Friday's Frosty Mug: Just keep winning

Tom Lynn

We're talking about the Brewers' recent hot streak, Yovani Gallardo and more in today's daily news roundup.

Some things to read while reaching for it.

The Brewers are back within two games of .500 after completing a sweep of the Giants with a 7-2 win yesterday. Morineko has the recap, if you missed it. Yovani Gallardo pitched six innings in the game, allowed one run and drove in two with a home run off Matt Cain.

Of course, Gallardo's performance yesterday brought about another round of thoughts about what baseball should do with players caught driving drunk. Here's the roundup:

  • Back here, Nathan Petrashek made the case that Gallardo's week and the relative lack of repercussions that will come from it illustrate the need for MLB to do more about drunk driving.
  • Bill from The Platoon Advantage recognizes the disparity between MLB's outrage over performance enhancing drugs and apparent nonchalance over DUI's, but asks if we really want the two to be treated the same.
  • Mike Bauman of MLB.com says Gallardo took some pressure off himself with his solid outing Thursday.
  • Jaymes Langrehr notes that Gallardo can redeem himself by taking this opportunity to learn from his mistake, not by his performance on the field.
  • Enrique Bakemeyer of The Brewers Bar says Gallardo doesn't owe him an apology for his mistake.

Following yesterday's game the Brewers made a pair of roster moves, optioning Mike Fiers to AAA and calling up Hiram Burgos to start in his place on Saturday. Fiers was carrying an 8.59 ERA in three appearances (including one start) as a Brewer in 2013, while Burgos has a 2.70 mark in three AAA starts.

Fiers told Adam McCalvy that getting sent down isn't the worst thing, as it will give him a chance to prove again that he can get batters out. @Mass_Haas notes that he still has an option remaining for 2014, if the Brewers need it. Burgos, meanwhile, will be making his major league debut on Saturday, will wear the same #46 he had during the spring and is only the third Bethune Cookman University alum to play in the majors.

Other notes from the field:

The homestand continues tonight as the Cubs invade Miller Park to start a three game series. Marco Estrada is expected to take on Jeff Samardzija at 7:10, and Zack Meisel has the MLB.com preview. Joe Block notes that it will also be the Miller Park return for recent Brewers and new Cubs Kameron Loe and Cody Ransom. Miller Park Drunk has a series preview that's loosely based on the actual series.

We've already mentioned the Fiers and Burgos moves above, but they weren't this week's only notable transactions: The Brewers also re-signed Francisco Rodriguez to a minor league deal. Adam McCalvy notes that Rodriguez still needs to acquire a work visa, but the Brewers can keep him in the minors for up to 30 days to determine if they'd like him back on the big league roster. If he makes the team, he could earn up to $2 million this season.

Looking back, earlier in the Giants series we saw an event no one would have predicted in February: A Yuniesky Betancourt grand slam. It's actually the fifth of his career, and Ron Roenicke Stole My Baseball has a look at the others.

With help from Hit Tracker Online and Larry Granillo of Baseball Prospectus (for Tuesday and Wednesday), here are this week's home runs and trot times:

Day Hitter Distance Trot Time
Tuesday Yuniesky Betancourt 384 feet 19.93 seconds
Tuesday Norichika Aoki 378 feet 20.67 seconds
Tuesday Carlos Gomez 366 feet 17.93 seconds
Wednesday Yuniesky Betancourt 390 feet 20.09 seconds
Thursday Jonathan Lucroy 409 feet not yet available
Thursday Ryan Braun 389 feet not yet available
Thursday Yovani Gallardo 381 feet not yet available

Gomez's trot was the second fastest in the majors on Tuesday.

Betancourt's pair of home runs this week have sparked a conversation about his surprising contributions to this team. Adam McCalvy talked to Ron Roenicke about him and got this quote:

"He's more patient than he was before," Roenicke said. "He sees the off-speed stuff better. Really, he looks like a good offensive player."

Roenicke quickly added: "I don't want to say he wasn't a good offensive player two years ago."

It's a good thing the Brewers like what they're seeing from Yuni, because one of his potential replacements remains on the shelf. Taylor Green is back in Milwaukee to have his ailing hip examined, as it hasn't been responding to treatment. He's out indefinitely at this point.

Off the field, the Wisconsin Sports Awards were handed out last night and Lori Nickel of the JS says Ryan Braun and Aaron Rodgers stole the show.

In the minors:

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 95.3 FM WSCO in Appleton at 2. I'll be in studio for most or all of an hour taking your questions and comments, so listen in and get involved.

If you can't wait that long to hear me, my Thursday appearance on The Watercooler with Jimmie Kaska on Sports Radio 1400 in Eau Claire has been archived.

Around baseball:

Astros: Designated pitcher Xavier Cedeno for assignment.
Dodgers: Placed pitcher Chris Capuano on the DL with a calf strain.
Giants: Placed pitcher Jeremy Affeldt on the DL with an oblique strain.
Marlins: Placed shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria on the the DL with a right elbow contusion.
Mets: Placed catcher Travis d'Arnaud on the DL with a fractured foot.
Padres: Placed outfielder Cameron Maybin on the DL with a wrist injury.
Phillies: Placed pitcher John Lannan on the DL with a knee injury.
Twins: Placed outfielder Darin Mastroianni on the DL with a stress reaction in his ankle.
White Sox: Released pitcher Charlie Leesman.

Yesterday around the Central:

  • Carlos Beltran's eighth inning solo home run was the difference as the Cardinals beat the Phillies 4-3 in the opening contest of a four-game series.
  • The Reds are winners of four straight and pounded the Marlins 11-1 yesterday. Tony Cingrani pitched five innings for his first MLB win. (Red Reporter recap)
  • The Pirates dropped a 6-4 decision to the red-hot Braves when Evan Gattis homered in the eighth inning to break a 4-4 tie. (Bucs Dugout recap)
  • Carlos Villanueva picked up his first win as a Cub as they beat the Rangers 6-2. Wellington Castillo had four hits for Chicago in the game. (Bleed Cubbie Blue recap)
  • And, of course, the Brewers picked up their fourth consecutive victory by beating Matt Cain and the Giants 7-2.
Here's a new batch of standings and probables:
Team W L GB Today Time Matchup
Cardinals 9 6 -- @ PHI 6:05 pm Jaime Garcia v. Roy Halladay
Reds 9 7 .5 v MIA 6:10 pm Mat Latos v. Kevin Slowey
Pirates 7 8 2 v ATL 6:05 pm Wandy Rodriguez v. Tim Hudson
Brewers 6 8 2.5 v CHC 7:10 pm Marco Estrada v. Jeff Samardzija
Cubs 5 9 3.5 @ MIL 7:10 pm

It's possible this is baseball's strangest current stat: The Orioles beat the Rays 10-6 in ten innings last night and have now won each of their last 17 extra inning contests.

This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the 26th anniversary of Dale Sveum's Easter Sunday walkoff homer in 1987 and former Brewer GM Dean Taylor's 63rd birthday. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also been 71 years since Warren Spahn's major league debut and 50 since Hank Aaron's 300th home run.

Finally, here's a quick note on a site feature many of you have long requested: SBN has granted you the ability to edit your comments for a brief period of time after posting, in case your brilliant rant was spoiled by using "than" when you meant "then" or something similar. Minor League Ball has a great explanation of how it works.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to work on my calves.

Drink up.

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