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Thursday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while getting a piggy-back ride.

So, in an effort to get straightened out, Carlos Villanueva is going to start on Sunday, bumping Jeff Suppan to a minor league game. (Also noted in FanShot) Carlos has been struggling with long at bats this spring, and I'm not sure why that will be any different in the first inning than it was in the sixth or seventh, but hopefully the placebo effect is enough to make a difference. Reporters following the Giants are still talking about the massive home run he gave up to Jesus Guzman on Tuesday.

While the Brewers were in Tucson yesterday, Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic caught up with Prince Fielder for a profile that covers Prince's clubhouse leadership, interaction with kids at the ballpark and his relationship with his dad.

While McManaman was profiling Fielder, The Official Site was talking to Bill Hall about his offseason LASIK surgery, recovery from his torn calf and his 2009 role.

Back in Maryvale, Trevor Hoffman's recovery is going slower than expected, but everyone still seems relatively confident he'll be able to get enough spring training work in to be ready for Opening Day.

Driveline Mechanics has an in-depth look at NL Central rotations based on WAR gained from their PECOTA projections. They have the Brewers' rotation as the second best in the division. It's worth noting, though, that PECOTA projects Yovani Gallardo, Manny Parra and Braden Looper for 140, 145 and 160 innings, respectively. I think most of us will agree the 2009 Brewers are in trouble if that's all they get from these three guys.

Welcome to the latest chapter in the book someone could write debating the value of Rickie Weeks: Doug Melvin showed Anthony Witrado a comparison of Weeks, Brian Roberts and Orlando Hudson at similar points in their careers. Weeks gets on base more and scores more runs while striking out about twice as often.

Crawfish Boxes continues their position-by-position look at the NL Central with a look at center field, where Mike Cameron ranks second. The Brewers have now drawn even with the Cubs in the points standings.

Baseball Intellect has a look at the Brewers top five prospects, and names the same top five guys that appear in our list. The second installment, 6-15, should be released soon and I'm more interested in that one.

MLB Playoff Odds is conducting a study of simulation projections, and has two posts of note today: First, in the PECOTA simulation, the Brewers average 85.6 wins and a 31-33% chance at the playoffs. In the Hardball Times simulation, the Brewers check in at about 84.5 wins and a 31-33% chance again.

Tomorrow, they'll hire someone to squeeze blood from a stone: The Brewers are suing a suiteholder who has missed two payments for the use of a luxury suite in 2009. This season would be the third of a three-year deal for the suite, and if the Brewers consistently sell them that way I'm surprised this doesn't happen more often.

If you bottled hypocrisy, this is what it would smell like: Wasting Away in Wrigleyville, a Cubs blog, says the Brewers have baseball's most obnoxious fans.

In other camps:

Mets: May be getting ready to release Freddy Garcia.
Nationals: Released Shawn Hill and signed Joe Beimel.
Pirates: Optioned Tom Gorzelanny to AAA.
Red Sox: Released Josh Bard.
Royals: Released Jimmy Gobble.

Baseball Musings continues their team-by-team previews of offense in 2009 with a look at the Reds, who project for 4.20 runs per game, down from 4.35 in 2008.

Back in December I wrote this post about the arbitration clock and holding players in the minors to delay it. Now, the Nationals have a real life example, as they're reportedly considering holding prospect Jordan Zimmerman in AAA to prevent him from being a Super 2 down the road. Baseball Musings agrees with my assessment of the situation, saying, "Playing games with the arbitration clock is a lousy way to run a ball club." If the Nationals want to delay putting their best team on the field, they shouldn't get upset when their fans stay home until they do so.

That's all for today. Drink up.