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Thursday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while searching for giant shoes.

Manny Parra will make his final 2009 start in a few hours before "trying to forget" the 2009 season and moving on. If the impending end of the baseball season and a Manny Parra start weren't enough to depress you today, the former Hackers passed along this note: Three of the worst five starters in Brewer history (by ERA) are in the rotation right now, and project to be again next season.

One of the three, though, is done for 2009: The Brewers have changed plans regarding Dave Bush, who is no longer expected to start on Saturday. With Bush out, Yovani Gallardo shut down, Josh Butler sent home and Mike Burns likely done for the season, Carlos Villanueva could be called upon to start a game this weekend.

Even if the Brewers are short a pitcher or two this weekend, don't expect to see Seth McClung, who has pitched just one inning (ten days ago) since returning from the DL. McClung says he can see the writing on the wall and wonders if he's being set up to fail.

We probably also won't be seeing Corey Hart, who's likely done for the year after suffering compression fractures in the fingers on his right hand while sliding in headfirst on a pickoff move Tuesday (FanShot). If Hart's season is over it'll be another forgettable one, but it's worth noting that he raised his OBP by 35 points this season, out of the "embarrassing" zone and into "could improve." Of course, his power numbers also fell and his OPS is actually down from last season.

Prince Fielder's 44th home run last night was his 100th run of the season, making him the first Brewer ever to reach 100 runs, 100 RBI and 100 walks in a season. The feat has been accomplished 179 times in baseball history, but Fielder and Albert Pujols will likely be the only ones to do it this season.

While all of the playoff races are nearly over and many postseason awards have already been locked up, the NL Rookie of the Year race remains wide open. Over at The Hardball Times, Jeff Sackmann handicaps the field of candidates, and ranks Casey McGehee third.

At least this is the last morning of 2009 where I'll wake up and have to write about another Jeff Suppan start. Suppan was Suppan again last night, but because he hit a batter, Plunk Everyone has an incredible note on him:
Seth Smith got hit by a Jeff Suppan pitch, making Smith the only left fielder batting left handed to score a run after reaching base on a plunk thrown by a right handed pitcher in the month of September this year.
Without the internet, we never would have known.

Are you ready to start looking ahead to the hot stove season? Charlie Marlow has a look at the Brewers' financial commitments for 2010, and some expected arbitration outcomes.

MLB FanHouse dropped the Brewers one spot to 19th in their power rankings.

Around baseball:

Indians: Announced that manager Eric Wedge and his coaching staff will not be retained for 2010.

Jorge Says No! continues to look at upcoming free agents and their likely salaries, and projects Randy Wolf to get three years, $31.5 million this offseason. He also downgraded his projection for Doug Davis to three years, $21 million.

Before the season, we talked about Detroit, Cleveland and a handful of other teams that could struggle economically this season, but the biggest decline may actually be happening in Toronto, where the Jays cut "several dozen jobs" from the business side of their front office following their final home game Sunday. The team also cut 33 jobs in December. There are several franchises in baseball that don't have a lot going for them, but the Blue Jays might have one of the bleaker futures.

In the weeks following the end of the regular season, we'll probably spend a fair amount of time discussing prospects before eventually re-evaluating our Community Prospect Rankings. When we do, I'm guessing this will come up: Baseball America has compiled the average stats for every minor league, to show which leagues are hitter and pitcher-friendly. The PCL was pretty hitter-friendly this season, while the FSL and Midwest Leagues favored pitchers and the Southern League was close to neutral.

Looking for a history lesson today? Wezen-ball has a look back at the expansion teams of 1969, the process that led to their creation and their successes and failures. This post also has an interesting look at how the NL franchises ended up in San Diego and Montreal.

If you have and you're looking for something else to watch this weekend, here's something: Former Brewer knuckleballer Steve Sparks will be filling in on FS Houston broadcasts this weekend.

That's all I have for you today, unless you need tips on smelling nice.

Drink up.