Friday's Frosty Mug: Sitting around waiting for baseball

Mike McGinnis

The Brewers are finally back in action tonight, and we'll tell you all about it in today's news roundup.

Some things to read while seeing the future.

After four days without baseball, even the Brewers are probably getting restless. They held a voluntary workout at Miller Park yesterday (Twitter link) before opening a series against the Marlins at 7:10 tonight. Kyle Lohse will take on Jacob Turner in the first game.

Looking ahead, the Brewers' second half rotation doesn't look much like what any of us would have predicted in March. Kyle Lohse will be followed to the mound by Yovani Gallardo on Saturday, and Wily Peralta, Tom Gorzelanny and Donovan Hand will take the mound the next three days.

Jean Segura will almost certainly be in the lineup tonight, as he has been in 90 of the Brewers' first 94 games this season. Dan Plesac of MLB Network has him #1 on a list of NL players that should get more attention. (h/t @Haudricourt).

Fellow NL All Star Carlos Gomez will also be in the lineup tonight, looking to bust out of a slump that has seen him hit .063/.162/.156 in his last nine games. Bill Baer of ESPN listed Gomez among his NL players to watch down the stretch.

Jonathan Lucroy may not be drawing as much attention as Segura or Gomez, but his play both offensively and defensively has added a lot to this team. Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs notes that Lucroy has done an excellent job pitch framing again this season, and it's clearly shown in the Brewers' called strike rate.

We are eleven days and counting away from the non-waiver trade deadline, so we're starting to reach the point where deals could happen at any time now. Michael Gonzalez, who is on a one-year contract, is one of the Brewers most likely to move and he told Tom Haudricourt he's expecting it. (Twitter link)

Norichika Aoki's fate remains a little more uncertain. Benjamin Orr of Reviewing the Brew makes the case for the Brewers to keep their right fielder.

Speaking of the trade deadline, Adam McCalvy has a look at the five best in-season deals in franchise history. The trade most of us would probably think of first, surprisingly, is #2 on the list.

Looking further ahead, the Brewers are going to have to make an interesting decision on Corey Hart after this season. Despite the fact that he's going to miss the entire 2013 season, over 70% of voters in our BCB Tracking Poll said they'd be open to Hart returning on a one-year deal for 2014 if he's healthy.

Stretch run baseball for a losing team requires a pretty notable perspective shift. Keep Turnin' Up the Heat! has some different ways to evaluate the 2013 Brewers.

In the minors:

  • The affiliates went 4-2 last night and Drew Gagnon pitched 6.2 scoreless innings in Huntsville's 1-0 win over Pensacola. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
  • Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio has notes and highlights from Wisconsin's 6-5 loss to Bowling Green.
  • Also, congratulations are due out today to Wisconsin manager Matt Erickson and his wife Julia, who gave birth to a baby girl yesterday. Emma is the couple's third child. Erickson left the team last night and will rejoin them at home on Wednesday.
  • No Brewer prospects made John Sickels of Minor League Ball's midseason top 75.
  • After a single start with Wisconsin the Brewers have returned Johnny Hellweg to Nashville. (Twitter link)

Back in Milwaukee, the second game of the Marlins series will feature the Brewers' annual tribute to the Negro Leagues. John Steinmiller has more on the event, including the 1923 Milwaukee Bears uniforms the Brewers will wear.

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 pm today. I'll be in studio for an hour taking your calls, tweets and emails, so listen in and join the conversation.

Around baseball:

Diamondbacks: Signed reliever Shawn Camp to a minor league deal.
Orioles: Pitcher Jair Jurrjens has refused an assignment to the minors and is now a free agent.
Yankees: Placed Derek Jeter on the DL with a quad strain.

Finally, now I can once again include probable pitchers in our daily look at the standings:

Team W L GB Today Time Matchup
Cardinals 57 36 -- v SDP 7:15p Jake Westbrook v Jason Marquis
Pirates 56 37 1 @ CIN 6:10p Francisco Liriano v Mike Leake
Reds 53 42 5 v PIT 6:10p
Cubs 42 51 15 @ COL 7:40p Jeff Samardzija v Jorge De La Rosa
Brewers 38 56 19.5 v MIA 7:10p Kyle Lohse v Jacob Turner

How did you select your favorite player? Larry Granillo of Baseball Nation has a note up today comparing the process to choosing your favorite Muppet.

Tonight we'll get a chance to see if this week's Paul McCartney concert, the second concert held at Miller Park this season, had an impact on the Miller Park field. Meanwhile, Kenny Chesney also ruined the grass at Target Field this week and has the Twins scrambling to re-sod.

About a week ago, while the Brewers were in Arizona, I tweeted this:

Apparently the D-Backs' masked wrestler character has been more popular than anyone expected, as the team is now naming him as an official mascot.

Today In Brewer History was off this morning but we do have one bit of history: Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that today is the 55th anniversary of the Milwaukee Braves signing future Hall of Famer Joe Niekro as an amateur free agent.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need a knife.

Drink up.

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