Friday's Frosty Mug: So what now?

Mike McGinnis

We'll shift our attention back to baseball tonight as the Brewers return to action, but what should we expect from a team that's lost 16 of its last 20? Read our daily news roundup to get ready for tonight's action.

Some things to read while rising to power.

The Brewers were off yesterday but the rumor mill was not, as a 4-16 month of May has many of us wondering what the future holds for the 2013 Brewers. Many among us used Mark Attanasio's comments from Wednesday to speculate that Ron Roenicke's future could be on the line here, but Mark Attanasio told Jon Heyman that's not the case. Meanwhile, Doug Melvin told WTMJ he's "not a believer" in immediate changes.

This week's Brew Crew Ball Tracking Poll would suggest that a large portion of voters wouldn't have a problem with dramatic or minor changes at this point. Ron Roenicke's disapproval rating is higher than his approval at this point, and Rick Kranitz's disapproval remains over 50%.

For today's opposing view, we'll turn to The Brew Crew Project. They posted a defense of Roenicke that included this line:

"Roenicke will periodically mismanage the bullpen and bat players too high in the lineup, but he'll also keep the clubhouse together and herd cats like a boss."

I may borrow "herd cats like a boss" when I make my weekly appearance on The Home Stretch on 95.3 FM WSCO in Appleton at 2 pm today.

Of course, we probably wouldn't be having most of these conversations if the Brewers were winning. The Brew Crew Project has a recap of the hot mess that was the Dodgers series.

Wily Peralta's rough outing Wednesday put an exclamation point on the Brewers' string of bad play. Nicholas Zettel of Disciples of Uecker has a look at Peralta's release point and his slider. Brewer starting pitchers have a combined ERA over five this season, which prompted Adam McCalvy to write about them in his off-day feature.

Moving on, the Brewers open a three game set with the Pirates at 7:10 tonight with Marco Estrada on the mound against A.J. Burnett for the second time in as many weeks. Miller Park Drunk has a post that's loosely based on this series.

The Brewers' recent struggles have inspired some consideration of the career work of Doug Melvin, the architect of both some of the best and most disappointing Brewer teams of the last several decades. Ryan Topp of Disciples of Uecker has a look at Melvin's ten best and ten worst moves in Milwaukee, while Ron Roenicke Stole My Baseball takes issue with the decision to include Ken Macha's hiring on the latter list.

In the minors:

This week in power rankings: Tim Brown of Yahoo has the Brewers 22nd, down four spots.

Around baseball:

Indians: Designated pitcher David Huff for assignment.
Orioles: Designated pitcher Alex Burnett for assignment.
Phillies: Placed second baseman Chase Utley on the DL with a mild oblique strain.
Rangers: Signed infielder/outfielder Mark Teahen to a minor league deal and released pitcher Derek Lowe.

There were only five games played around baseball yesterday, but one of them featured two NL Central teams: The Pirates overcame an extended rain delay to beat the Cubs 4-2 and gain half a game on the field in the division. They're now one of three Central teams at eleven or more games over .500.

Here are this morning's standings and tonight's probables:

Team W L GB Today Time Matchup
Cardinals 30 16 -- @ LAD 9:10p Lance Lynn v Chris Capuano
Reds 29 18 1.5 v CHC 6:10p Bronson Arroyo v Scott Feldman
Pirates 29 16 1.5 @ MIL 7:10p A.J. Burnett v Marco Estrada
Brewers 18 27 11.5 v PIT 7:10p
Cubs 18 28 12 @ CIN 6:10p

Today in former Brewers:

Today in Brewer History was off this morning but today is 1971-73 Brewer and 1972 AL All Star catcher Ellie Rodriguez's 67th birthday, and Plunk Everyone notes that his 55 career HBP are the most ever for a player born on May 24. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also been 9000 days since Ted Simmons and Phil Garner's final MLB games.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to plan ahead.

Drink up.

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