The biggest news this morning, courtesy of Ken Rosenthal, is that Matt LaPorta is officially on the trading block, and that Alcides Escobar might be packaged with him to acquire C.C. Sabathia. That price sounds a little steep to me, but Tom Haudricourt reports that the Indians have also been scouting Taylor Green. LaPorta and Green sounds about right, which would free the Brewers to trade Escobar or J.J. Hardy (who is confirmed to be available, along with Rickie Weeks) for A.J. Burnett, because the Blue Jays need a shortstop. Haudricourt doubts the Brewers are really offering LaPorta and/or Escobar, but given recent history, I think I'd believe Robothal first.
The Yost Infection takes umbrage with BA & Rock's fellating of Hardy's defense, citing his terrible zone rating, but fails to note the fact that Hardy leads all of baseball in out-of-zone plays; in other words, the Brewers' defensive shifting is messing up his zone rating. He's still not as good as Escobar, though.
LaPorta, Escobar, and Mat Gamel all made what I guess is best called Baseball America's Midseason Prospect All-Star Team, which roughly means they're near the top of their positions in all of prospectdom, but the corrosponding chat casts doubt on whether Gamel and Angel Salome can stick at their current defensive positions.
At FanGraphs, Marc Hulet (who I'm beginning to suspect is a big Brewers fan) points out that there are other interesting prospects in the system beyond the big names, namely Michael Brantley and Cole Gillespie. The point is especially well-taken about Gillespie, who's hitting like a mini-LaPorta, putting up a .273/.374/.498 line. Hulet also put Brad Nelson on his AAA non-prospect All-Star team; I think Nelson would make an excellent throw-in in whatever trade the Brewers end up executing, as he's never going to get a shot in Milwaukee.
Speaking of trades,
Scott Linebrink Cutter Dykstra hit his first professional home run for Helena.
Dykstra's fellow draftee, 41st-round Cal State Fullerton SS Joe Scott, is playing summer ball in Alaska and "there's a chance he might sign a professional contract if he plays well this summer." He previously spurned the Brewers last year when they drafted him in the 39th round.
Tired of reading about prospects? Michael Garciaparra probably is too, though he doesn't regret choosing minor league baseball over a two-sport college career at the University of Tennessee.
Back in the big leagues, Tim Lincecum dropped the hammer on the Cubs while Mike Pelfrey dominated the Cardinals, keeping the Brewers from losing any ground after the game I don't remember. David Pinto notes that Lincecum exhibited unusually good control.
Speaking of which, having nightmares about the bullpen after yesterday? This should help.
At Recondite Baseball, TheJay takes a look at players who achieved the Alex Sanchez Special, having a lower on-base percentage than batting average. He ran down the Brewers' leaders in an earlier post.
Before today, all I know about Max Scherzer was that he threw really hard and had heterochromia. Now, thanks to Eric Seidman's interview, I know that Scherzer's a pretty sharp guy with an interest in cutting edge baseball research. I'm amazed that he's able to get anyone out pitching from his mother's basement.
That'll do it. What's that? You wanted another song? If you don't got Mojo Nixon then your store could use some fixin'!