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Thursday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while feeling bad for the angler fish.

The news wasn't very good on the field, but the worst news of the day came off of it, where an MRI revealed Gregg Zaun has a torn labrum in his right shoulder that might require surgery (FanShot). Zaun will attempt to rehab the shoulder for 2-4 weeks before making a decision on whether or not to have season-ending surgery.

In Zaun's absence, it appears the Brewers will stick with George Kottaras behind the plate, with Jonathan Lucroy serving as his backup. Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt he's not looking for veteran options to take over, and plans to let Lucroy learn in the big leagues. Lucroy has been with the team for five games now and made six plate appearances.

Are we being too negative about the Brewers? In response to a JS post about Randy Wolf pitching seven innings and Ken Macha's "poppycock" incident, Brewer Paradise Lost had this to say:

Frankly this ‘woe is me’ attitude is really silly, especially considering how well the last 3 games have been played. Between this post and the Ken Macha ‘blowup’ yesterday it’s pretty clear that the JS is trying to create this silly narrative that the Brewers are awful, they need a complete change of scenery, and woe is me my team isn’t a playoff contender right now.

The Brewers enter play today 5-15 at home and 9-14 in May, after also going 9-14 in April. Last night they got shut out by one of baseball's worst teams. They're behind the Pirates in the standings and 8.5 games worse than the Reds. I don't feel like calling them awful at this point is a "silly narrative." Calling this team a playoff contender might be, though.

Disciples of Uecker also has some thoughts on the issue, and notes that some of the "negativity" Ken Macha has recently complained about will likely dissipate when/if the team is no longer on pace to lose 97 games.

Other notes from the field:

Trevor Hoffman pitched another scoreless inning last night, allowing a hit and a walk while working in the seventh inning. Apparently that was good enough, as Hoffman could return to the closer role if there's a save situation today. Tyler Kepner of the NY Times has a story on Hoffman's attempts to return to form after his early season struggles.

At least there was good news off the field: Tom Haudricourt reports that Bob Uecker was in attendance at last night's game.

In the minors:

  • Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus was in attendance as Eric Arnett pitched for Wisconsin last night and noted some problems with his mechanics, but also saw him throw some good breaking balls. Arnett allowed one earned run over six innings - you can read about his performance and more in today's Minor League Notes.
  • Mat Gamel has been promoted to Huntsville as he continues to rehab his shouder. Gamel went 2-for-20 in his brief run with Brevard County, but did draw six walks.
  • Stephen C. Smith of Space Coast Baseball will have live audio of tonight's Brevard County game, which starts at 6:05 Central time.
  • The Nashville Sounds' website has a profile of Australian outfielder Trent Oeltjen and yes, both vegemite and kangaroos come up in the conversation.

On the draft:

  • Jonathan Mayo is projecting the Brewers to draft Florida high school third baseman Nick Castellanos.
  • MLB FanHouse has them selecting Ohio high school RHP Stetson Allie. 
  • Gorman Thomas, the organization's first-ever draft pick, will represent the team at the draft.
  • Bryan Smith of FanGraphs has a look at the draft history of shortstops, and has this stat: From 1988-2002, 68 shortstops were drafted in the first round. Twenty-two never played in the majors. Of those, 19 were high schoolers.

And on power rankings: Beyond the Box Score dropped the Brewers three spots to #15.

With the Brewers ten games under .500, are you ready to try a crazy pitching experiment? Jake McCormick proposes a revisiting of a concept Doug Melvin proposed several years ago - starting the game with the bullpen and letting a starting pitcher work the last six innings.

If you don't read the comments section of the site, one of the biggest things you might be missing is the photoshop work of nullacct, who routinely produces great stuff (including the logo for our new "The Ax" t-shirt). If you don't believe me, go check out his latest Photoshop archive.

Speaking of The Ax, if you weren't around yesterday afternoon you might have missed the unveiling of our latest BCB shirt. Check it out and pick one up for yourself or your favorite mustache enthusiast.

Around baseball:

Athletics: Placed outfielder Coco Crisp on the DL with a strained muscle in his chest.
Giants: Placed shortstop Edgar Renteria on the DL with a hamstring strain.
Yankees: Re-signed pitcher Chad Gaudin.

It sounds like we narrowly missed having another bizarre injury to report today: Rays infielder Sean Rodriguez is fine after being stung by a ray while swimming in the ocean recently.

Somehow, it seems like these things always come in bunches: Since umpire Ed Rapuano's confrontation with Dave Bush on Friday night, Carl Crawford and Joe Maddon of the Rays have had an issue with Bob Davidson, and yesterday Ozzie Guillen and Mark Buerhle of the White Sox were ejected after phantom balk calls from "Cowboy" Joe West. Umpire discipline is handled behind closed doors by Major League Baseball, but Jon Paul Morosi says that needs to change, and I couldn't agree more.

I doubt this will work, but this is about what it would take to force MLB to fix some of the All Star Game's problems. The Good Phight is attempting to rig the All Star balloting to get inferior AL players into the starting lineup.

The Timber Rattlers are on the road for a while, but if you're in Appleton and looking for a baseball fix you could check out the NCAA Division 3 World Series, being held at Fox Cities Stadium this weekend.

Happy birthday today to:

Now, if you'll excuse me, my phone is ringing.

Drink up.