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Friday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while making a short list.

The Brewers still aren't sure who the fifth member of their starting rotation will be, but at least now we know one person it won't be: The team outrighted Josh Butler to AAA yesterday to clear a space on their 40 man roster, and aren't planning on inviting him to major league camp this spring. Butler has been in the Brewer organization for three seasons now and had a breakout year in 2009 but his overall numbers would suggest that season was an outlier, not an indication of his true talent:

Season Level ERA BB/9 K/9
2008 A+ 5.36 4.4 6.9
2009 Rookie/A+/AA/AAA 2.97 3.3 7.3
2010 A+/AA/AAA 4.94 4.3 5.6

Butler is one of 14 Brewers who have spent some time in winter ball this offseason, and Adam McCalvy has a roundup of their performances.

Cliff Lee's decision to sign with the Phillies this week has a lot of people talking about the best starting rotations in major league history. That conversation prompted Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar to look at the best and worst rotations in Brewer history: He has the 1992 rotation as the best in franchise history and, perhaps more surprisingly, the 2009 rotation as the worst by almost six full wins.

Today's most disappointing news comes in the minors, where Baseball America is reporting that the Carolina Mudcats, not Huntsville, will be the Southern League team moving into a new stadium in Pensacola. (FanShot) I'm not sure where this leaves the Stars, but it's possible they could be looking for another opportunity to relocate.

The team announced the hiring and/or promotion of nine scouts yesterday including new national crosschecker Joe Ferrone, who steps into the opening Ray Montgomery left when he took a job with the Diamondbacks a few months ago. One of the others being promoted is new Canadian Supervisor Jay Lapp. You might remember him as the scout that signed John Axford.

Axford, by the way, has a new Facebook fan page. While you're there, you should become a fan of BCB too.

Around baseball:

Athletics: Acquired outfielder Josh Willingham from the Nationals for pitcher Henry Rodriguez and a minor leaguer and signed pitcher Vinnie Chulk to a minor league deal.
Blue Jays: Signed third baseman Edwin Encarnacion to a one year, $2.5 million deal.
Cubs: Signed Kerry Wood to a one year, $1.5 million deal.
Indians: Signed shortstop Adam Everett to a minor league deal.
Nationals: Signed outfielder Jonathan Van Every to a minor league deal and are expected to sign pitcher Chien-Ming Wang.
Padres: Acquired 2B/OF Eric Patterson from the Red Sox, completing the Adrian Gonzalez deal.
Rays: Signed reliever Joel Peralta to a one year, $900,000 deal.
Red Sox: Signed reliever Bobby Jenks to a two year, $12 million deal.
Rockies: Acquired catcher Jose Morales from the Twins for a minor league pitcher.
Tigers: Signed outfielder Magglio Ordonez to a one year, $10 million deal.
Twins: Signed infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka to a three year, $10 million deal.
Yankees: Signed reliever Pedro Feliciano to a two year, $8 million deal.

Today in former Brewers:

  • Tom Haudricourt is reporting the Rockies are interested in signing Todd Coffey.
  • I was relatively surprised to discover that the Dodgers were considering signing Bill Hall to play left field. I'm even more surprised to discover that three other teams (including the Yankees) are also interested in signing him.

Batting Average on Balls in Play (BABIP) has become one of the stats we use a lot around here in an effort to quantify the level of luck involved in player performances. If you've always wondered what it is or how it's calculated, Steve Slowinski of Beyond the Box Score has a primer for you.

With help from the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday today to:

  • 1986 and 1989 Brewer Bryan Clutterbuck, who turns 51.
  • Stoddard, WI native Roy Patterson, who turns 134. Patterson was a member of the White Sox from 1901-07.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to get a stronger grip on this stick.

Drink up.