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Thursday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while looking thinner.

The Brewers are changing things up a bit as they prepare for today's series finale with the Reds. As players were leaving the clubhouse last night, a sign was posted informing them of mandatory stretching on the field at 11:30 today. I'm as happy as anyone to see management trying to do something to improve the team's performance in day games, but "mandatory stretching" as a shakeup raises two questions in my mind:
  • Isn't stretching mandatory before pretty much every game? Wouldn't the entire roster be a mess of muscle pulls and tendon strains if it wasn't?
  • 11:30 is only about ninety minutes before the start of today's game. If this stretching wasn't mandatory, are there players who wouldn't be there?
Meanwhile, the Brewers lost in extra innings for the second straight night last night. Ryan Braun says he took "a real bad route" to the fly ball that became the game winning double for Darnell McDonald. The loss dropped the Brewer playoff chances to .3%, according to CoolStandings.

Jason Kendall, meanwhile, gritted his way on base three times last night, drawing a walk and getting hit with two pitches. It was the 12th time in his career he's been hit twice in a game, and moved him into sole possession of fifth place on the all time list. Plunk Everyone has those tidbits and six more.

Felipe Lopez was limited to pinch hitting duties last night, and the classification of his injury has been modified a bit: Adam McCalvy is reporting Lopez actually injured a tendon that runs from his big toe through the arch of his right foot. He has not undergone an X-ray, and doesn't believe the injury is serious. Two notes on that:
  • Lopez is about a month away from becoming a free agent and possibly collecting a major paycheck, so even if this injury is worse than he's letting on, he'll most likely try to play through it and finish the season.
  • With that said, the injury didn't seem to hinder him that much when he was running to first after his ground out last night.
The Brewers made a minor roster move yesterday, removing Chase Wright from the 40-man roster. That likely means Wright will not be a September call up, but if frees up a 40 man spot for the Brewers to call up someone who isn't on the roster at the moment, like Corey Patterson (or, although this is a long shot, a guy like Jonathan Lucroy or Brett Lawrie).

Speaking of Lawrie, he was left off of the Midwest League's postseason All Star Team, along with all of his teammates. Instead, Angels prospect Alexi Amarista was chosen at second base. Amarista is hitting .313/.384/.461 for Cedar Rapids this season.

Brewer fans got the opportunity to talk prospects yesterday with Brewer Amateur Scouting Director Bruce Seid, and the transcript is up here. There's a fair amount of filler in there to skim around, but also notes on Nick Bucci, Scooter Gennett, Eric Arnett and Michael Fiers.

Mitch Stetter has had most of the last two weeks off, which gave him time to sit down with Adam McCalvy to tell the story of how he almost lost his leg. Interesting stuff.

The Bucky Channel took a look at the list of six Brewer veterans placed on trade waivers this week, and of all of them, he's hoping the Brewers don't trade Felipe Lopez. To me it seems like the only one that could be dealt is Braden Looper, as his 2010 option means a team could feasibly pick him up for the rest of this year and all of next. The rest of them would be one month rentals, and it's hard to get fair value for that.

Around baseball:

Angels: Designated pitcher Shane Loux for assignment.
Marlins: Placed Nick Johnson on the DL with a hamstring strain.
Mets: Oliver Perez will undergo knee surgery this week and miss the rest of the season.
Pirates: Placed Jeff Karstens on the DL with a lower back issue.
Red Sox: Released Brad Penny at his request.
Rockies: Designated outfielder Matt Murton for assignment.

The Brewers aren't the only team struggling in day games this season. The Rays are having a similar issue, and R.J. Anderson of DRaysBay takes on the theory that the struggles have been caused by young players staying out too late.

If Mike Cameron won't be back next season, and it's pretty likely he won't, then the Brewers need to keep looking at options in center field. Jorge Says No! noticed that Coco Crisp wants the Royals to pick up his $8 million option for next season, but it seems unlikely at that price.

Big League Stew has an interesting story today on John Danks, the White Sox reliever who has struggled at times this season with numbness in his fingers. Danks quit chewing tobacco, and the issue went away. Perhaps Jason Kendall and Bill Hall should be taking notes. Or maybe Major League Baseball should.

If you were impressed by Kendall's 2 HBP performance last night, prepare to be blown away by this one: On this day in 1975, Craig Kusick was plunked three times by Bill Travers as the Twins beat the Brewers 1-0 in eleven innings. Bert Blyleven pitched an eleven inning shutout for the Twins. On this day in 1982, Rickey Henderson went 0-for-1 with three walks and stole four bases, setting a new single season record at 122, but the Brewers beat the A's anyway, 5-4.

Happy birthday today to 2004-2005 Brewer Trent Durrington, who turns 34, former Brewer pitching coach Mike Maddux, who turns 48, and Marshall Edwards, who appeared in 160 games as a Brewer between 1981 and 1983 and turns 57.

Oh, and if you've got nothing else going on this weekend, you could always dress like a zombie and roam the streets in Oshkosh.

Drink up.