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Friday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while fixing the situation.

The Brewers were off yesterday before opening a series in Philadelphia tonight. Tom Haudricourt suggests you shouldn't get too excited about this weekend's set, as the Brewers are 23-43 against teams with winning records this season.

I think many of us have been treating a potential Prince Fielder trade as inevitable for months now, but maybe it's less likely than we thought: Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated says the Brewers are "still holding a slim hope" to sign Fielder to an extension, and Jayson Stark says the Brewers have been "shocked" by the other teams' lack of interest in trading for him. 7th Inning Stache has a look at what it might take to keep Fielder in Milwaukee.

Prince Fielder's long-term future with the organization is still in doubt, but Jeremy Jeffress' might be coming into focus. Bryan Smith of FanGraphs has a look at Jeffress' stuff and says he "profiles as a major league closer."

Carlos Villanueva rejoined the team this week, and Tom Haudricourt has a story about his experience back in the minors. Villanueva says he worked with Nashville pitching coach Rich Gale to correct some glitches in his mechanics.

MLB Depth Charts has unveiled their NL All Star Team for August, and the Brewers have two position players (Ryan Braun and Casey McGehee) in the starting lineup. Not surprisingly, no Brewer pitchers are mentioned.

It's possible Chris Narveson might be the Brewers' most effective pitcher since August 1: He's posted a 3.55 ERA over six starts, and the Brewers are 4-2 in those games. The relatively sudden surge has prompted Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker to change his opinion: He now says Narveson projects for about 1.5 WAR per season, good enough to be a #4 or 5 starter in a good rotation.

MLB Trade Rumors has a look at this offseason's projected Elias rankings, and the Brewers project to receive no compensation for their pending free agents. Trevor Hoffman is a Type B free agent, but the Brewers would have to offer him arbitration and have him sign elsewhere to receive compensation, and that combination seems unlikely. Dave Bush is still outside the cut for Type B status.

If nothing else comes of this season, at least we can claim this victory: A poster at got an email from WMLW letting them know that they're planning on upgrading their 2011 Brewer broadcasts, and mentioning the possibility of HD.

In the minors:

  • The affiliates went 2-4 last night with the only wins coming in Oklahoma City, where Brendan Katin went 3-for-6 with a pair of doubles as Nashville swept a doubleheader against the RedHawks. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
  • 2004 first round pick Mark Rogers is having the kind of season he needed to have to prove he's healthy and back to being a solid pitching prospect. Rogers has struck out 114 batters in 116 minor league innings this season, and reportedly hit 101 on the radar gun his last time out. (h/t Battlekow)
  • The Appleton Post Crescent has a pretty nice profile of Wisconsin starter Nick Bucci, with a focus on his aggressive style.
  • Wisconsin plays their final home game of 2010 tonight, and they're auctioning off jerseys from their "Brewers Sunday" promotion. Six jerseys remain, including one worn in a game by Kyle Heckathorn and one signed by the team. Proceeds from the auction benefit the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.
  • Ever wondered what it's like to catch in the minor leagues? Chad Anderson has a great feature story with quotes from three veteran catchers in Huntsville: Anderson De La Rosa, Patrick Arlis and Dayton Buller.
  • Call to the Pen mentioned Angel Salome as part of their This Week in Prospects feature, and sums up his season pretty nicely with this quote: "Pretty much everything that made Salome such an intriguing prospect in the first place is gone."

Around baseball:

Marlins: Signed catcher Mike Rivera to a minor league deal.

It's once again worth noting that the Reds are having pretty significant problems drawing fans out to the park, but they're doing great on TV. Tuesday's Brewers/Reds game set a new ratings record for FS Ohio, and Wednesday's game broke that record. The Reds are eight games up and play the Cardinals this weekend. The NL Central race could be over by Monday.

We've seen a lot of September callups this week, but this might be the most unlikely one: The Diamondbacks called up Mike Hampton yesterday. He pitched four games in relief this season for AAA Reno, but hasn't appeared in the majors since August of 2009.

Speaking of the Diamondbacks, they're on the verge of breaking a dubious Brewer record. TheJay sent me this email yesterday:

The Arizona Diamondbacks have 1235 strikeouts through 134 games, putting them on pace for 1493 strikeouts in 2010.
The major league record is 1399 by the 2001 Brewers.

The fact that the D-backs might break that record isn't all that surprising. But the fact that they might break it by 100 is pretty impressive.

Here's today's update on the upcoming minor league shuffle: One more AA option for the Brewers is off the table, as the Rays have extended their contract with Montgomery.

1990 Brewer Dave Parker is not in the Hall of Fame, so he'll have to settle for being the starting right fielder and #5 hitter on Baseball Past and Present's starting lineup of players not enshrined in Cooperstown.

On this day in 1976, Mike Hegan hit for the cycle as the Brewers beat the Tigers, 11-2. It was the first cycle in Brewer franchise history.

Happy birthday today to:

  • Brevard County Manatee R.J. Seidel, who turns 23.
  • 1998-2002 Brewer Chad Fox, who turns 40.
  • 1998-99 Brewer Eric Plunk, who turns 47.
  • La Crosse native Ed Konetchy, who would have turned 125. Konetchy spent 15 years in the major leagues with the Cardinals and five other teams.

Now, if you'll excuse me, it's time for breakfast.

Drink up.