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Thursday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while placing a winning bet.

Dave Bush will take the mound in a few hours in the finale of a four game series at Wrigley, but once that's over the starting rotation is in a pretty thorough state of flux. Manny Parra's MRI came back inconclusive, so Chris Narveson will start tomorrow, and will presumably fill Parra's spot until he's ready to return. Mike Burns has also been recalled to provide an extra arm in the bullpen.

That arm, as it turns out, may be needed sooner than later. The Brewers are considering shutting down Yovani Gallardo, who has already thrown over 180 innings this season, about 160 more than he threw last season (FanShot). Gallardo doesn't seem to like the idea, but the team is discussing it with his agent, former MLB starter Bobby Witt. If Gallardo is shut down, either Burns or Josh Butler could be called upon to start Sunday.

Meanwhile, Braden Looper didn't pitch well but got enough run support to win anyway last night. After the game, he mentioned getting hit in the back by a line drive during BP on Tuesday, and said it started to tighten up around the third inning. Looper allowed another home run last night to bring his season total to 35, and now stands just one behind Wayne Franklin for the franchise record.

We got a brief glimpse into the job security of Brewer management yesterday, as Mark Attanasio said speculation that Doug Melvin could be fired was "ridiculous", and said Melvin will make the decision on whether or not to retain Ken Macha for 2010. If the team isn't winning, they're probably both gone around the All Star Break next season.

When discussing the Brewers' options with Prince Fielder, we tend to stick to two possibilities: trade now or lose him later. MLB Trade Rumors takes a look at the third possibility: a long term deal, and suggests that a deal wrapping up Fielder's age 26-32 seasons might not be a bad idea. Off the top of my head, I'd guesstimate that Fielder would want around $100-105 million to sign a six year deal at this point, assuming $10 million for 2010, $15 for 2011 and $18-20 for the four remaining years.

By the way, Fielder is featured in a pretty cool graphic as part of Beyond the Box Score's Graph of the Day.

Speaking of contracts, Jon Heyman talked to an unnamed major league GM and an unnamed agent, and they all expect Trevor Hoffman to get a one year deal worth between $7 and $8 million this offseason. I was more interested in their expectation for Mike Cameron, but he wasn't mentioned.

Meanwhile, Alcides Escobar will still be cheap next season and he showed Brewer fans a lot to be excited about last night. On top of picking up career highs in hits (4) and RBI (3), Escobar was also exceptional defensively. Here's a video highlight of the double play he turned in the eighth, if you missed it or just want to see it again.

Let's check in with the Baseball World Cup:
  • Nick Bucci started and pitched 4.1 shutout innings for Team Canada yesterday as they beat Mexico 4-2. Bucci has yet to allow a run in 9.1 innings of World Cup action. The Canadian team takes on Japan today in what could amount to an elimination game: The top four teams from their pool advance to the next round, and Canada, Japan and Mexico are all tied for fourth at 1-2.
  • 2009 Huntsville Star David Welch is also having a pretty good tournament for the Australian team. He's struck out 17 batters in 12 innings of work and a poll on the World Cup home page lists him as a candidate for the tournament's most outstanding pitcher.
  • For a whole lot more World Cup stuff, you can check out The Daily Report.
Meanwhile, back in the States, the Brewers held steady at #20 in MLB FanHouse's Power Rankings.

Just one transaction note to pass along today:

White Sox: Released Bartolo Colon.

Beyond the Box Score is working on a pretty cool feature: DiamondView Composite Player Evaluation is designed to project a player's abilities into a single image that's accurate and easy to read and understand. They've still got some bugs to work out but it's a fascinating idea, and looking at pretty graphs beats actually working most days.

As I've mentioned previously, last night was Hal McCoy Night in Cincinnati, celebrating the long career of the Hall of Fame beat writer as he heads into retirement. Here's the video package the Reds prepared for the occasion, and Reds Internal Affairs has pictures of the festivities.

On this day in 1976, the Brewers celebrated Hank Aaron Day at County Stadium. Aaron, who went 0-for-5 in the game, would appear in five more games as a Brewer before retiring after the season.

Happy birthday today to Thad Bosley, who appeared in 42 games for the 1981 Brewers and turns 53 today.

That's all I've got for you today, unless you're interested in some Chris Capuano/Tom Haudricourt Fan Fiction.

Drink up.