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Thursday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while going back a little further.

As you likely know, today is Veteran's Day. Ryan Braun is going out of his way to say thank you to those who have served or continue to serve our country, serving free meals to veterans at his Lake Geneva restaurant. That's a pretty cool gesture.

Today in Prince Fielder speculation: Brian Carriveau of Pocket Doppler noted that the White Sox are rumored to have interest.

And elsewhere in speculation: Milwaukee's Gr8st thinks the Brewers should consider bringing in Javier Vazquez this winter.

As expected, Alcides Escobar didn't win a Gold Glove yesterday. Here's something I didn't expect, though: This Baseball Reference study lists him as baseball's 21st best (out of 28) shortstop in baseball this season as ranked by Fielding Runs.

The bad defensive news doesn't end there, though: Matt Klaasen of Beyond the Box Score unveiled his 2010 Catcher Defense Rankings yesterday and all three Brewer catchers (Gregg Zaun at 88, Jonathan Lucroy at 98 and George Kottaras at 108) rated among the bottom half of the 120 backstops studied.

Before this season, no one could fully explain why Trevor Hoffman had remained so effective into his 40's despite losing a fair amount of his velocity. This might explain some of it: Beyond the Box Score studied reliever strike zones and noted that Hoffman (like many other pitchers with lower velocity) benefits from a wider strike zone than most pitchers.

In the minors:

  • One of the more interesting Brewers to qualify for minor league free agency this week was Angel Salome, whose career has derailed over the last 24 months or so. R.J. Anderson of FanGraphs has a look at Salome's value and says "If nothing else, a team could stash him in the minors and allow him to gain reps in the outfield before eventually sneaking him out there on days with a groundball heavy starter on the hill; all the while holding onto the hope that Salome would have a change of heart about catching"
  • Hunter Morris continues to spend the fall working on playing third base in the AFL, although he started at first yesterday. Tom Haudricourt reports that Brewer minor league infield instructor Garth Iorg thinks Morris "can be a good third baseman."
  • Ever wondered what goes on at Maryvale Baseball Park between the end of spring training and the day when pitchers and catchers start reporting the next year? John Steinmiller has your answer, and it's a lot more than you might expect.

The offseason does give us plenty of time to rehash debates like this: Craig Calcaterra says the retro logo uniforms were the best in franchise history, and the current logo is the worst.

Around baseball:

Athletics: Acquired outfielder David DeJesus from the Royals for pitcher Vin Mazzaro and a minor leaguer. (FanShot)
Cubs: Outfielder Brad Snyder has been removed from the 40 man roster and is now a free agent.
Mets: First baseman Mike Hessman and catcher Omir Santos rejected outright assignments to the minors and are now free agents.
Rangers: Outfielder Jeff Francoeur has rejected an outright assignment to the minors and is now a free agent.
Reds: Outrighted catcher Corky Miller off their 40 man roster and re-signed him to a minor league deal.
Royals: Pitcher Brian Bannister rejected an outright assignment to the minors and is now a free agent. The team also designated pitcher/outfielder Brian Anderson for assignment.

Today in former Brewer notes:

We have interesting news today from Minnesota, where the Twins have announced plans to add free Wi-Fi to Target FieldIn-Between Hops wants the Brewers to follow suit.

Today's saddest news comes from Seattle, where Dave Niehaus, who has been the voice of the Seattle Mariners for their entire existence, has passed away (FanShot). Jeff Sullivan of Lookout Landing has a must-read tribute.

No birthdays today.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to update my prescription.

Drink up.