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Monday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while getting your MST3K fix.

Today's biggest news is, without question, the health of Corey Hart. After complaining of abdominal pain during Saturday's game and again on Sunday, Hart left the clubhouse before yesterday's game and ended up having an appendectomy in San Diego last night. Hart will be placed on the DL and is expected to miss a minimum of 2-3 weeks. Michael Street of Baseball Digest Daily wonders if losing him might be the last straw for the Crew.

Hart will be replaced on the roster by Bill Hall, who returns to the team after just a few days in AAA. Hall was 4-for-8 in AAA entering play yesterday, but went 0-for-6 with a walk and three strikeouts in a doubleheader last night. Hall and Frank Catalanotto are expected to platoon in right field while Hart is out.

At least one Brewer starting pitcher on the DL is getting closer to returning: Dave Bush threw 25 pitches in a bullpen session yesterday, and could head out on a rehab assignment as soon as the end of this week. Jeff Suppan, meanwhile, is complaining of "fatigue" in his strained oblique muscle when he throws. He's not expected to miss much more than 15 days, at any rate.

With Bush and Suppan still out, the Brewers made one minor move at the trading deadline, picking up Claudio Vargas from the Dodgers in exchange for Vinny Rottino. There's plenty of reaction from all over the web on that move:

Here's the first few paragraphs of Anthony Witrado's story on Vargas from this weekend:

The last time Claudio Vargas was in a Milwaukee Brewers clubhouse, he was packing his belongings and trying to figure out what had just happened to him.

That was during spring training last year right after Vargas, who wasn't pitching poorly, was released by the club because, get this, they had an abundance of starting pitching.

How times have changed.

Actually, after two slow-moving appearances where Vargas allowed four baserunners and two earned runs in 1.1 innings of work, maybe times haven't changed that much at all. It could always be worse, though: The Brewers could sign Sidney Ponson, who was recently designated for assignment by the Royals and surfaced in Speculationville.

The Brewers managed to win just one of three games over the weekend in San Diego, and are digging themselves a pretty deep hole in the NL Central:

  • Cool Standings gives the Brewers a 7.6% shot at making the playoffs.
  • Adam McCalvy noted that the Cardinals are on pace for 88 wins, and the Brewers would have to go 37-21 (36-21 following yesterday's win) down the stretch to reach that mark.
  • Vegas is giving the Brewers 50-1 odds of winning the World Series.

With that said, Tyler Maas has ten reasons to keep watching the Brewers down the stretch.

As the Brewers pitching continues to struggle, the calls continue to come for Bill Castro's head, but Drew Olson of says firing Castro would be the wrong decision.

Prince Fielder made some very impressive defensive plays over the weekend, but still came in 15th of 16 NL first basemen in Baseball Digest Daily's defensive rankings. The good news for the Brewers: Craig Counsell finished first among second basemen.

In the minors:

With Friday's trade deadline, it's been a busy weekend on the transaction wire:

Blue Jays: Placed reliever Scott Downs on the DL with an injury to his left big toe.
Braves: Acquired Adam LaRoche from the Red Sox for Casey Kotchman.
Giants: Placed outfielder Andres Torres on the DL with a hamstring strain.
Indians: Designated relievers Winston Abreu and Mike Gosling for assignment.
Mariners: Designated first baseman Chris Shelton for assignment.
Marlins: Acquired Nick Johnson from the Nationals for a minor league pitcher and placed Burke Badenhop on the DL with a sore neck.
Mets: Designated Robinson Cancel for assignment.
Orioles: Placed pitcher Brad Bergesen on the DL with a bruised shin.
Padres: Released Mark Prior.
Rangers: Placed Ian Kinsler on the DL with a hamstring strain.
Rays: Signed reliever Jeff Bennett and added him to their 25-man roster.
Red Sox: Acquired Victor Martinez from the Indians for Justin Masterson and two minor league pitchers.
Reds: Acquired Scott Rolen from the Blue Jays for three minor leaguers and traded Jerry Hairston to the Yankees for a minor league catcher.
Rockies: Acquired Joe Beimel from the Nationals for two minor leaguers and placed reliever Juan Rincon on the DL with elbow stiffness.
Tigers: Acquired Jarrod Washburn from the Mariners for Luke French and a minor league pitcher.
Twins: Acquired Orlando Cabrera from the A's for a minor league shortstop.
White Sox: Acquired Jake Peavy from the Padres for Clayton Richard and three minor league pitchers.

Some parents pick their children's names out of baby books or name them after relatives. Not everyone does it that way, though: Here's the story of how the parents of Astros rookie Bud Norris got his name off a beer can.

On this day in 1997, Jeromy Burnitz hit a pinch hit home run for the second straight day. The Brewers lost both games to the Mariners.

Happy birthday today to Justin Lehr, who pitched in 39 games for the Brewers in 2005 and 2006 and turns 32 today.

Drink up.