Hello and welcome to the Jordan edition of the daily Mug. I'll be your host for about the next month as KL takes some time away for personal business. The Mug will be erratically named and erratically timed. As for the style, you'll probably find fewer links and more of my unsolicited opinions and analysis-- because I don't have the patience or skill to read as many stories per day (over 400 blogs!) as KL does. But I'll do my best to bring you the relevant links each day.
As for general blog news, I'll be serving as the general coordinator for the month of June, so any issues that anyone would normally go to KL for can be directed towards me.
And with that short introduction, on we go to the news. Mat Gamel will likely start all three games at third base this weekend in Atlanta. MLB.com calls it a "shakeup" in the lineup, but Atlanta plans to start three righthanders, so I'd think the move could be somewhat expected. This concerns me a bit, however:
Against righties, though, Macha appears ready to see what Gamel (.264) and Casey McGehee (.258) can do with more at-bats.
"McGehee is swinging the bat pretty well," Macha continued. "He'll get some playing time at third."
I'm all for getting Hall out of the lineup against right handed pitchers, but if he is, Gamel needs to be playing. This is the point where the team needs to decide if Gamel's defense is adequate enought to get the majority of playing time at third. If it is not, he should probably not be in the majors. From everything we know, it has been deemed adequate and Gamel needs to be out there. If he has to come out in the seventh inning, McGehee or Hall can be his defensive replacement.
On the starting pitching front, some writers are advocating the signing of Tom Glavine, and I'm not sure why. His last two seasons, he's thrown 200 and then 63 innings, with FIPs of 4.86 and 6.02. He should really be looked at as an injury replacement who is above replacement level for a team that is not the Brewers, not as an upgrade on Manny Parra (which he is just not). Here's a Capital Times story about looking to sign Glavine, suggesting he could mentor Parra, who is again assumed to have mental issues. Maybe he could be a coach, but I don't think he's a better than the Brewers top 8 or so starting options. I do like Mike Lucas's suggestion of Erik Bedard, however.
The Braves called up their top prospect, Tommy Hanson, when they opted to release Glavine. Hanson will make his major league debut against the Brewers on Sunday. Baseball Intellect has an excellent scouting report on Hanson, with some gif images looking at his mechanics. They touch on the fact that his weakness is vs. left handed hitters, so I'd expect to see a lineup stacked with several on Sunday.
The Cardinals MLB.com site talks to Tony LaRussa and finds that they are in the market for a hitter to protect Albert Pujols. When I read the story, I look at it as if they are gunning for Matt Holliday again and don't really have another option in mind. In other Cards news, Chris Carpenter is still pitching extremely well, he threw another complete game last night, needing only 95 pitches and giving up 1 run on 3 hits.
The MLB draft starts next Tuesday night, and ESPN's Jayson Stark looks at the draft slotting system. There is definitely a problem when large-budget teams can draft and pay over the slot. Stephen Strasburg, who has a 16:1 K:BB ratio this year at San Diego State, will be the number 1 pick and is asking for a contract worth over $50 million.
Between the Green Pillars thinks that Corey Hart should be on the trading block. I would be fine with dealing him in the right package for a pitcher if a team overvalues him a bit.
Jose Reyes will be out with a torn hamstring, and no one seems to know when he'll be back. The Rotoworld page suggests anything from a few days to an entire month.
I'll be linking to everything that Joe Posnanski writes while I'm writing the mug, and his most recent story is about how underrated Lefty Grove was. If you'd like to read more about underrated players, check out Draysbay's quick look at J.P. Howell, who you might have thought was just a lefty specialist. He's not.
Jonah Keri looks at Jay Bruce's strange batting line. He's hitting .212 with 14 home runs, and ridiculously low .204 BABIP.
Sky's breakdown of Wednesday's Nate McLouth to the Braves trade ruled that it was a win-win. I'm fine with that analysis, and to me it does seem to further represent the change that defense is now being evaluated close to properly. McLouth was valued as a below-average defender judging from the return the Pirates received for him, not as a Gold Glover. You have to wonder if MLB front office officials giggle when the Gold Glove awards are announced right along with us.
And there's more from Beyond the Boxscore. Here's a really long and really interesting post about injuries, the disabled list, and performance; and one of the premier baseball statisticians on the internet (JinAZ or Justin from his old Reds blog) has a true-talent power ranking of all the teams, the Brewers are in right in the middle and just about average across the categories.
Dontrelle Willis has still not figured it out. Last night, he put up this awesome linescore: 2 and 1/3 innings, 0 hits, 5 walks, 3 strikeouts, 1 HBP, 5 runs, 5 earned.
You've probably heard something about Bryce Harper, a 16 year-old high school catcher, this week. If you haven't, Google him. Meanwhile, I will link to Lookout Landing's post about him, because they are awesome.
This, via THT, is a fun note about Brett Tomko and Tony Gwynn Sr.
From the Book Blog, we have a look at Joe Mauer power and a very difficult question.
Tonight's game begins at 6:30 in Atlanta, and the matchup is Gallardo vs. Jurrjens.