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Monday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while your voice comes in handy.

The trade winds could be blowing today, as the Brewers have yet to announce a starter for Tuesday, which happens to be the scheduled start day for Mariners starter Jarrod Washburn. Here's today's trade roundup in bullet points:
  • Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times thinks a deal may be afoot involving Washburn, reliever Brandon Morrow and Alcides Escobar and J.J. Hardy. (Also noted in FanShot.)
  • U.S.S. Mariner says not to be surprised if Carlos Villanueva is involved in the deal.
  • Jonah Keri listed a Washburn/Brewers deal as one of nine trade deadline deals that need to happen.
I'm going to break into the bullet points here for a quick aside. Doug Melvin is normally very tight-lipped about moves he might be making, arguing that press coverage and speculation make it more difficult to get a deal done. Why, then, would the Brewers wait so long to name a starter for tomorrow? Assuming no deal is done, Tim Dillard will almost certainly get the start (although Tom H. says it could be Villanueva), so why not name a starter? If the Brewers somehow manage to make a deal today, Dillard could be scratched in favor of Washburn and no one would be harmed. Something doesn't smell right here.

Ok, here's the other rumor-related stuff: Another ugly loss for the Crew yesterday left them 1-12 in their last 13 day games, 4-12 on Sundays and 11-22 in day games overall. The Brewers are now 7-14 in their last 21 games, and haven't won either a series or back-to-back games since beating the Mets on June 29 and 30. View From Bernie's Chalet doesn't see the 2009 Brewers as a contending team anymore. Yet somehow, the Brewers managed to sell out all three games this weekend.

The entire conversation about tomorrow night's starter almost took a strange turn yesterday, as Tim Dillard was warming up in the bullpen following the first inning of yesterday's game, when Braden Looper was struggling with his command early. Dillard sat back down, though, and Looper bounced back with four solid innings before getting rocked in the sixth.

Dillard was added to the roster when Seth McClung was placed on the DL following Friday's game. He has reportedly undergone an MRI on his strained elbow, but no results have been reported. McClung underwent Tommy John surgery in 2003.

Whether Dillard, Villanueva or someone else makes the start Tuesday, they're likely to get an extended audition: After experiencing a setback in his rehab, Dave Bush will not return until mid-August at the earliest. As the Brewers continue to slide downward in the standings, getting 3-4 starts to take a long at long-term rotation options might not be the worst thing.

Manny Parra struggled over the weekend while pitching to Jason Kendall, after pitching well to Mike Rivera for two straight starts. Over in the FanPosts, Saberilliterate wonders if Kendall really does call a good game, and if he's partially responsible for Parra's struggles.

He's probably not a long-term rotation option, but the Brewers signed Jesus Colome to a minor league deal over the weekend and he debuted last night, striking out three in two scoreless innings for Nashville. With the Brewer bullpen overworked and largely ineffective at present, Colome could probably work his way to the big leagues pretty quickly if he performs well in AAA.

Elsewhere in the minors:
  • The Brewers signed supplemental pick Kyle Heckathorn over the weekend, agreeing to a $776,000 bonus and inviting him to major league spring training next spring (Also noted in FanShot). The Brewers had to overpay for Heckathorn a bit to convince him not to go back to college, but he sounds excited to get his career started, once he's done buying a new pickup truck.
  • Alex Periard got a late start to his season after being shut down in spring training, but I had forgotten that he's still pretty far ahead in his development: Project Prospect reports that Periard is the 40th youngest player in AA. Jeremy Jeffress was 27th before being demoted and suspended.
  • R.J. Seidel, who was expected to miss the entire season after slipping on a patch of ice while jogging over the winter, made his season debut over the weekend and Rattler Radio has a link to a nice story about him.
On Power Rankings and whatnot: Around baseball:

Astros: Designated reliever Chad Paronto for assignment.
Cubs: Placed Ted Lilly on the DL with shoulder inflammation. He'll also undergo arthroscopic knee surgery while he's out.
Indians: Acquired pitcher Jess Todd, the Cardinals' 2008 minor league pitcher of the year, as the PTBNL in the Mark DeRosa trade.
Mariners: Placed Erik Bedard on the DL with shoulder inflammation and designated outfielder Wladimir Balentien and reliever Roy Corcoran for assignment.
Mets: Placed Gary Sheffield on the DL with a hamstring strain.
Phillies: Placed reliever Clay Condrey on the DL with a strained muscle in his side.
Red Sox: Designated Mark Kotsay for assignment.
Reds: Placed reliever Jared Burton on the DL with shortness of breath.
Rockies: Designated reliever Ryan Speier for assignment.
Tigers: Designated outfielder Josh Anderson for assignment.

The Cardinals have made a lot of moves this season, but are they building their team in the Brewers' image? Dave Cameron of FanGraphs noticed a severe lack of left handed bats in the Cardinals lineup, and wonders if they'll suffer the same downfall the 2008 Brewers did in the playoffs.

It's a little late to be adding promotions, but tomorrow could be "Surgical Mask" day in Arlington, as Vicente Padilla, who is suffering from swine flu, is still expected to make his scheduled start.

What do you do with a slick fielding shortstop who can't hit .100 in the big leagues? The Royals are going to try to teach Tony Pena Jr. to pitch. I guess they're not out much if the experiment fails.

Here's a cool promotion idea: For $75, the Astros are allowing fans to stand on the field and take pictures while the team takes batting practice. The promotion is available for any home night game. At that price, I think there would be more than a few Brewer fans interested.

On this day in Brewer history: Tommy Harper went 3-for-9 with a double and a home run but it was not enough as the Red Sox defeated the Seattle Pilots 5-3 in 20 innings. Ten years later, Cecil Cooper hit three home runs, including a walkoff shot to lead the Crew to a 6-5 victory over the Yankees.

Oh, and I wasn't able to find any Brewer birthdays, today, but happy belated birthday to Mat Gamel, who turned 24 yesterday.

Drink up.