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Wednesday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while coming out of your shell.

The main topic of conversation this morning continues to be replacing Rickie Weeks. Ray Durham has been in touch, and Chris De Luca of the Chicago Sun-Times thinks Mark DeRosa could be a fit (thanks to 80Badger for the link), but Doug Melvin is focusing on internal options, and as of this writing, 92% of voters in our poll agree with that decision.

Meanwhile, Hernan Iribarren has been called up to fill Weeks' spot on the roster (Also noted in FanShot). Iribarren, who is left handed, did not play last night and likely will not play tonight against lefty Wandy Rodriguez, but could be considered to start on Thursday.

Speaking of Wandy Rodriguez, both Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle and Crawfish Boxes are excited to see his matchup with Yovani Gallardo tonight. Gallardo, meanwhile, is just trying to stay sharp after what was basically a missed turn in the rotation on Friday.

After a decade of living in obscurity, Mark DiFelice is suddenly the center of attention. Jeff Passan of Yahoo had a story on him earlier this week, and now he's also profiled in Hardball Cooperative and The Madison Capital Times. Of course, all this attention had to come this week, when DiFelice allowed an earned run for just the second time in 16 appearances.

Speaking of obscurity, Dave Bush is moving towards an obscure record of his own pretty quickly. Bush hit two Astros batters last night to bring his Brewer career total to 46, just three shy of Jamey Wright's franchise record. Bush's seven plunks in 2009 lead the National League. He only hit ten batters in all of 2008.

Mike Hampton started last night's game for the Astros, but left early with a left thumb lasceration. I haven't seen anything on how long he'll be out.

Jeremy Jeffress, the #3 prospect and top pitcher in our Community Prospect Rankings, has been demoted to Brevard County after posting a 15.03 ERA and walking 21 hitters in 11.1 innings over his last four starts. Former top pitching prospect Mike Jones has been promoted to Huntsville to take his place (Also noted in FanShot).

Power rankings, anyone?

Around the league:

Nationals: Placed Elijah Dukes on the DL with a hamstring strain and designated Alex Cintron for assignment.
Reds: Placed reliever Nick Masset on the DL with a strained oblique.

Is 2009 a renaissance for aging catchers? Plunk Everyone noticed that catchers 35 years old or older are catching 17.3% of games this season, the second highest total since 1960.

Take a deep breath, everyone. Stephen Strasburg, who is almost certain to be the #1 pick in June's draft and is dominating college hitters at San Diego State, is not expected to make his MLB debut this season. I've heard all the hype about him being the "greatest prospect ever" and whatnot, but seriously, let's let this guy make his pro debut before we slot him into the Nationals' rotation.

Giants pitcher Noah Lowry's long and winding road back to the big leagues continues. Lowry is scheduled for surgery to have a rib removed to address thoracic outlet syndrome. His agent, meanwhile, has called the Giants out for failing to correctly diagnose Lowry's ailment the first time.

The road is just as long and winding, but maybe a little darker, for Khalil Greene. Greene is getting some extra time off to address an anxiety issue. Greene has admitted to "punishing himself physically," and others have expressed concern about the severity of the punishment. Greene missed a fair portion of last season after breaking his hand punching an equipment trunk.

Oh, and no matter what I do, I never seem to get a cheering section quite like Tigers outfielder Clete Thomas.

Drink up.