits in the dugout after allowing a run in the seventh inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

Some things to read while making brats.

The Brewer bullpen was the big story again yesterday, as Jose Veras and Mike McClendon combined to give up three runs on six hits over three innings in a 7-5 loss to the Astros. We've got our recap here, if you missed it.

The Brewer bullpen didn't walk anyone yesterday, but that's an unusual occurrence. J.P. Breen of Disciples of Uecker noted that five of the top six members of the 2012 bullpen have seen their walk rates climb significantly this season. Maybe their fingers are sticky from applying stickers to the bullpen bag.

Nyjer Morgan struck out in a pinch hit appearance yesterday, and his 50 plate appearances yesterday are the second most in all of baseball for a player who hasn't drawn a walk in 2012. He's still a long way away from the Brewer record, though: Both Geoff Jenkins (2000) and Von Joshua (1976) once opened the season with 98 at bats before their first walk.

Of course, Morgan wasn't yesterday's worst pinch hitter. Ron Roenicke used Cesar Izturis in place of Travis Ishikawa in the eighth inning despite the fact that Ishikawa had homered in back-to-back games and hit one off a lefty earlier in the day. Yesterday's Stat of the Day looked at Izturis as compared to the worst pinch hitters in Brewer history. Izturis also stayed in the game to play first base for the first time in his professional career.

Other notes from the field:

The Brewers are off today before opening a series in St. Louis tomorrow night at 7:15. Joey Nowak has the MLB.com preview.

Marco Estrada was warming in the bullpen yesterday in case he was needed, but didn't pitch and will start against the Cardinals tomorrow. Jim Owczarski of OnMilwaukee.com says Estrada is prepared for whatever role the team puts him in.

Estrada will likely get several opportunities to start in place of Chris Narveson. The second opinion on the MRI on his shoulder came back the same and Narveson will require surgery on his torn rotator cuff.

For the second straight season Zack Greinke has done a good job of limiting home runs, doesn't walk many opposing batters and gets a large number of strikeouts, but has an ERA that doesn't reflect those things. Glenn DuPaul of Beyond the Box Score has a look at the gap between Greinke's higher ERA and lower FIP.

In the minors:

In power rankings: Call to the Pen has the Brewers 14th.

Around baseball:

Athletics: Designated pitcher Rich Thompson for assignment.
Diamondbacks: Designated pitcher Jonathan Albaladejo for assignment.
Dodgers: Placed pitcher Matt Guerrier on the DL with an elbow injury.
Giants: Placed first baseman/outfielder Aubrey Huff on the DL with an anxiety issue.
Mets: Placed outfielder Jason Bay (broken rib) and pitcher Mike Pelfrey (elbow) on the DL and signed infielder Brad Emaus and outfielder Fred Lewis to minor league deals.
Phillies: Placed pitcher Michael Stutes on the DL with shoulder inflammation.
Reds: Placed pitcher Bill Bray on the DL with a groin strain.

Astros pitcher Kyle Weiland and Reds reliever Nick Masset haven't hit the DL yet, but Eric Ely has updates on the condition of both of them in today's edition of Around the NL Central.

Yesterday's scariest moment around baseball came in Los Angeles, where Dodgers closer Javy Guerra was hit in the face by a line drive but remained in the game, which the Braves eventually came back to win. Guerra passed concussion tests and will not go on the DL.

Today in former Brewers: The Baseball Historian has an interview with pitcher Paul Hartzell, who finished his career with the Brewers in 1984.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to turn off the TV.

Drink up.

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