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Thursday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while searching for a signature sign-off.

So, yesterday morning I skipped out early for an appointment, got back home, ate some breakfast, mowed the lawn, then sat down at my coffee table to check the comments on the Mug and discovered what might have been the biggest news day of the season, as the Brewers demoted J.J. Hardy to AAA, promoted Alcides Escobar, fired Billy Castro, designated Bill Hall for assignment and called up Jason Bourgeois. Adam McCalvy has reactions from the clubhouse, and here are several more reactions from around the web:

  • J.J. Hardy has until Friday to join the Sounds, and says he's looking forward to a few days off.
  • Brewed Sports was not pleased with that response.
  • Brewer Paradise Lost is one of many who suspects this move might have been made to prevent Hardy from becoming a free agent following the 2010 season. Hardy would have to remain in the minors past September 1 for the demotion to count against his service time, and it seems unlikely the Brewers will leave him there once rosters expand.
  • R.J. Anderson of FanGraphs isn't sure the Escobar-for-Hardy swap helps the Brewers this season, or helps Hardy's trade value down the road.
  • Meanwhile, Cash Kruth caught up with Bill Hall, who seemed upbeat about his situation and expects to be on a team again soon. With that said, this is the same guy who still thought he was the best third baseman in baseball a few weeks ago.
  • Ken Rosenthal is reporting that at least one NL team is interested in trading for Hall.
  • Cincinnati Reds Blog sees the Hall situation as "a big opportunity for the Reds to pick up a talented player."
  • Billy Castro, who had been with the Brewers as a coach for nearly 18 years, left with no regrets. He may not get another chance to be a pitching coach, but it sounds like he'll always have a spot in the Brewer organization, if he wants it.
  • A Girl's View of the Brewers wonders if these moves will be enough to get the Brewers back on track.
  • Big League Stew accused the Brewers of waving the white flag on the 2009 season.
  • PocketDoppler says the Brewers are pushing the panic button.
  • Aaron Gleeman of Circling the Bases says the move likely came too late for the Brewers' playoff hopes.
  • Keep Turning Up the Heat says "these are some dark times in the Brewers organization," and doesn't agree with the decision to call up Escobar or fire Castro.
  • Quevedo at the Buffet doesn't get the timing or the logic behind the moves.
  • The Bucky Channel wonders why Alcides Escobar was only used sparingly and Jason Bourgeois wasn't used at all last night.

Meanwhile, the Brewers did actually play a game last night, and lost their second straight to the Padres, dropping their playoff chances to 2.9%, the first time all season they've fallen below 3%.

Things could get worse today, as they play a day game against the Padres, who are sending Cesar Carrillo to the mound to make his major league debut today. The Brewers are 0-4 this season in games where the opposing pitcher is making his debut. And, of course, they haven't been good in day games either, or in games played in June, July or August.

Doug Melvin may not be done dealing. The Brewers claimed Doug Davis off waivers from the D-Backs (h/t FanShot), giving the two teams 48 hours to work out a deal to bring him back to Milwaukee. Davis says it would be fun to return to Milwaukee, but Tom H. says it's unlikely to happen.

A bunch of news got lost in the shuffle with everything else that happened yesterday. Here are the important notes that got buried in today's game preview:

  • Both Dave Bush and Jeff Suppan are expected back before September 1.
  • Jesus Colome was available to pitch last night despite his bruised pinky finger.
  • Nick Green cleared waivers after being DFA'd and will remain in Huntsville.

One other minor league note to pass along today: Matt Hagen of The Hardball Times nominated Jeremy Jeffress for most disappointing minor leaguer in 2009.

On power rankings:

Around baseball:

Angels: Released reliever Justin Speier.
Cardinals: Placed Todd Wellemeyer on the DL with elbow inflammation.
D-Backs: Placed Scott Schoeneweis on the DL with depression and released Tom Gordon.
Giants: Placed Rich Aurilia on the DL with ankle tendinitis.
Indians: Claimed R.J. Swindle off waivers from the Rays.
Mariners: Erik Bedard is expected to undergo shoulder surgery and miss the remainder of the season.
Marlins: Signed Esteban Yan to a minor league deal.
Pirates: Placed reliever Evan Meek on the DL with an oblique strain and claimed reliever John Meloan off waivers from the Rays.
Reds: Placed Scott Rolen on the DL with a concussion.
Royals: Acquired pitcher John Bannister from the Rangers.
Twins: Placed Glen Perkins on the DL with shoulder trouble and released Mark Grudzielanek.

By shuffling the deck in the bullpen a little bit this offseason the Brewers created some new problems, but at least they're done with this one: Reflections of Blue has had it with Guillermo Mota, who posted a 0.26 ERA over one 35.1 inning stretch and a 10.32 ERA since.

Here's something to ponder for all of you who want to make the case that J.J. Hardy should be moved to second or third base, Rickie Weeks should be moved to center field and Mat Gamel should play first base or right field: Will Carroll says a player playing out of position has a 30 percent greater chance of getting injured, based on unfamiliarity with the position.

Brian Anderson wants your help to raise money for the I Back Jack Foundation. Follow the link for more info on how you can help Jack Bartosz, a young man fighting neuroblastoma.

Speaking of causes that could use your money, UW-La Crosse, alma mater of former Brewers Jerry Augustine and Vinny Rottino, has raised enough money to keep the program alive for one more season, but is still on the chopping block.

On this day in 1987, Paul Molitor homered in the ninth to extend his hitting streak to 28 games, but the Brewers still lost to the Orioles, 5-4.

Happy birthday today to Corey Patterson, who turns 30, and former Milwaukee Brave Tony Cloninger, who turns 69.

Drink up.