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Monday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while filming your nude scene.

It was a rough weekend in Washington for the Brewers, as the Nationals celebrated Screech's sixth birthday by sweeping a doubleheader and the series. The losses dropped the Brewers back below .500 and into a tie for third in the Central, two games back of the Reds. After an 0-3 weekend in Washington we're starting to hear some of the gloom and doom again, but Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar says we need to accept that bad series happen and move on.

Nyjer Morgan made just one plate appearance over the weekend, but there was a reason for it: He's nursing a deep thigh bruise suffered in his collision with Pirates catcher Ryan Doumit last week. With Morgan unavailable, Erick Almonte and Mark Kotsay each started one game in right field yesterday and went a combined 2-for-7. Carlos Gomez started both games in center and went 1-for-7.

Speaking of Gomez, he only started one of yesterday's games in the #2 spot. In the first game, Craig Counsell took his place and Gomez dropped all the way down to #8. Following yesterday's games his batting line is down to .196/.250/.275, and Tom Haudricourt said Ryan Braun will be lucky to get 50 RBI this season if Gomez continues to hit in front of him. The UWM Post has a look at the argument that Nyjer Morgan should replace Gomez in the lineup once Corey Hart returns.

Meanwhile, it's worth noting that the Brewers do have another outfielder available: Brandon Boggs has a 1.056 OPS in Nashville.

Once again, Marco Estrada appears to have earned himself another opportunity: He allowed just one run on five hits over six innings yesterday, walking just one and striking out a career high seven. He also picked up his first major league hit in the game. Ron Roenicke told Adam McCalvy the Brewers probably won't use Thursday's off day to skip Estrada's spot in the rotation.

Is it time to start worrying about Yovani Gallardo? The Brewers' Opening Day starter allowed seven runs on ten hits over 5.1 innings yesterday, including two three-run homers. He didn't walk a batter in the game, but Ron Roenicke told reporters that his control was the issue. Roguejim noted that Gallardo's ERA was 5.77 after the All Star break in 2010, and now it's 4.62 through four starts this season.

Other notes from the field:

While in Washington this weekend, the Brewers visited Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Cory Provus called it "a life changing experience."

Sergio Mitre was one of the few Brewers who had a pretty good weekend: He pitched 2.1 scoreless innings of relief on Friday, giving the Brewers a chance to come back and force extra innings.

If you've been watching the Brewers over the last few weeks, you've probably seen a fair number of unique defensive alignments. Adam McCalvy has a note on the Brewers' decision to shift more often, and documented the five infielder alignment from the tenth inning on Friday. Ryan Braun was the extra infielder on the play, and Breaking Down The Brewers has a quote from him about shortstop being "his natural position."

Prince Fielder went 2-for-9 with a double in the doubleheader yesterday, dropping his season line to .321/.397/.571. As Dan O'Donnell of WTMJ noted, Howard Megdal of ESPN listed Fielder as baseball's fifth most irreplaceable player. Megdal doesn't seem to consider Mat Gamel as an option, though.

Looking ahead, the Brewers are in Philadelphia today and open a series against the Phillies tonight. Philadelphia has decided not to skip Joe Blanton's spot in the rotation, so he'll face Shaun Marcum in the series opener. This is probably the Crew's best shot at a win, as Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee are scheduled to pitch tomorrow and Wednesday. Tom Singer of has the series preview.

As has become customary, on Monday we have lots of rehab notes:

Elsewhere in the minors:

  • Jon Heyman reports the Brewers have signed veteran journeyman infielder Luis Figueroa to a minor league deal (FanShot). Figueroa is 37 years old and has played in just 18 major league games, but hit .319/.354/.429 in 494 plate appearances in AAA last season. This is his second run in the Brewer organization: He played for AAA Indianapolis in 2004, on a team that included future Brewers J.J. Hardy, Matt Wise and Corey Hart.
  • If you've got some time to kill over lunch today, you could listen to Nashville in matinee action. The game starts at 11 and the Link Report has everything you need to know to tune in.
  • @SessileFielder notes that the pitching matchup in that game is Mark Rogers v. Jeff Suppan.
  • named Sean Halton and Amaury Rivas their players of the week.
  • On the field yesterday the affiliates went 3-3, with Taylor Green hitting a pair of home runs for Nashville and Michael Walker hitting a walkoff home run for Wisconsin to salvage doubleheaders. You can read about those hits and more in today's Minor League Notes.
  • Ben Badler of Baseball America called Brevard County first baseman Hunter Morris an "interesting guy," but said he's not a candidate for their top 100 prospect list.
  • Mike McClendon, currently with Nashville, is one of just seven players ever to pitch 3 or more perfect innings in his major league debut.

The Brewers have been a little light on late-inning heroics so far this season, but it's nice to see Casey McGehee recognized for coming through: Jay Jaffe of The Hardball Times listed the April 10 Brewers-Cubs game (which McGehee won with a pinch hit home run) as one of the last week's best contests.

If you frequent the comment section of this site you're probably familiar with the work of nullacct, our resident Photoshop wizard. If you're not, though, do yourself a favor and check out this archive of his work from Saturday. Here's an example of the kind of stuff we're talking about:



Around baseball:

Astros: Placed reliever Wilton Lopez on the DL with ulnar nerve irritation. Also, reliever Aneury Rodriguez had his suspension reduced from three to two games.
Braves: Placed reliever Peter Moylan on the DL with a back strain.
Diamondbacks: Placed reliever Aaron Heilman on the DL with shoulder tendonitis.
Dodgers: Placed reliever Hong-Chih Kuo on the DL with a back injury.
Giants: Placed pitcher Barry Zito on the DL with a sprained foot.
Mets: Designated reliever Pat Misch for assignment and placed pitcher Chris Young on the DL with a biceps injury.
Nationals: Placed reliever Todd Coffey on the DL with a calf strain.
Pirates: Designated reliever Garrett Olson for assignment.
Rangers: Placed pitcher Colby Lewis on the paternity list.
Yankees: Placed pitcher Phil Hughes on the DL with a "dead arm."

The paternity list is new this year, and Lewis is the first player placed on it.

Today in former Brewers:

This is a travesty and it must be corrected. Minute Maid Park in Houston has what appears to be an awesome mac and cheese stand, while Miller Park does not.

It's not quite a travesty, but this is pretty bad too: The Cardinals have decided to bring back the turtleneck.

Today in baseball economics:

  • Remember last season when the Blue Jays had to move a series against the Phillies (and Roy Halladay's first matchup against his former team) to Philadelphia because the G20 summit was being held in Toronto? They're asking the Canadian government for $470,854 to cover their losses. 
  • The Canadian government isn't going to help Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, so he had to take out a $30 million loan from Fox to cover the Dodgers' payroll.

Sometimes crowdsourced management works: Rays manager Joe Maddon allowed fans at a Tampa Chamber of Commerce luncheon to pick Friday night's lineup, then went out and beat the Twins with it. If only Ron Roenicke would do something similar, we'd finally be able to get Nyjer Morgan back in the lineup. (h/t BBTF)

I love both minor league promotions and garden gnomes, but I think my wife would have left me if I'd won this contest: One "lucky" fan at a Reading Phillies (AA) game won a 550 lb Ryan Howard garden gnome.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to enjoy this cupcake.

Drink up.