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Wednesday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while finding a new favorite song.

Well, we came into yesterday hoping for some answers regarding Jeff Suppan and we got some, but now we also have more questions. Suppan underwent an MRI Monday night, threw 90 pitches in a simulated game Tuesday morning, then was placed on the DL with cervical disc pain in his neck (FanShot). The timing is a little strange, for several reasons:

  • Suppan had reportedly been receiving treatment on his neck all spring, but it had never been reported and Suppan had taken every turn in the rotation, pitching with no sign of injury.
  • Suppan underwent an MRI Monday night and still threw a simulated game Tuesday morning, suggesting the issue wasn't exactly serious.

At any rate, because Suppan was placed on the DL retroactive to March 26, he could be activated as soon as April 10 if needed, or sent on a month long rehab assignment. Meanwhile, The Bucky Channel notes that Suppan is no stranger to "convenient" DL placements. We'll have more on that later today.

Over at, I have a post on convenient DL placements and one of their other uses: protecting Rule 5 picks. And for more on the process of putting a player on the DL and the procedures in place to prevent its abuse, check out this Jayson Stark article that TheJay shared with me yesterday.

Even with Suppan gone, the race for the #5 starter is still not decided, and likely won't be until after Opening Day. That story from Tom Haudricourt includes several other notable tidbits:

  • Jim Edmonds has been excused from camp to attend to a family matter, and may not return until Thursday.
  • Josh Butler, who had previously been optioned to AAA, has had his option voided so he could be placed on the major league DL.
  • Ryan Braun missed the fourth straight game recovering from a sore back. Gregg Zaun also missed his second straight game with a sore quad.
  • Adam Stern made a good impression in camp, and might have leapfrogged Lorenzo Cain and Trent Oeltjen on the depth chart.

With Suppan out of the short term picture, the opening day roster is likely set, with both Manny Parra and Chris Narveson headed to the bullpen until a fifth starter is needed and Carlos Villanueva sticking with the team.

Doug Melvin appeared on WSSP yesterday, with easily the most notable tidbit being his unwillingness to name Corey Hart as the primary starter in right field (FanShot). The combination of Hart's slow start this spring and Jim Edmonds' resurgent performance have created the possibility that Edmonds could see a lot of starts against right handed pitching.

The Brewers and Angels played to a ten inning 1-1 tie yesterday, dropping the Crew to 3-7-2 in their last 12 Cactus League contests. Despite the recent skid, Ken Macha told there are reasons to be optimistic about the season.

Elsewhere in camp minutiae:

Here's something to ponder today: Even after signing Randy Wolf and Doug Davis this offseason, the Brewers are spending just $18.5 million on their projected starting rotation, the 19th most in baseball. If you add Jeff Suppan's $12.5 million and the $1 million buyout paid to Braden Looper, it climbs to $32 million and ninth place.

The Ghost of Moonlight Graham selected Corey Hart as the "key" player for the Brewers this season, while Stan McNeal of The Sporting News said Randy Wolf will be key to the NL Central race. (h/t BBTF)

Heading out to Opening Day? Perhaps you'll see our own Tristarscoop there - but she's a little nervous about the experience. With that said, she'll be among the first to see the new additions to Miller Park.

In the minors: Ryan Topp of Bernie's Crew has more minor league predictions.

Before I get to other people's predictions, I wanted to remind you to make yours: As part of Prediction Week, we're asking for your picks in the NL Central - click here to add them. I'll have the results after the game tonight. And when you're done there, head on over to Wezen-ball to participate in his prediction contest, too.

Elsewhere in predictions/projections/rankings:

  • Big League Stew has a two-man NL Central preview, with Kevin Kaduk picking the Brewers to finish second, and David Brown picking them to finish fourth. Kaduk picked Prince Fielder as the non-Pujols division MVP, and Brown picked Yovani Gallardo as the division's Cy Young.
  • Where Have You Gone, Andy Van Slyke? has a preview of the 2010 Brewers, and says "it's not at all apparent to me that this team is going to be better in 2010 than they were in 2009."
  • Babes Love Baseball has several Brewer preview haiku, and also ranked Escobar third on their list of MLB rookies destined for greatness.
  • MLB FanHouse has the Brewers 16th in their power rankings.
  • Rowland's Office has the Brewers 9th in their NL Power Rankings.
  • Jeff Passan of Yahoo has a division preview.

This also belongs under the "predictions" heading, but I moved it out on its own because it's that bad. Keith Olbermann previewed the NL Central yesterday. Here are some quotes:

CHICAGO may represent a startling fact about this division - there not only isn't a great team here, there isn't even a good one.


It'll be an exciting race, to see if you actually can get into the playoffs with 79 victories.

In other news, Olbermann has been bumped off my reading list.

I haven't started filling my cards out yet, but the BP C'mon Back ticket promotion is underway for 2010. Bob Helbig of the JS takes a look at the numbers and decides the program is worth getting into.

These are also worth a few moments of your time: the 2010 Brewer TV ads are actually pretty good.

Around baseball:

Astros: Lance Berkman will open the season on the DL as he recovers from arthroscopic knee surgery.
Cubs: Released Kevin Millar.
Dodgers: Sold pitcher Eric Stults to Japan's Hiroshima Carp.
Marlins: Released Seth McClung (FanShot).
Mets: Claimed pitcher Manny Acosta off waivers from the Braves.
Rangers: Ian Kinsler has a sprained ankle and will likely open the season on the DL.
Tigers: Traded pitcher Nate Robertson and cash to the Marlins for a minor leaguer.

Here's today's roundup of former Brewers in other camps:

It's the time of year when we hear a lot about spring training results and how little they matter, but that might not be entirely true. As Jayson Stark notes, four of the last six teams to leave spring training with the best record have made the playoffs. The Rays enter play today at 18-7, half a game ahead of the 20-10 Giants.

If you can't get enough MLB Previews, here's a link to SBN's recently completed collection, featuring one for each team.

I mentioned it in yesterday's game thread and again on Twitter last night, but I've decided to cast the net out to a larger audience: I've been tuning into the webcasts of Brewer games a little early for much of the spring, and stumbled across the realization that the ambient crowd noise coming over the mic before the broadcasts really helps me focus and work. Anyone know where I can stream or download ambient ballpark noise? Helping me find the answer might make the Mug earlier and more coherent, which would be a nice bonus for everyone.

On this day in 1998, the Brewers played their first National League game, losing to the Braves at Turner Field. The Brewers were the first team since 1901 to switch leagues. (thanks to TheJay for bringing it to my attention.)

Happy birthday today to 1975-76 Brewer Tom Hausman, who turns 57.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to pick up more paper.