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Wednesday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while turning down the WWE Hall of Fame.

Adam McCalvy has updates on several Brewer injuries, including Braden Looper (could miss Opening Day), Eric Gagne (has developed shoulder soreness), Tony Gwynn (won't know until tomorrow), Bill Hall (could return next week), and David Riske (could return by the weekend).

Braden Looper, for whatever it's worth, seems to think he'll be able to heal faster. He's planning on playing catch tomorrow and hopes to be ready to face live batters by his next turn in the rotation.

It was unlikely at best in the first place, but Looper's injury likely removes any chance Jeff Suppan will be removed from the rotation. I94 Sports takes a look at what the Brewers should expect from Suppan in 2009.

If Looper remains unavailable, might the Brewers take another look at Odalis Perez? Perez, in camp with the Dominican Republic's WBC team, reportedly has drawn interest from nine or ten teams.

Speaking of the WBC, Mark DiFelice started and Vinny Rottino caught for the Italian team in their 9-6 loss to the Nationals yesterday. Rottino went 0-for-2, but DiFelice pitched two shutout innings, allowing two hits and striking out two. The American team, meanwhile, is preparing for Thursday's appearance on Letterman.

It's time now for visual evidence of yesterday's game:
  • Yovani Gallardo pitched three scoreless innings and amused Mike Rivera with his singing.
  • Rickie Weeks and Chris Duffy share a moment after Duffy's home run, while Craig Counsell looks on awkwardly.
  • Ken Macha, proudly wearing his black belt, congratulates Casey McGehee on his home run.
For lots and lots more pictures from the 2009 Cactus League, be sure to check out Jamie in LA's gallery. Sounds like he had a great trip, even if he did take a picture of a man's butt crack.

If you haven't checked the schedule yet, let me save you the time: The Brewers are off today, taking an extra day to prepare for their high-stakes exhibition matchup with Team Australia on Thursday. If you were planning on using the off day to peruse the Brewers team store at Miller Park, you should know it's closed today. You can still shop online, though.

Got some money burning a hole in your pocket? Cappers Picks has the Brewers at +500 to win the NL Central, which is the same odds they're giving the Cardinals, and slightly better than they're giving the Reds (+600). The Cubs, at -160, are favored to win.

Looking for a cheap opportunity to visit Miller Park this season, with the added bonus of getting to see some future Brewers? Miller Park will host The Border Battle on April 24 between the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and the Peoria Chiefs, the Cubs' Midwest League affiliate. Follow the link for more details and ticket info.

Around other camps:

Astros: The team had a pitching meltdown in the third inning of yesterday's game, walking seven straight batters at one point and giving up ten runs.
A's: Have agreed to terms on a deal with Nomar Garciaparra, pending a physical.
Mets: Johan Santana will likely miss Opening Day, but is being prepared to pitch the season's fifth game.
Rockies: Signed Mark Bellhorn to a minor league deal.

Baseball Musings has started their annual look at team offense. Yesterday Dave Pinto profiled the Cubs, who project to score 5.15 runs per game in 2009. They scored 5.31 runs per game in 2008.

Speaking of Pinto, he's also started his annual pledge drive. Baseball Musings provides several useful tools, including the lineup analysis tool we use a fair amount, so if you've got some cash lying around, consider passing it his way.

Do you like inexpensive baseball tickets? Are you prone to nosebleeds? If the answers to those questions were yes and no, respectively, you should check out Big League Stew's collection of cheap season ticket packages.

Yesterday I mentioned DRaysBay's note on the greatest rookie third basemen. It turns out there was a problem with the post. The Book Blog uses it as a great example of how peer review works on the web.

Oh, and Venezuela's WBC team may have been working out with Vince Vaughn.

Drink up.