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Wednesday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while not getting the joke.

Or, if you're Frank Catalanotto, today's Mug could be something to read while heading to Arizona. The Brewers signed Catalanotto to a minor league deal yesterday, and he's expected to head to Maryvale for extended spring training before reporting to Huntsville or Nashville (also noted in FanShot).

There's speculation out there that Catalanotto will be prepared to replace one of the Brewers' existing bench players, but CZWief doesn't think the Brewers need him. I think there's a simpler explanation: He's a 12 year veteran who plays multiple positions, and his best season was in 2001 with the Rangers, where his GM was Doug Melvin. Welcome to the fold, newest Gritty Former Ranger.

Of course, the current bench players aren't doing much to keep themselves on the team. The Junkball Blues notes that the current bench is responsible for about 9% of the team's runs, down from 17% last season.

Braden Looper returns to the mound tonight for the Brewers, taking on Ricky Nolasco. The B-Ref Stat of the DAy shows Looper's April 22 start as the second best start in baseball this season by a pitcher who didn't record a strikeout. Brewer studio analyst Jerry Augustine, by the way, has the seventh best of all time.

Sports Illustrated released a list of baseball's five best and worst owners, with Mark Attanasio nowhere to be found and four owners from the AL East represented. Big League Stew wonders if Mark Attanasio should have been mentioned, and I tend to agree.

Today's minor league notes aren't pretty:

Around the league:

D-Backs: Conor Jackson has been placed on the DL with an unknown illness.
Marlins: Scott Proctor will have Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season.
Red Sox: Placed Kevin Youkilis on the DL with a strained rib cage muscle.
Tigers: Designated reliever Juan Rincon for assignment.

Generally speaking, I'm a fan of the Brewer front office staff and ownership. There are times when I feel like they could do more or do better, but I feel like they're making a solid effort to put together a good, fan-friendly team. With that said, I'd love it if they'd do something like this post from Paul DePodesta, full of injury reports on minor league prospects straight from someone in the front office.

Every now and then there's some grumbling around here about the Brewers' decision to play Jason Kendall enough last season to guarantee his contract for 2009. If you thought that was bad, check this out: 36-year-old Tigers outfielder Magglio Ordonez needs 334 plate appearances the rest of the season to trigger a clause in his contract that would pay him $33 million over the next two seasons.

Oh, and if you're a pitcher who missed most of last season with a hip injury, you probably shouldn't be trying to catch an alligator on your off day.

Drink up.