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Friday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while learning to fly.

The Brewers will open a three game series in Houston tonight, and Prince Fielder is expected to be in the lineup. In a surprising turn of events yesterday, Fielder was fined but not suspended for approaching the Dodger clubhouse on Tuesday.

I'm not the only one upset by how Anthony Witrado handled this week's mess. Miller Park Drunk also wrote an open letter to the JS calling for Witrado's firing. Another reader forwarded me an exchange he had with JS Sports Editor Garry Howard. Howard's reply, in part, included this line (emphasis added):
I will share your concerns with Anthony, but I have no plans on replacing him on this beat; he has proven that he has the goods and most of our readers, contrary to your opinion, Sir, commend him on his coverage.
Obviously, Howard isn't hearing enough input from readers displeased with Witrado's work. His email address is Instead of discussing Witrado's work in the comments today, let's all take a moment and let him hear our concerns directly.

Y'know what's even worse? Witrado is somehow managing to keep his job while Hal McCoy, Hall of Fame beat writer for the Dayton Daily News, is losing his. Tom H. joins me in being saddened by that news.

Meanwhile, Prince Fielder continues to have one of the best offensive seasons in baseball. Entering play yesterday, Fielder had been on base at least one time in a game 94 times this season, the second highest total in all of baseball.

Carlos Villanueva will make his third start tonight after a very successful second outing. The Brewers seem to be taking it slow while stretching Villy out, so it's probably safe to assume they're looking at about six innings and 85-90 pitches as the target tonight. Meanwhile, Villanueva says his struggles this season have been mainly mental.

Another day, another note on the ineptitude of Jason Kendall: Miller Park Drunk says he's the punching bag every team needs.

In the minors:
  • Mark Rogers is the Prospect of the Week over at Between the Green Pillars.
  • Juan Sanchez, a minor league Rule 5 pick from the Twins organization, has been promoted to Brevard County. Sanchez played six positions during his half season with the Rattlers.
  • The Brewers raided the independent leagues again yesterday, signing pitcher Tom Wilhelmsen from the Tucson Toros of the Golden Baseball League. Wilhelmsen was the Brewers' seventh round pick in 2002, and is expected to report to Helena.
The Brewers moved up one spot to 19th in Yahoo's Power Rankings.

Around baseball:

D-Backs: Placed Justin Upton on the DL with an oblique strain.
Mets: Acquired infielder Anderson Hernandez from the Nationals for a minor league infielder.
Nationals: Acquired Daryle Ward and Norris Hopper from the White Sox.
Rays: Signed reliever Winston Abreu to a minor league deal.
Red Sox: Placed Rocco Baldelli on the DL with a hamstring strain.
Yankees: Acquired Chad Gaudin from the Padres for a PTBNL.

Bart Given's explanations of baseball roster rules are quickly becoming a must-read. Today, he answers a reader question regarding the payment of appearance-based incentives for a player traded mid-season.

How would you build a bullpen? The Book Blog noticed a study in the Wall Street Journal which discovered nearly no correlation between the cost of a bullpen and its effectiveness. Tangotiger uses that as justification for finding cheap bullpen alternatives.

Also in the Journal, Vince Gennaro attempts to use ratings already in place in the financial world to assess the value of #1 overall pick Stephen Strasburg. (h/t Baseball Musings)

The Brewers will have to make their own history today: I wasn't able to find a single notable event or Brewer birthday on August 7.

Drink up.