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Saturday's Plastic Cup

The only thing worse than being a Bill Hall fan right now must be being Bill Hall.  I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that Billy will not be in today's starting lineup.  What I'm less sure about is whether that will constitute a defensive upgrade at second base.

There's a surprising amount to link to for a weekend, so let's get into it.

JJ Hardy has a left rotator cuff strain, which means...heck if I know.  The official line is that he's out of commission for the weekend, after which...heck if anybody knows.

The guy who writes Big League Stew for Yahoo is entirely too concerned about hip bumps.  In keeping with that theme, he notes that the Brewers outfield doesn't do it.  Instead, they kick it Mathnet style.

Junkball Blues looks at Ben Sheets's pitch counts lately.  I'm not as concerned about it as most--despite his litany of injuries, bizarre and otherwise, Ben is built like a horse, throws like a horse, and approaches his starts like a horse.  Age-wise, he's also well clear of the typical pitcher's "injury nexus."  That said, I wouldn't mind at all if his next outing consisted of seven shutout innings and a grand total of 94 pitches.

Here's an article at the official site about the Brewers youngsters amassing in Arizona to learn about being pro ballplayers.  There are some interesting tidbits, but the main point of interest is why Tom Singer left his MFA program to write for  Tom H needs to sit down with the young man and teach him how to pack more quotes and fewer adjectives into a properly written sports dispatch.

This may or may not be related to the Brewers: Juan Rincon has rejected an assignment to Triple-A, and is now a free agent.  He's certainly better depth than Jeff Weaver, though I'd imagine he'll get a major-league offer.  He's almost certainly a better long-term option than Mike DeFelice, and he seems like the kind of guy Melvin would kick the tires on.

Moving away from Milwaukee: Mitch Harris, a Cardinals draftee from the Naval Academy, is not getting an exemption from active duty.  That means his professional hopes will be set back five years.  It's tough not to feel bad for the guy, but then again, you go to the Naval Academy and then you go into active service.  That's how it works for everybody else, anyway.

Also in Cardinals news, Fungoes points out that LaRussa doesn't always use his LOOGY at the best possible times.  Maybe that's what Yost is trying to emulate.  Matthew at Lookout Landing notes the relatively small number of relief innings thrown by lefties.

If you're ever feeling sorry for the Brewers because of all the injuries we've dealt with, remind yourself what the Indians are going through this year.  Ouch.

Instant replay could hit MLB by August.  Wow.  I haven't made up my mind about it yet, but I am bracing myself for a deluge of redundant and uninteresting debate.

And turning to another topic that gets a deluge of debate, Hot Foot argues against interleague play.   It's certainly true that the shine is off this particular new toy.  Robby's argument focuses on competitive balance, which is certainly a problem.  We've talked at length on the site about the differences between the Brewers' schedule and those of the division rivals.  Interleague doesn't help matters.  I'd bet that we'll be hashing this out every year for the next couple decades, since MLB is in love with it, and they've doctored the numbers to make it look like the public loves it, too.  (Yeah, the public loves those mid-summer weekend games, huh?)