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Wednesday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while waiting for the Men At Work reunion.

As noted in this FanShot, the biggest news of the day was pretty unexpected: Eric Gagne is a Brewer again. Gagne will make $1.5 million if he makes the team, with several million more in incentives ranging from attainable (make 25 appearances) to unlikely (finish 60 games). He can also become a free agent if he's not on the 40-man roster by March 25. As noted in McCalvy's link above (the second one), the Brewers are now denying any interest in Jason Isringhausen and canceled plans to go see Chad Cordero throw.

Quevedo at the Buffet's reaction to the move was about the same as mine. Chuckie Hacks has a pronounciation guide, in case you've forgotten, and Two-Fisted Slopper has a more sinister explanation.

FanGraphs likes the move, and mentions something that everyone mentions: Gagne pitched better in the second half. That's technically true, but he posted an ERA over 7 in the first half, and carried an ERA over 6.90 well into August. Consider these three pitchers, all 2008 Brewers, in their final appearances of 2009:

Pitcher A: 18 G, 16.1 IP, 1.65 ERA, 10 BB, 15 K
Pitcher B: 18 G, 16.2 IP, 2.70 ERA, 3 BB, 12 K
Pitcher C: 14 G, 18 IP, 1.50 ERA, 4 BB, 19 K

Pitcher A is Guillermo Mota. I didn't see any tears shed when he left. B is Gagne. C is Mark DiFelice, whose opportunity to make the team gets smaller every day.

We've learned a fair amount about Ken Macha's plans for the team over the last couple of days. Yesterday we learned he doesn't plan to start Yovani Gallardo on opening day and will likely bat Rickie Weeks and J.J. Hardy 1-2. We'd previously heard that Jason Kendall will likely see his playing time reduced in 2009. In-Between Hops recaps an old feud between Kendall and Macha from Oakland, and wonders if it might resurface in Milwaukee.

Rich Lederer of Baseball Analysts has taken his pitcher classification one step further, adding walks to the equation. In this new format, Manny Parra is a K+ BB- GB+. My head hurts.

Right Field Bleachers has an interview up (both audio and a transcript) with Lorenzo Cain, who's hoping to be a September callup in 2009.

Over the next few weeks, you'll probably be inundated with photos and video of baseball being played in warm temperatures under sunny skies. For balance, Rattler Radio has taken some photos to remind us why we don't have spring training in Wisconsin.

On the transaction wire:

Pirates: Signed Nate McLouth to a three year deal worth $15.75 million, avoiding arbitration.
Rays: Signed Adam Kennedy to a minor league deal and invited him to camp.
Reds: Signed Edwin Encarnacion to a two year, $7.6 million deal, avoiding arbitration.

The Nationals, already facing accusations and an FBI investigation into questionable practices in international scouting, have another embarrassing story to their credit: 19-year-old shortstop Esmailyn "Smiley" Gonzalez, their 10th ranked prospect according to Baseball America, is actually a 23-year-old named Daniel Lugo. Lugo won the GCL (Rookie) batting title last season, as one would expect a 23-year-old to do.

Reaction has been good for the first day of BCB on Twitter, with 192 readers signed up to follow our updates. If you Twitter and haven't signed up to follow us yet, feel free to do, and if you're finding us this morning for the first time via Twitter, welcome.

Oh, and today is a Woot-off day.

Drink up.