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Wednesday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while pursuing other opportunities.

Walking Albert Pujols to get to Matt Holliday didn't work out so well for the Brewers last night. Todd Coffey is accepting blame for the loss, but David Brown of Yahoo wonders why the Brewers didn't just take their chances with Pujols.

I promise I'll limit myself to one paragraph on J.J. Hardy today, so if you're sick of hearing about him, feel free to skip ahead. He denied being asked to take ground balls at third, and says it makes sense for him to be traded this offseason. Miller Park Drunk is helping Alcides Escobar fill in the void by giving him some tips regarding interaction with the ladies.

I'm not banging my head against the desk yet, but I'm keeping a space clear in case I need to start. Adam McCalvy's game preview for today has a look at the catching situation for next season, and Jason Kendall says he'd like to return. Of course, Mike Rivera also says he'd like to play every day.

Buried in the "Notes" section of that preview might be the bigger news: Ken Macha is adjusting his rotation to bump Yovani Gallardo back a few days. Gallardo will now pitch on Saturday instead of Thursday. The move will get him one less start in September, hopefully saving his arm for a more competitive 2010 team.

We've been talking a fair amount about Prince Fielder lately, but Ryan Braun had a pretty good August too, and earned a spot on MLB Notebook's August All Star Team.

In the minors:
  • The Brewers have two prospects in the top 25 in Project Prospect's rankings of position prospects. Alcides Escobar (#14) is the no-brainer, but for the first time I can recall, it's actually Caleb Gindl joining him in the top 25. Mat Gamel and Brett Lawrie both earned honorable mention.
  • Lawrie is one of four Brewer prospects who either have left or will leave their minor league teams to play for Team Canada in the Baseball World Cup. He'll be joined by pitchers Nick Bucci and Jim Henderson and center fielder Adam Stern.
  • Glancing at Baseball America's Minor League Transactions, I noticed the Brewers released pitcher Tom Wilhelmsen. Wilhelmsen was a former 7th round pick and top prospect for the Brewers, but as a commenter noted in this Mug, he eventually fell out of the organization due to a substance abuse issue. Wilhelmsen was re-signed out of the independent leagues earlier this season, but his second run with the Brewers lasted less than a month.
With last night's loss, CoolStandings dropped the Brewers' playoff chances to 0.1%. They're so far out of the playoff race, they don't even appear in Baseball Musings' Massive Tie Scenario.

Around baseball:

D-Backs: Acquired pitcher Kevin Mulvey from the Twins as the PTBNL in the Jon Rauch deal.
Dodgers: Designated outfielder Jamie Hoffman for assignment.
Rangers: Designated pitcher Thomas Diamond, their #1 pick in 2004, for assignment.
Rays: Designated reliever Joe Nelson for assignment to make room for Sean Rodriguez, acquired from the Angels as the PTBNL in the Scott Kazmir deal.
Red Sox: Designated outfielder Jeff Bailey for assignment.

There are dozens of major league debuts and returns being made this week as rosters expand, but it's possible the best story is happening in Houston, where Aaron Boone has returned to the active roster just five months after undergoing open heart surgery.

On this day in 2002, Kerry Wood struck out four Brewers in the fourth inning and hit a two run home run as the Cubs beat the Brewers 17-4 in game two of a doubleheader. The Brewers won game one behind two solo home runs from Ronnie Belliard.

Happy birthday today to Wes Littleton, who has split 2009 between Huntsville and Nashville and turns 27 today, and to Rick Manning, who turns 55.

That's all I've got for you today, unless you're interested in meat market specials.

Drink up.