Some things to read while hanging out in the corner.
The Brewers were just one week away from getting through an entire season without a rainout or doubleheader but alas, it was not meant to be. Last night's series opener was postponed and will be made up in a twi-night double header on Wednesday, with game one starting at 3:10 central time.
Unfortunately, rain might also be the story today. Weather.com has thunderstorms in the forecast today for New York, with an 80% chance of rain. The precipitation drops to 30% tonight, though, so it's likely they'll get the game in.
Assuming they do get the game in, Randy Wolf is scheduled to take the mound tonight. Apparently Wolf was also last night's scheduled starter, but there was some confusion about it. Yovani Gallardo and Dave Bush will pitch the doubleheader on Wednesday, Chris Narveson will pitch Thursday and Mark Rogers will pitch the opener of the Reds series on Friday.
While the Brewers get ready for tonight's contest, Mat Gamel is on a flight back to Milwaukee and is expected to have surgery on his left big toe on Thursday (FanShot). Gamel's season is over with just 17 major league plate appearances and eight strikeouts. He's expected to be ready in time for spring training.
Last night's rainout gave the Brewer rookies some extra time to get over their embarrassment from Sunday's "rookie hazing day." As usual the rookies were dressed in costume for the final road trip of the season, but this time they were also dropped off several blocks from the team hotel in Manhattan, forcing them to walk through New York in costume. Adam McCalvy has a picture of Jeremy Jeffress' outfit.
One of those rookies was Lorenzo Cain, who also hit his first major league home run on Sunday. Adam McCalvy reports Cain's teammates (including Craig Counsell) have been encouraging him to swing for the fences more.
Meanwhile, Corey Hart is on another hot streak to finish the season: He's riding an eleven game hitting streak into tonight's contest.
The rainout also gave folks plenty of time to reopen debates about Prince Fielder. As Tom Haudricourt noted, Dave Cameron of FanGraphs took a look at Fielder's value yesterday and concluded that it's "probably a lot less than Brewer fans are hoping for." He suggests that the combination of Fielder's price tag (roughly $15 million), contract status (under team control for just one more season) and one-dimensional nature will make him an expensive rental for someone and perhaps an inferior option to Adam Dunn, who will be a free agent.
Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar, however, is not deterred. He thinks it's too early for Doug Melvin to lower his expectations from a Fielder trade, and doesn't want to see a repeat of J.J. Hardy being dealt to the first bidder last offseason.
Once he got done writing about Fielder at FanGraphs, Dave Cameron penned another note on Fielder for U.S.S. Mariner, listing the reasons why the Mariners would make sense as Fielder's potential destination but also some reasons why it probably won't happen. Fielder is the subject of today's Poll of the Day at MLB Trade Rumors.
By the way, Wezen-ball reports that Fielder's home run trot from Sunday (potentially his final at home as a Brewer) clocked in at 22.81 seconds.
Meanwhile, this week's Brewers/Mets series features a return to New York for former Mets manager Willie Randolph. MetsBlog has a quote from Randolph about his time in New York, and Matt Cerrone says he is capable of being a successful manager in a smaller market.
Looking further back, Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker has his thoughts on the Brewers' decision to bring back Mark DiFelice for next season. Moore says he "could be a great middle to late inning weapon for the Brewers, particularly against right handed batters."
Elsewhere in the bullpen, the JS has an extended look at John Axford as one of this season's lone bright spots.
In the minors:
- Adam McCalvy has a list of potential minor league free agents that have already agreed to new deals with the Brewers: In addition to three we've previously reported (Mark DiFelice, Anderson Machado and Anderson De La Rosa), they've agreed to terms with catcher Patrick Arlis and pitcher Chase Wright.
- Bullpen Banter's rankings of the top ten second basemen in the minors are out and the Brewers are well represented, with Brett Lawrie #2 and Scooter Gennett #9. (h/t Battlekow)
- As part of this week's All Questions Answered thread, John Sickels of Minor League Ball offered some thoughts on Helena pitchers Matt Miller, Austin Ross and Tyler Thornburg. Today he'll also be answering questions on Cameron Garfield, Jeremy Jeffress and others.
- Miller and Jimmy Nelson made Baseball America's list of the top 20 prospects in the Pioneer League.
- Battlekow noted that Thornburg also likely would have made the list if he'd met the innings requirement. He also cautioned against getting too excited about the high rankings, noting that Charlie Fermaint, Dave Krynzel and Cristian Guerrero are all former Pioneer League top prospects.
On power rankings:
- MLB FanHouse moved the Brewers up six spots to 17.
- WhatifSports has the Brewers at 18, down three spots.
- ESPN moved the Brewers up one spot to 22.
- Craig Calcaterra has the Brewers steady at 22.
Orioles: Reliever Alfredo Simon (three games) and manager Buck Showalter (one game) have been suspended for their actions in Sunday's game against the Blue Jays.
The Simon and Showalter suspensions were given out because Simon threw at Jays outfielder Jose Bautista after the slugger had already been hit once in the game and warnings had been issued. Bautista has been a pretty significant lightning rod lately: He has 52 home runs this season despite never having hit more than 16 previously and hitting just 13 last season. This has led some to speculate that performance enhancing drugs may be involved, but Craig Calcaterra will have none of it.
Speaking of Buck Showalter, the B-Ref blog has a look at in-season managerial changes and their impact, and notes that Showalter and Cubs interim manager Mike Quade have made two of the more significant turnarounds in major league history.
It's been quite some time since the Rangers have had good economic news, so this report came out of the blue: Texas has agreed to a new 20 year broadcasting agreement with Fox Sports Southwest rumored to be worth $3 billion dollars, or $150 million annually (h/t BBTF). Evan Grant reports that the dollar figures are exaggerated a bit and are more realistic at $75-80 million, but that's still a lot of money to be taking in before the first ticket is sold.
If the Rangers intend to spend some of that money this offseason, they'll have extra time to do so. Major League Baseball has moved offseason deadlines for offering and accepting arbitration and non-tendering contracts forward and shortened the filing period for free agency from 15 days to five in an effort to extend the free agent signing period. They're reportedly also considering moving the Rule 5 Draft to November.
Elsewhere in free agency news: When the Cubs dealt Ted Lilly to the Dodgers this season, many expected Lilly to remain in LA for a few months and re-sign with the Cubs as a free agent this offseason. That might not be a done deal, though: Lilly has reportedly put his home in Chicago up for sale.
Like many of you, I'll be watching tonight's Brewer game but also DVR'ing Ken Burns' Tenth Inning, the long-awaited sequel to his documentary on baseball. Unfortunately, some of the early reviews I've seen aren't too encouraging:
- Craig Calcaterra says you'll enjoy the new update..if you're from the east coast.
- Dodger Thoughts has a similar sentiment, saying "'The Tenth Inning' will be appreciated more by the casual fan than the dedicated fan (and, of course, enjoyed much more by fans of the teams depicted than the teams ignored)."
- Big League Stew has seen the film and has ten thoughts. I count two positive notes among them.
Walkoff Walk has a list of the top ten events Burns fails to mention.
Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks no longer stand alone in history. Entering play yesterday, Weeks and Fielder were the only set of teammates to each be hit by 20 pitches in a season since 1911. Last night, however, Carlos Quentin of the White Sox was plunked for the 20th time, and he and Juan Pierre have now matched the feat. As you might expect, Plunk Everyone has more.
On this day in 1901, the original Brewers lost both halves of a doubleheader to Boston to close out their lone season in Milwaukee. After going just 5-17 in their final 22 games the team moved to St. Louis, and Milwaukee would not be a full-time home for major league baseball again until 1953.
On this day in 2008, the Brewers beat the Cubs behind a complete game from CC Sabathia and a home run from Ryan Braun, and the Marlins beat the Mets to clinch the Brewers' first playoff appearance since 1982.
Happy birthday today to:
- 2000-03 Brewer Mike DeJean, who turns 40.
- 1995-99 Brewer Brian Banks, who also turns 40.
- 1997-2001 Brewer broadcaster Matt Vasgersian, who turns 43.
- Milwaukee native Todd Frohwirth, who turns 48. Frohwirth played nine major league seasons between 1987-96 with the Phillies, Orioles, Red Sox and Angels.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to reset my stopwatch.