clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Monday's Frosty Mug

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Some things to read while waiting for a bartender.

The Brewers have a day off today to prepare for what might be their last opportunity to prove themselves relevant in the NL Central in 2009: A nine game stretch against the Cardinals, Giants and Cardinals again. Ken Macha says the Brewers have to be realistic about their position in the standings (which is why he's passing on the opportunity to skip a spot in the rotation this week), but also acknowledges that things could change if the Brewers can get hot this week and next. The Brewers are 23-24 this season against teams they'll see in September.

With roster expansion on the horizon, J.J. Hardy is expected to rejoin the team tomorrow, and we'll see if the issue with him blows over or boils over. Mike Seal, Hardy's agent, obviously appears to disagree with the decision to demote Hardy, but also called it "a shrewd move" by the Crew to send Hardy down and delay his free agency. J.J. Hardy's Nashville bio picture says a lot about his thoughts on the situation.

As you may have noticed, Hardy is swinging and missing a lot this season. In fact, he's also consistently failing to make weak contact: Plunk Everyone noticed that Hardy has the eighth lowest foul ball percentage in baseball. Jody Gerut, by the way, was tenth.

The Brewers are only expected to call a handful of players up from AAA, and they're expected to stagger the callups over the next few days. With that said, the Brewers also have three players getting ready to return from injury, as Corey Hart is getting ready to go out on a rehab assignment and Seth McClung and Jesus Colome both threw off a mound this weekend. If the Brewers call up six players from the minors and these three all return, they'll have 34 players on the active roster.

The Cardinals have opened up a ten game lead on the Cubs, and it's hard to imagine a scenario where they don't win the NL Central at this point. Murray Chass has a look at what happened to what was one of baseball's closest divisions a few months ago.

This race might be closer: With one month left to play, the Brewers rank 24th in wins in the 2000's. They're four games behind the Reds for 23rd, and 13 games ahead of the 25th place Tigers.

As hopes of contending in 2009 drift away, Doug Melvin is continuing to take a fair amount of heat for not assembling his roster differently, fair or unfair. Melvin responded to critics over the weekend, asking what they would have done differently. He's right, to a point: There weren't really any quick fixes available to the Brewers this offseason that would have dramatically improved this team. With that said, as many commenters have previously noted, Melvin was also responsible for the drafting and developmental strategies that left the Brewers with this hole in the first place.

Felipe Lopez had a rough weekend at the plate (2-for-17) but is continuing to try to play through a sore tendon in his foot. The most recent Elias rankings are out, and they have Lopez as a Type A free agent for the first time. If Lopez continues to struggle and the Brewers aren't careful with him, they could cost themselves a compensation pick next year by allowing him to play his way back down to Type B status.

The Brewers got a pretty good outing out of Jeff Suppan yesterday, as he gave up just one earned run in six innings and lowered his 2009 ERA to 5.20. In a world where we make near daily jokes about Sidney Ponson and Livan Hernandez, mgl wonders if Jeff Suppan is the worst veteran pitcher you never hear about. Meanwhile, Rob Iracane of Walkoff Walk says the Pirates, who couldn't beat Jeff Suppan, Manny Parra or Braden Looper over the weekend, will win the NL Central in 2011.

How much impact will Chris Bosio have on the Brewer pitching staff? Casa de Machado was at Thursday's game and saw Bosio doing some things with pitchers he never saw Billy Castro doing. The results haven't necessarily shown up yet, but that doesn't mean they won't.

Coaches are also working with Manny Parra to develop a cut fastball. As TheJay noted in this Fanshot, that's a bit of a philosophical switch from the past coaching direction.

In the minors:
  • Chris Capuano is taking one small step back up the ladder to the major leagues. Now that the season has concluded for the Arizona League Brewers, Capuano is moving up to Helena to get a few more innings in before the minor league season concludes.
  • Several Brewer farmhands are getting ready for the Arizona Fall League. Prospects Paradise has an AFL preview, and lists Zach Braddock, Lorenzo Cain and Jonathan Lucroy among the top prospects on the Peoria Javelinas.
I mentioned The Book Blog's Fan Scouting Report once before as an opportunity for you to weigh in on the defensive abilities of individual Brewers. I'll mention it again, because so far only 35 Brewer fans have added their opinions. Take a moment to do so today, if you're so inclined.

On Power Rankings, playoff odds and miscellany: Last week I mentioned Trent Durrington's 34th birthday, but forgot to acknowledge that he was the last Brewer position player to pitch in a game, back in 2004. Recondite Baseball has updated the full list of the last position players to pitch for each team.

Around Baseball:

Angels: Acquired Scott Kazmir from the Rays for two minor leaguers and a PTBNL that could be Brandon Wood.
Astros: Placed reliever Alberto Arias on the DL with a hamstring strain.
Dodgers: Acquired Ronnie Belliard from the Nationals for a minor league reliever.
Indians: Acquired minor league pitcher Johan Pino as the PTBNL in the trade that sent Carl Pavano to the Twins.
Mariners: Placed Russell Branyan on the DL with a herniated disc.
Pirates: Signed Jorge Julio to a minor league deal.
Rangers: Signed Ryan Freel to a minor league deal.
Red Sox: Acquired Joey Gathright from the Orioles for a PTBNL or cash.
Twins: Claimed Ron Mahay off waivers from the Royals, acquired Jon Rauch from the D-Backs for a PTBNL and designated R.A. Dickey for assignment.

Today, they're reserved for making up rainouts, but at one point doubleheaders were a key part of the baseball schedule. Seamheads has a look back at September 7, 1903, when all 16 major league teams were scheduled to play two.

If you watched the Cubs play over the weekend, you might have seen Ryan Dempster trying on the new helmet MLB is promoting to help decrease head injuries suffered via HBP. Player reviews of the new helmets have been almost universally negative, but baseball is going to require all minor leaguers to wear them next season.

The Brewers had pretty good luck convincing draft picks to sign this season, including one player, fifth rounder D'Vontrey Richardson, who had to be convinced to give up football at Florida State. Jonathan Mayo has a look at the decision two sport athletes face.

Ever wonder what broadcasters do to prepare for games? Alyson Footer has the details and pictures.

Before you go any farther, take a moment today to be happy for what you have and to remember how quickly it can all go away: Jonah Keri has the story of a rollover car accident he somehow survived over the weekend. Keri is due to become the father of twins sometime in the coming weeks.

Apparently it's been a good week for harrowing experiences: Hal McCoy has the story of Aaron Harang and a Reds' equipment manager's drive from Pittsburgh to Cincinnati prior to Harang's appendectomy.

Hall of Very Good recently interviewed Jeff Cirillo, who spent many years as a Brewer position player and one day as an opposing pitcher. It's a good read.

Speaking of Jeffs, if you need a Jeff Sackmann fix, he's got three posts up on his personal blog previewing the US Open, which begins today.

On this day in 1996 the Brewers made a pretty good trade, sending Kevin Seitzer to the Indians for Jeromy Burnitz, who hit 165 home runs over six season as a Brewer. On this day in 2002, though, they made a pretty bad trade, sending Mark Loretta (who would go one to become a two time All Star) to the Astros for Wayne Franklin and Keith Ginter.

Happy birthday today to former Brewers Gabe Kapler (34), Hideo Nomo (41) and Tom Candiotti (52).

Oh, and with summer coming to a close, you're running out of opportunities to use your car as a dehyrdrator.

Drink up.