Thursday's Frosty Mug

May 23, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Jose Veras (40) pitches in the seventh inning against the San Francisco Giants at Miller Park. The Brewers beat the Giants 8-5. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

Some things to read while missing the clown's mouth...again.

The 2012 Brewers remain a pretty significant disappointment at 18-26, but they did pick up an 8-5 win over the Giants yesterday to avoid what would have been just their second three-game sweep of 2012. We've got the recap, if you missed it.

Unfortunately, yesterday's win came at a high price. Marco Estrada strained his right hip flexor rounding the bases following a first inning double and is expected to miss 3-4 starts (FanShot). His absence will likely lead to Manny Parra's first start since 2010. The Catlantis has a comic suggesting Estrada is out because of his inability to listen to an injury-predicting talking baseball glove.

Nonetheless, you can add Estrada to the increasingly long list of Brewers who are missing part or all of the remaining schedule. Al Yellon of Baseball Nation asks how the Brewers can withstand this onslaught of injuries.

Yesterday's early injury dumped eight more innings on an already overworked Brewer bullpen. Jordan Schelling noted that Brewer relievers have pitched 28.1 of the 61 innings the team has played in the last six days.

As has become the norm on sunny days at Miller Park, the Brewers had the roof half-closed yesterday to keep the sun/shadow line from falling between the mound and home plate. The left side of the Giants infield had a hard time seeing the ball off the bat, however, leading manager Bruce Bochy to complain that the Brewers shouldn't be able to use the roof that way. I'm guessing he wouldn't have seen it as a problem if the Brewer infielders had been the ones making errors.

Other notes from the field:

The Brewers are off today before starting a west coast swing in Arizona tomorrow. Zack Meisel and Tyler Emerick have the MLB.com preview.

Meanwhile, the Brewers also made news off the field yesterday by claiming infielder Cody Ransom off waivers from the Diamondbacks (FanShot). Ransom is 36 and a career .226/.310/.409 hitter over 248 major league games, but can play shortstop and is probably a significant alternative to sending Cesar Izturis out there every day. To make room for Ransom the Brewers returned Edwin Maysonet to Nashville and moved Alex Gonzalez onto the 60-day DL.

Corey Hart made his second start of the season at first base yesterday. The innings he played there Monday night more than doubled his career total at the position.

So you may have heard this: Jonathan Lucroy is playing pretty well right now. He went 2-for-4 yesterday with a double and a home run and is now hitting .400/.423/.693 in May. Yet he sat out Monday anyway because Randy Wolf still has a personal catcher. Ryan Smith of Cream City Cables has a look at this situation. Miller Park Drunk has crowned Lucroy the new king of Milwaukee. However, he still had to help move luggage as part of a Southwest Airlines promotion Tuesday.

The Brewers may not believe it, but Jon Morosi of Fox Sports says catchers are underperforming offensively across baseball this season.

Meanwhile, Rickie Weeks' woes continue. He went 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout yesterday, and David Schoenfield of ESPN says his eighth inning at bat against Sergio Romo on Tuesday was the worst of the season. Big League Stew has video of his mental lapse that may have cost the Brewers a double play Monday.

Yesterday was the first time since Friday reliever Juan Perez has had a day off. He's really struggled in his first week as a Brewer, but Ron Roenicke told Jordan Schelling he still thinks Perez can be effective.

For many of us, this may actually be today's biggest news: John Axford posted a picture on Twitter last night suggesting that he's shaved his trademark mustache and goatee (FanShot). I guess we won't be certain it's gone until tomorrow. Axford, by the way, became the Brewers' full-time closer on May 23, 2010.

In the minors:

Looking back a day, Bob Wolfley of the Journal Sentinel (behind the paywall) has a look at some of the challenges the FS Wisconsin crew faced on Monday when a control room outage in Houston forced them to call most of the game without commercial breaks.

If you'd like more Brewer coverage today but you're sick of reading, my shuffled weekly radio schedule is perfect for you. I'll be making my weekly appearance on The Home Stretch with Justin Hull on AM 1570 The Score in Appleton at 4 today, and going straight from there to The Watercooler with Jimmie Kaska on AM 1400 WBIZ in Eau Claire at 5:15.

Around baseball:

Angels: Are expected to designate reliever David Pauley for assignment.
Cardinals
: Placed infielder/outfielder Matt Carpenter on the DL with an oblique strain.
Cubs: Placed catcher Wellington Castillo on the DL with a knee sprain.
Nationals
: Placed pitcher Ryan Mattheus on the DL with plantar fasciitis.
Rockies: Are expected to place infielder Jonathan Herrera on the DL with a hamstring injury.
Royals: Placed infielder Chris Getz on the DL with a rib injury.
Tigers: Designated pitcher Collin Balester for assignment.
Twins: Released pitcher Jason Marquis.

Most of the NL Central is off today, but first place in the division will be on the line when the Cardinals (currently leading by half a game) play the Phillies while the Reds host the Braves. You know that and more if you've read this morning's edition of Around the NL Central.

If you thought the Brewers' offensive woes were bad, check this out: At one point yesterday the Pirates had come to bat in 385 innings this season and managed three or more hits just three times.

Today in baseball economics: The Indians are one of 2012's most interesting surprises, as they continue to lead the AL Central. They're also dead-last in attendance, though, even ranking behind Oakland.

This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the 54th anniversary of the Milwaukee Braves selling 1957 pennant race hero Bob Hazle to the Tigers in 1958. Today is also 1972 AL All Star Ellie Rodriguez's 66th birthday, and Plunk Everyone notes that his 55 career HBP are the most ever for a player born on May 24.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to move to this universe.

Drink up.

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