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Friday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while braving the wilderness.

The Brewers open a key three game series tonight with the Atlanta Braves, and I answered some questions about it over at Talking Chop. I also asked Martin Gondy some questions, and I'll have his answers here around 1 pm today.

Beyond that, it's a pretty slow news day. There are some minor tidbits on the Roy Halladay front: He's reportedly given the Blue Jays a list of teams to which he'll approve a trade. View From Bernie's Chalet is also hoping the Brewers won't mortgage the future to acquire him.

The Brewers made a trade on this day in 1998, acquiring Eric Plunk from the Indians for Doug Jones. Plunk pitched in 94 games as a Brewer, posting a 4.63 ERA.

This year's bullpen is in slightly better shape than 1998's. Brewer Paradise Lost looks at bullpen usage this season, worries about the usage of Todd Coffey and ponders the strange case of Carlos Villanueva.

Yesterday I mentioned Tim Dillard as a potential candidate to make the start on Tuesday, the next time the Brewers will need a #5 starter. A few hours later, Tom H. mentioned it too. Dillard leads the PCL with 10 wins and has posted a 3.66 ERA in 118 innings for Nashville.

While it's a slow news day on the major league level, I do have several minor league notes to pass along:
  • Miles Prentice III, the owner of the Huntsville Stars, had a 45 minute meeting yesterday with Huntsville mayor Tommy Battle to discuss a potential new stadium. Prentice downplayed the possibility of moving the team if a new stadium is not built, but stressed the fact that the Brewers aren't happy with the current facilities.
  • If we re-did the Community Prospect Rankings today, Evan Anundsen would almost certainly climb into the top ten, and might actually be the Brewers' top pitching prospect. FanGraphs notes that Anundsen leads the Florida State League in both strikeouts per nine innings pitched and FIP.
  • Erik Komatsu played in just one game in April for Wisconsin before going down with an injury, but returned to the lineup this week as a DH. Hopefully he can make something out of the six weeks or so left in the minor league season.
  • The Helena Brewers are making the most of their opportunities in the Pioneer League. Cash Kruth of the Official Site has a look at several Brewers putting up impressive numbers in their first pro season, including SS Josh Prince, who is hitting .336/.455/.383 and has already stolen 23 bases in 107 ABs.
  • Could the Brewers leave Arizona for spring training and rookie ball? The Orioles are leaving their spring training facility in Ft. Myers for a new one in Sarasota, and the Brewers have been mentioned as a possibility to take their place. The Brewers' current deal in Maryvale runs through 2012.
Prince Fielder's power numbers this season have been impressive, but it's also been a banner year for first basemen across baseball: Baseball Analysts notes that eight of the top thirteen home run hitters in baseball this season are first basemen, with three outfielders, a third baseman and a second baseman filling out the other five spots.

The Brewers dropped from 10th to 18th in Yahoo's Power Rankings.

Sometimes I think we forget how far the Brewers have come in a short period of time. On this day in 2001, the Brewers lost their eleventh straight game, and this list at The Hardball Times shows they lost ten straight games as recently as 2006. The most amazing stat, though, is at the bottom of the list: The Yankees haven't lost ten straight games since June 3, 1913.

Around baseball:

Astros: Placed Lance Berkman on the DL with a calf strain.
Blue Jays: Designated David Delucci for assignment.
Nationals: Placed Jordan Zimmermann on the DL with elbow discomfort.
Phillies: Placed J.C. Romero (forearm strain) and Chad Durbin (latissimus strain) on the DL.
Rays: Placed Chad Bradford on the DL with back stiffness.
Rockies: Acquired Rafael Betancourt from the Indians for a low-level minor league pitcher.

Happy birthday today to Jerry Augustine, who was born in Wisconsin, went to school at UW La Crosse and spent his entire major league career as a Brewer. He turns 56 today. Joe Oliver, who caught 97 games for the '95 Brewers, also turns 44.

Thankfully, both guys are easier to shop for than a woodpecker.

Drink up.