Friday's Frosty Mug

This feels like the last thing you see before you get up off the ground at Miller Park.

Some things to read while bringing home thebacon.

Yesterday was a pretty quiet off day, giving the Brewers 24 hours in Milwaukee to prepare for tonight's opening game against the Cubs with sole possession of last place in the NL Central on the line. Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs gave tonight's Garza/Wolf matchup a five out of ten on his NERD scale, but that's largely based on the fact that Garza is interesting.

Yesterday's off day gave me a chance to get an early start on today's series preview, so I've already posted a look at the Brewers' top five moments against the Cubs in 2011. I also contributed to the preview at View From The Bleachers, which should be up later today.

Meanwhile, the off day gave the writers at The Official Site plenty of time to talk about Doug Melvin. Adam McCalvy talked to Mark Attanasio about how Melvin helped turn the team around during his early years in Milwaukee, and Richard Justice has a look at how Melvin's previous experiences have shaped his time here.

Norichika Aoki's hot bat has cooled off lately, as he's hitting .160/.222/.160 in his last 14 games. Dennis Punzel of Madison.com says Aoki is still looking to find his niche with this team.

Meanwhile, Ryan Braun has six home runs in his last eight games. He rounded the bases in 22.1 seconds following his ninth inning solo shot Wednesday.

In the minors:

Back at Miller Park, the Brewers added new entries to the Milwaukee Braves Wall of Honor yesterday. John Steinmiller has a picture of Del Crandall with his new plaque.

If you'd like more Brewer coverage today but you're sick of reading, I'll be making my weekly appearance on The Home Stretch with Justin Hull on AM 1570 The Score in Appleton at 2:30 today. It'll be an abbreviated appearance, so we'll just have to sneak more small ball ranting into less space.

Finally, congratulations are due out this morning to -JP-, yesterday's winner in our SB Nation Pick 6 contest. Here's the day's leaderboard:

Rank Player Points
1 -JP- 50.5
2 Jahiegel 45.6
3 sjlee 45.1
4 KDean75 42.6
5 PCLOUSE7 40.4
6 brewman70 40.2
7 airfigaro 40.1
8 mamaro68 39.7
9 Foul Tip 36.2
10 tcyoung 35.5

As of this moment you still have about 7 1/2 hours to make your picks for today.

Around baseball:

Angels: Catcher Chris Iannetta is expected to miss 6-8 weeks following wrist surgery.
Blue Jays: Signed DH Vladimir Guerrero to a minor league deal.
Orioles: Placed outfielder Endy Chavez on the DL with a side injury.
Pirates: Placed pitcher Joel Hanrahan on the bereavement list.
Rays: Placed first baseman Brandon Allen on the DL with a quad strain.

At least the Brewers didn't lose ground in the division yesterday. The Nationals beat the Pirates 4-2 last night, and the rest of the Central was off. You know this and much more if you've read this morning's edition of Around the NL Central.

On paper Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera looks like an interesting trade candidate for the Brewers. The 25-year-old Nicaragua native has played parts of two major league seasons and is currently hitting .325/.381/.382 in AAA. As it turns out, there's more to the story: The Padres are keeping Cabrera in Tucson because it makes it easier for him to travel back and forth to hearings stemming from his domestic violence charge this spring.

Today in former Brewers: Chad Evely of The Hardball Times notes that Robin Yount was just a .182/.211/.300 career hitter against Bert Blyleven.

This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the 18th anniversary of Jeff Cirillo's major league debut. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also the fifth anniversary of Phil Garner's 1000th managerial loss. The first 617 of them came as skipper of the Brewers.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to print my resume. (h/t @jay_jaffe)

Drink up.

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