Some things to read while getting an early start.
The Brewers overcame what Tom H. called a loud belch in church yesterday to salvage a split of a four game series with the Diamondbacks. As if a belch in church wasn't bad enough, Trevor Hoffman followed it up by messing with the D-Backs' heads in the ninth. It was game one of a rare four-opponent week: The Brewers open a two game series with the Pirates today, then another with the Reds on Wednesday, and will see the Cubs this weekend.
Carlos Zambrano will likely miss his scheduled start this weekend against the Brewers after leaving yesterday's game with a hamstring strain. Randy Wells is expected to be called up from AAA Iowa to make the start in his place. Wells pitched in four games for the Blue Jays and Cubs last season but has never made a major league start.
Hopefully Mike Cameron will still be this hot at that point. Cameron led all NL hitters in Value Runs in April. Tom Zeimer of the Wisconsin State Journal has a profile of Cameron, discussing his hot start.
Mike Rivera should be back before too long. He's expected to be activated on May 14, just in time to catch Dave Bush's start on that day.
Manny Parra still hasn't won this season, although he did get a no-decision over the weekend after losses in his first four starts. While many people are blaming Parra's lack of control and/or mental toughness for his struggles, In-Between Hops also notes that Ken Macha seems to be playing the bench players much more frequently on Parra's day.
A couple of minor notes:
- The Huntsville Stars, never really a big attendance draw in the first place, are now dealing with a new problem: swine flu. The new hysteria has them struggling to draw 1000 fans to games.
- Mark Rogers started Saturday for Brevard County but threw just one inning. The team is taking it slow with his rehab, and expects him to throw two innings next time.
Around the league:
Astros: Signed Brendan Donnelly to a minor league deal.
A's: Placed Eric Chavez on the DL with elbow discomfort.
D-Backs: Tom Gordon had to be carried off the field after suffering a hamstring strain, and will be placed on the DL.
Dodgers: Hong-Chih Kuo has been placed on the DL with elbow trouble.
Indians: Designated Tony Graffanino for assignment.
Mariners: Placed Brandon Morrow on the DL with biceps tendinitis. They also designated catcher Jamie Burke for assignment and signed reliever Steven Shell and outfielder Jerry Owens to minor league deals.
Mets: Oliver Perez has been moved to the bullpen, with the official explanation being a knee issue.
Nationals: Signed reliever Mike MacDougal to a minor league deal.
Orioles: Placed Dennis Sarfate on the DL with a circulatory condition causing numbness in his right middle finger.
Yankees: Signed Casey Fossum to a minor league deal.
In case you had forgotten, it's still not a very good time to be a newspaper writer. With more layoffs over the weekend, there are now just two full time beat reporters covering the Dodgers.
At this pace, baseball players could become Japan's biggest export: the Biz of Baseball takes a look at what the Seibu Lions did with the $51+ million they received from the Red Sox for the right to negotiate with Daisuke Matsuzaka. Those may be the nicest ballpark toilets on Earth.
Oh, and after a slow start, the Mets would like permission to fire Willie Randolph again.