Some things to read while failing.
The Brewers open a three game series with the Cardinals tonight, but much of the recent conversation about the series is focusing on Sunday's game, where Manny Parra will start in place of Dave Bush. There had previously been speculation that Bush's lingering blister issue would keep him out of Sunday's game, but Bush says it was not a factor in the decision (FanShot). Ken Macha cited Parra's career numbers against the Cardinals as the reson for the move. Bush could return to the rotation during next week's Cubs series if he's not needed in relief this weekend.
The decision to start Parra over Bush means the Brewers will send three lefties to the mound in this weekend's series with the Cardinals: Jordan Schelling noted that the Cards are OPS'ing just .674 against lefties on the season as a team.
On the field, Chris Capuano returned to the major leagues for the first time in over two full years last night, allowing three runs on seven hits in just 3.2 innings of work, striking out four but also throwing two wild pitches. After the game, Cappy had this to say:
"I'm not happy with the way I threw the ball. But it was good to get that first one out of the way and get down to business."
Other notes from the field:
- Prince Fielder was hit by a pitch for the ninth time last night, retaking sole possession of the league lead. Plunk Everyone has everything you might want to know about it.
- Jonathan Lucroy caught Chris Capuano last night, and will be Capuano's personal catcher going forward.
- Josh Johnson, Ronny Paulino and Leo Nunez are leading FanGraphs' Star of the Game vote.
- CoolStandings has the Brewer playoff chances back down to 1.1%.
Off the field, the Brewers said goodbye to a long time BCB favorite yesterday, as Adam Heether was claimed off waivers by the A's (FanShot). Heether's hometown paper (the Manteca Bulletin) also has a note on it.No corresponding move to fill Heether's spot on the roster was announced, and Adam McCalvy said he doesn't know if there's another move in the works. If there's not it's a curious decision, and it leads me to wonder if the Brewers waived Heether as a professional courtesy, to allow him to move on to another organization where he might receive a better opportunity to play.
Elsewhere in transactions: Adam Stern will remain within the Brewer organization. He cleared waivers after being DFA'd earlier this week and has been outrighted to Nashville for his fourth stint as a member of the 2010 Sounds.
If you watched the FSWisconsin team filling time during last night's brief rain delay, then you might have seen extended comments from Ken Macha opposing the expansion of instant replay. He got pretty fired up about it, making it just the second thing ever added to the list of "Things that can cause Ken Macha to show emotion." He did not, however, use the word "poppycock."
In the minors:
- Scooter Gennett is still hitting the cover off the ball for Wisconsin: He went 3-for-5 last night with a home run, two runs scored and two RBI. Gennett is 13-for-25 with five multi-hit games, two doubles and a home run in his last six outings. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- Huntsville lost 7-4 to Mobile last night, but it's hard to blame the pitchers for it: The Stars defense committed six errors in the game.
- Benjamin Hill of MiLB.com was in Huntsville for last night's game, and has these thoughts on the experience and this profile of Stars GM Buck Rogers to show for it.
On the draft:
- Andy Seiler has the Brewers selecting North Carolina righty Matt Harvey.
- Baseball Prospectus has the Brewers drafting LSU righty Anthony Ranaudo.
- Perfect Game USA has the Brewers selecting Indiana high school catcher/shortstop Justin O'Conner. (h/t Bucs Dugout)
- If you weren't around yesterday, you might have missed Andy Seiler's guest post on four college pitchers the Brewers might consider.
- Minor League Baseball Prospects has observations on 16 likely early picks in the draft, including Ranaudo, Stetson Allie and Alex Wimmers, who have all been linked to the Brewers at one point or another.
- Bryan Smith of FanGraphs has a look at the successes and failures of first round second and third basemen.
On power rankings:
- Beyond the Box Score has the Brewers at 14, up one spot.
- Yahoo has the Brewers at 24, up from 28.
- Prospect Insider has the Brewers at 24.
Orioles: Fired manager Dave Trembley. Juan Samuel will serve as interim manager. (h/t Camden Chat)
Phillies: Signed outfielder Willy Taveras to a minor league deal.
Rays: Placed shortstop Jason Bartlett on the DL with a hamstring strain.
Royals: Claimed pitcher Kanekoa Texiera off waivers from the Mariners.
Also notable from the Trembley firing: Former Brewer coach Gary Allenson also moved up the ladder in the Orioles organization, and will be the team's new third base coach. Allenson managed in AAA for the Brewers in 1998 and 1999 and was a coach for the major league team from 2000-2002.
In yesterday's Mug comments we discussed early offensive output, and I mentioned a note I'd read somewhere (but misplaced) about offense not being down as much as it usually is in April and May. It turns out I was mistaken: April and May offense are at their lowest levels since 1993.
As you might have noticed, the MLB Draft is next week. Most teams bumble around and draw names out of a hat for three days, but the Pirates have figured it out: They plan to use the draft to acquire young talent. Genius.
If you've been around the internet you've likely seen dozens of posts about Ken Griffey's retirement. Even if you think you've already seen everything there is to be said about Griffey, you should take a moment today to read C. Trent Rosecrans and Jeff Sullivan's thoughts: They're easily the best I've read.
Happy birthday today to:
- 2001 Brewer Robert Perez, who turns 41.
- Infielder James Kottaras, brother of George, who turns 20. James was drafted by the Brewers in the 45th round of the 2008 draft, but did not sign.
I know some people love Twitter and some hate it, but I tend to think DRUNK HULK is the kind of thing it was invented for.
That's all I've got for you today, unless you want to help Rubie assemble a lineup of Transformers.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to make a phone call.