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The Brewers won again in dramatic fashion last night, in a game that saw the return of Ryan Braun but an injury to Bill Hall. In a move that surprised more or less everyone, Hall started in left last night in place of Braun, and lasted all of one inning before leaving with cramping in his hamstring. In-Between Hops came out against the move before the game. Hall, meanwhile, is expected to be reevaluated today. Two things immediately jump out at me:
- First, kudos to Hall for being willing to take one for the team and play wherever asked. Despite not having played a game in the outfield all spring and never having played left field, he was willing to give it a shot.
- Second, though, Macha admitted after the game that he didn't know Hall had never played left field in the majors. This is flat-out coaching fail. Sure, Macha wasn't around before this season and some members of the coaching staff are new as well, but I can't believe there wasn't a single front office person, assistant coach or player willing to mention to Macha that he was wandering into uncharted territory. Maybe Macha should spend a little less time complaining about Trevor Hoffman's music and a little more time getting to know his players.
Is J.J. Hardy ready for a hot streak? Apparently Mike Rivera noticed a change in Hardy's batting stance from last season. Hardy adjusted it back and went 1-for-3 with a walk last night.
Yet another reason why Mike Cameron is your early choice for NL MVP: According to FanGraphs, Cameron is the most valuable defensive outfielder in baseball so far this season.
Dugout Central, though, still hasn't picked up on the trend. They have Cameron eighth in their voting for April's NL MVP, behind Ryan Braun. Yovani Gallardo finished fifth in their voting for NL Cy Young.
The Hardball Times has developed four teams of players who do and don't swing at high and low pitches. J.J. Hardy made the team of players who don't swing at low pitches, and Jason Kendall made the list for not swinging at high ones. It feels really strange to talk about Brewers who don't swing at everything.
Speaking of Kendall, Matthew Pouliot of Circling the Bases rated him #97 on his list of potential 2010 free agents. Kendall and Rickie Weeks are also in the top ten in Plunk Everyone's list of players most likely to get hit by a pitch.
In the minors:
- While Pedro Lambertus begins serving his 50-game suspension for PED use (plus ten more games tacked on by the Brewer organization), Timber Rattlers beat writer Brett Christopherson asked how a mistake like this could happen, and couldn't find anyone with an answer.
- Chuckie Hacks found an article from the Nashville Tennesseean discussing Mat Gamel's defense. It sounds like the top of his defensive upside might be league average.
The Brewers return home on Friday, and were scheduled to face Carlos Zambrano, but that won't happen anymore. Zambrano has been placed on the DL with a hamstring strain. (Also noted in FanShot) The Cub Reporter takes a look at the three pitchers who could fill in for Zambrano on Friday.
Also, if you're planning on coming out to the ballpark on Friday, Miller Park Drunk would like you to leave your banana, gorilla and bunny costumes at home.
Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star moved the Brewers up from 26th to 15th in his power rankings, but still has them behind the Reds (11th) and Pirates (14th).
Around the league:
Astros: Placed Doug Brocail on the DL with a hamstring strain.
Cardinals: Rick Ankiel is day-to-day after crashing into the outfield wall last night. X-Rays and a CT scan came back negative.
Mets: Ken Takahashi has been moved into the rotation, replacing Oliver Perez. Takahashi is 40 years old and pitched for 14 years in Japan.
Nationals: Signed Mike MacDougal to a minor league deal.
Royals: Tony Pena Jr. has a broken hand that will require surgery. He'll be out 4-8 weeks.
White Sox: Signed Daryle Ward to a minor league deal.
Oh, and Adult Swim is piling on the Pirates.