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Friday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while heeding the sandbox's advice.

As expected, Ryan Braun was out of action last night as the Brewers opened a four game set with the Marlins. Braun was hit by a pitch on the elbow Wednesday night, and Brewer trainer Roger Caplinger held him out for another day.

With Braun out of the lineup, Ken Macha took the opportunity to shake things up a bit, batting Lorenzo Cain in the leadoff spot, Rickie Weeks third, starting Luis Cruz at shortstop and giving Mat Gamel his first major league start in the outfield. Gamel, starting in left field despite the fact that he just started taking fly balls out there Wednesday, went 0-for-2 with a pair of strikeouts and left the game in the sixth inning after being hit by a pitch. Ken Macha said he sees Gamel's future in the outfield, but it'll be tough for him to find time out there with the Brewers.

Meanwhile, Corey Hart remained in the #2 spot and had a big night, going 3-for-5 with a home run, a stolen base and two RBI. The home run was Hart's 30th, and the RBI gave him 96 on the season. David Pinto of Baseball Musings notes that Hart has also set a career high for strikeouts with 127, and says "Corey is swinging harder, missing more, but doing more damage when he connects."

Braun's injury makes it a little less likely, but it's still possible that the Brewers could finish the season with three players with 100 RBI for just the fourth time in franchise history. It would be the first time the trio didn't include Cecil Cooper and Gorman Thomas:

Cecil Cooper, Ben Oglivie, Gorman Thomas, Robin Yount
Cecil Cooper, Ben Oglivie, Gorman Thomas
Cecil Cooper, Sixto Lezcano, Gorman Thomas

Trevor Hoffman didn't pitch again last night, and still hasn't appeared in a game since September 7. Before the game, though, he had lunch with Marlins closer Clay Hensley.

Other notes from the field:

With last night's game out of the way all eyes now turn to tonight, with Mark Rogers scheduled to make his first major league start. View From Bernie's Chalet sums up the excitement of seeing a draft pick overcome adversity to make the major leagues. Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs listed Rogers' debut as tonight's second most interesting game.

Rogers also apparently has a little power with the bat: Jordan Schelling is reporting that he hit a ball off the Harley Davidson Deck in batting practice yesterday.

Miller Park Drunk has apparently had enough. At Big League Stew, they penned their Dear John letter to the 2010 Brewers.

Of course, no matter how bad the Brewers get they'll always have 1982: Cecil Cooper's go-ahead single in Game 5 of the 1982 ALCS was voted the top moment in Brewer franchise history.

In the minors:

  • Diamond Futures has five Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Scooter Gennett, Cutter Dykstra, Cameron Garfield, Kentrail Davis and Khris Davis) on their list of the top offensive performances in the 2010 Midwest League.
  • Minor League Baseball Prospects has three Helena Brewers (pitchers Austin Ross, Stosh Wawrzasek and Tyler Thornburg) on their list of the top 40 prospects in the Pioneer League.
  • The Brewers were one of nine teams in attendance for #6 overall pick Barret Loux's bullpen session yesterday. Loux was drafted by the Diamondbacks but failed his physical, and Major League Baseball later made him a free agent.

On power rankings: Yahoo has the Brewers at 25, down three spots.

Just one transaction note to pass along today:

Nationals: Team President Stan Kasten plans to resign following the season.

Today's lone former Brewer note comes from Disciples of Uecker, where Jack Moore admits to missing Ben Sheets.

Yesterday's action saw a pair of pretty interesting milestones in the same game. First, Blue Jay Jose Bautista hit his 50th home run, becoming just the 26th major leaguer ever to do so. Before this season, his career high was 16. Then Ichiro picked up his 200th hit, setting a new major league record by reaching that mark in ten consecutive seasons.

If Ichiro keeps up his current pace he'll finish the season with 214 hits and 2244 for his career. He turns 37 in October. I'd say the odds are pretty good at this point that he plays 4-5 more seasons and reaches 3000 hits despite not making his major league debut until age 27.

We're certainly well aware of the pitfalls of signing free agent pitchers, but apparently the trade market comes with its own set of issues. Phil Birnbaum has an interesting look at the possibility that traded players are more likely to be "lemons."

Speaking of free agent pitchers (and exploding bats, another hot topic this week): Cliff Lee avoided serious injury when splinters from a broken bat flew past his face last night.

Here's a strange and troubling story: The Baseball Hall of Fame apparently has (or at least had at one point) a relatively serious problem with items being stolen from their collection of memorabilia: Hauls of Shame has a look at some of the stolen items that have resurfaced, and some of the identifying marks used to verify their origins. (h/t BBTF)

I'll be curious to see how this turns out, because it's an interesting idea: The Indians are planning on turning Progressive Field into a winter theme park to generate some extra revenue this offseason.

On this day in 1999, the Astros beat the Brewers 9-4 in a game marred by an ugly incident: In the sixth inning a fan jumped the fence at County Stadium and attacked Astro (and former Brewer) Bill Spiers. Spiers was able to remain in the game, and the fan was charged with two counts of assault.

Happy birthday today to 1991 Brewer Chris George, who turns 44.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to get started.

Drink up.