Some things to read while speculating wildly about tuberculosis.
Well, here we are: We're only a few hours away from the 2010 debut of Jeff Suppan, who is expected to be activated from the DL this morning. In a surprising decision, Mitch Stetter has been optioned to AAA to make room (FanShot). Stetter has only pitched in two games this season, but retired both lefties he faced. The Brewers felt they could make the move because they had three lefties in the bullpen, but only one of the three is actually all that good against lefties, and he's the one they sent down:
|Pitcher||PAs v. LHB||AVG||OBP||SLG||OPS|
It's worth noting that Narveson has actually been better in his career vs righties (.737 OPS against) than lefties. But, for better or worse, he's your new LOOGY.
Other reactions from around the web:
- The decision drew a "WTF?" from Trenni.
- Brewed Sports said the move "is confirmation that the Brewers aren't playing for the playoffs, they are playing the 2010 season to avoid humiliation."
- SgtClueLs and I are holding out the same hope: Maybe someone had a change of heart overnight and Suppan will be released instead of activated today.
- Jordan notes that pitching Suppan in a game or two probably won't dramatically affect the Brewers' long term standing, but cautions against using him too often.
- Fire Doug Melvin noted that this whole situation could be avoided.
- Team Wisconsin is standing on a pretty lonely island by predicting a quality start from Suppan.
But, lest you think that was the only bad decision of the last 24 hours, here's a boatload of reaction to LaTroy Hawkins being left in to throw nearly 40 pitches and blow a three run lead in the eighth yesterday:
- Disciples of Uecker says not bringing in a lefty to face Fukudome is inexcusable.
- Rob Neyer said Ken Macha had "a bizarre wealth of confidence" in Hawkins.
- Tristarscoop said it was "probably a judgment call," but noted that Hawkins was missing his spots.
- The Brewers Bar and Keep Turning Up The Heat! noted the Yostian nature of the non-move.
- @NotKenMacha shifted the blame to Rick Peterson.
- Tom Haudricourt noted the team's 5.79 ERA through nine games and said the pitching is "starting to look familiar."
- The Former Hackers are wondering if it's too early to jump ship.
Carlos Gomez was back in the lineup yesterday, batting seventh and coming through with a triple, his first non-bunt hit since Opening Day. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN listed Milwaukee's center field as one of nine revolving-door positions in today's Starting 9.
At least it was a good day for Gregg Zaun, who celebrated his 39th birthday by ending his long hitless streak to start the season. Colin Fly reports that Zaun's quad was still bothering him when last he checked, but I'd guess it feels a little better today. Before Zaun came through, Adam McCalvy noted that Zaun was only retired 23 times in 44 spring training at bats before being retired in his first 21 regular season ABs.
In other notes from the field:
- With yesterday's eighth inning debacle, the Cubs have now scored 13 runs with two outs in the series, including all nine runs Monday.
- Big League Stew noted that the fans at Wrigley are used to booing Hawkins for blowing saves.
- Ryan Theriot, Kosuke Fukudome and Carlos Marmol lead FanGraphs' Star of the Game voting.
- Fukudome, by the way, is a .342 career hitter in April and a .243 hitter the rest of the season.
- Derrek Lee missed yesterday's game with inflammation around his right thumb, but received a cortisone shot Monday and expects to play today.
- Cool Standings dropped the Brewers' playoff chances to 14.2%.
Today is Jackie Robinson Day around baseball, so the players, managers and coaches will all be wearing #42 for the day. Flip Flop Fly Ball has the last player to wear #42 for each major league team. If you watched yesterday's game, you might have heard BA and Rock mention that Scott Karl was the last Brewer to wear it.
The Brewers played their eighth game yesterday, and submitted their eighth different starting lineup. I think if you polled 100 Brewer fans, you might get 50 different preferred lineup combinations. Here's Jack Moore's: He has Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun batting 1 and 2.
Speaking of Fielder, he and Trevor Hoffman are two of the topics covered in Steve Phillips' video notebook at FanHouse.
We've discussed Doug Davis a fair amount already, but here's something we haven't mentioned: Both of Davis' poor starts have been in day games. Viva Cerveceros jumped to the only logical conclusion: What if Davis is a vampire?
In the minors:
- Space Coast Baseball has some video from yesterday's Brevard County game, and will have live audio coverage of tonight's.
MLBDepthCharts.com lists two Timber Rattlers, outfielder Chris Dennis and reliever Caleb Thielbar, as minor league breakout candidates in the NL Central.
The Bucks' playoff schedule has been released (thanks, TheJay), so you can make your plans now for Brewer games you won't be able to watch unless you're within broadcast range of WMLW. At the moment, the only definite conflict is April 20, when the Bucks play game two at 6 and the Brewers play at 6:05. Hopefully the NBA season will be over soon: I've heard a rumor that watching it causes pink eye.
There is a potential solution out there, but I'm not sure if it's a possibility here: To make room for Phoenix Coyotes playoff games, Fox Sports Arizona is adding a temporary channel that will cover the D-Backs and avoid potential conflicts. I'm not sure if something similar is an option for FSWI, but it would beat missing games.
The Biz of Baseball has a somewhat encouraging stat regarding baseball economics in Milwaukee: The Brewers drew 45,808 fans for Opening Day, and only dropped 18.5% to 37,344 for their second game. Two teams, the Indians and Blue Jays, lost over 70% of fans between the two games. Actually, the news gets worse in Cleveland and Toronto: They drew just 10,071 and 10,610 fans to games last night, respectively, setting new record lows at both parks.
On power rankings:
- The Brewers dropped from 6th to 19th in Beyond the Box Score's rankings.
Angels: Placed closer Brian Fuentes on the DL with a back strain.
Blue Jays: Claimed third baseman Shawn Bowman off waivers from the Mets.
Braves: Jo-Jo Reyes is expected to be placed on the DL with a knee injury.
Cardinals: Placed catcher Jason LaRue on the DL with a hamstring strain.
Cubs: Placed reliever Esmailin Caridad on the DL with forearm inflammation.
Marlins: Designated reliever Jose Veras for assignment.
Orioles: Placed closer Mike Gonzalez on the DL with a shoulder strain.
Phillies: Placed Jimmy Rollins on the DL with a calf strain.
Red Sox: Claimed pitcher Santo Luis off waivers from the White Sox.
Reds: Released infielder Aaron Miles.
If you like interesting, semi-obscure baseball tidbits and you're not already reading Wezen-ball, you're doing yourself a disservice. Today for example, he has this post on baseball's most prolific single name. "Thomas" ends up being the winner, although Gorman Thomas wasn't among the best Thomases.
We discuss Gameday a lot in the Game Threads, mainly when we can't figure out what's happening because it's not working. With that said, it's a pretty cool feature and Baseball Reflections has an interview with MLBAM Stats Supervisor Nicole L. Burdett, one of the people in charge of making it work at every major league park and across several minor leagues.
We've also discussed defensive positioning a bit lately. Jeremy Greenhouse of The Baseball Analysts has a great starting point for a project to determine the ideal positioning for outfielders.
In former Brewer notes: Jane Lee of MLB.com has a great profile of Ben Sheets.
On this day:
- In 1977, the Braves retired Hank Aaron's number, making him the first player ever to have his jersey retired by two teams.
- In 1987, Juan Nieves no-hit the Orioles, becoming the first (and only) Brewer ever to throw a no-hitter.
Happy birthday today to 1996-2001 Brewer Jeromy Burnitz, who turns 41.
Oh, and if you're anywhere near Brevard County, you might be interested in knowing it's Thirsty Thursday.