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Wednesday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while having that dream again.

Coming off an outing yesterday that saw him give up two home runs in an inning and a third, Carlos Villanueva has been called out by management and needs to have a couple of good outings yet this spring to secure his role as Trevor Hoffman's primary set-up man. PocketDoppler thought the timing was a little odd, but isn't reading too much into it.

While the first home run off of Villanueva (hit by Ryan Rohlinger) was inside-the-park, it bounced off a 35 foot high wall 435 feet from home plate, so odds are it would have been a home run in most parks. The second one actually cleared the same fence, which hadn't been done in over a dozen years. Jesus Guzman, who hit the shot, says he'd never hit a ball that far in his life.

Meanwhile, the Brewers made a roster move for the third straight day, claiming reliever Wes Littleton off waivers from the Red Sox and designating Eduardo Morlan for assignment to make room on the roster. (h/t FanShot) The Brewers have until Thursday to work out a deal to keep Morlan or offer him back to Tampa for $25,000, and while the Rays are taking their time to think it over, I can't imagine them deciding to let the Brewers keep a young, talented prospect without getting anything in return.

By the end of spring, the Brewers' trainers will be experts in treating torso injuries: Trevor Hoffman is the latest Brewer to miss time with an oblique strain. (Also noted in FanShot) It's not expected to be serious, and team officials aren't concerned about it affecting Hoffman's preparations for the season. The injury did, however, give Hoffman more time to talk to Scott Miller of CBS Sports about his new home and taking one bite out of entire plates of donuts.

Yes, if you're scoring at home, we've now established that Trevor Hoffman eats two things: donuts and worms.

The outbreak of ribcage injuries in Brewer camp has led Big League Stew to wonder if the McRib should compete in the 2009 Sausage Race.

Finally, Angel Salome is now sidelined indefinitely with back spasms after being removed from Saturday's game. One would have to assume the Brewers will take it slow with his rehab this time, seeing as it's the second occurence.

Visual evidence from yesterday's game:

Trot Nixon has come around a bit in the last week or so of camp, but it might be too little too late to replace Brad Nelson on the roster. Nelson's bat has cooled a bit this week, but he and Chris Duffy are still the most likely candidates to open the season in the two vacant backup outfielder spots.

In the only season preview I have today, Full Count Pitch thinks the Brewers' pitching deficiencies are likely too large to overcome, but projects them to win 80-85 games and finish just out of the playoffs.

Despite that, though, the Brewers are one of the finalists for Sports Business Journal's Professional Sports Team of the Year. The winner will be announced on May 28.

Meanwhile, in other camps:

Astros: Aaron Boone is leaving the team to have heart surgery and may be forced to retire.
A's: Released Rob Bowen.
Padres: Reliever Chris Britton has been informed he won't make the team, and may report to minor league camp or become a free agent.
Phillies: Tests showed no structural damage in Cole Hamels' elbow, but he's still a long shot to be ready for Opening Day.
Rangers: Andruw Jones is unlikely to make the team coming out of spring training and could opt out of his deal as soon as Friday.
Royals: Signed Sidney Ponson to a minor league deal.

Ryan Braun didn't play in the WBC last night, but he will remain with the team following Team USA's walkoff victory, advancing to the semifinals. I'm torn on this: obviously I like seeing Team USA succeed, but I also would have liked to have Braun back in Arizona with the rest of the team.

Corey Koskie made his spring debut for the Cubs yeterday and doubled in his first at bat. It's good to see him complete his recovery.

Teams are always searching far and wide to find the next generation of players, but where will major league baseball find the next generation of umpires? The Padres have an idea, and they're sponsoring a camp for Marines interested in learning the job. I hadn't thought about it before, but the quote in the link is dead-on: Marines are uniquely qualified.

Oh, and former Brewers Rick Helling and Mike Myers are working for the Players Association now.

Drink up.