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Monday's Frosty Mug

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Bernie Brewer poses with a fan Friday.
Bernie Brewer poses with a fan Friday.

Some things to read while living a lie.

The Brewers have an off day today (their second in five days), but we still could see a couple of roster moves before the day is out. The Brewers started things in motion by optioning Mark DiFelice to Nashville after last night's game (FanShot), freeing up a roster spot that will likely be filled by Zach Braddock. There also might be another move: The Brewers have hinted at the possibility that Mat Gamel could be summoned to join the team for interleague play.

Remember when the Brewers couldn't beat the Twins? They've now won seven in a row against our friends from Minnesota and completed the sweep with a 6-2 win yesterday.

Yovani Gallardo had a good outing on Saturday, holding the Twins to a run over seven innings, and Adam McCalvy notes that he's been successful despite very rarely using his changeup. Ron Roenicke appears to want to change that, but Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar says maybe Gallardo should be left alone.

Other notes from the field:

Against all odds, the Yuniesky Betancourt Golden Era continues. Over the weekend he hit an inside the park home run when Twins outfielder Delmon Young injured himself chasing a fly ball, and stole second base on a botched pickoff play. Here are today's Yuni notes:

  • He's now hitting .291/.291/.430 in June after a .178/.200/.289 May.
  • His two stolen bases yesterday were his first two of the season. He also stole two in 2010 and none in 2009.
  • He rounded the bases in 16.3 seconds on his inside the parker on Saturday.

Of course, Betancourt's weekend was not without incident. Before his homer Saturday he had an inning where he booted a ground ball and was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double. Let's let the Brewer beat reporters take it from there. First, here's Tom Haudricourt:

Nice 2nd inning for Brewers SS Yuniesky Betancourt. He lets a grounder get by for RBI single and is out by a mile trying to stretch single.

Here's a two-parter for Colin Fly:

Lets see if Yuni can win the Triple Crown tonight. Bad decisions in the field, bad decisions on base paths and bad decisions at the plate.

Phew. Yuniesky just tied his shoe. I bet that's the reason he was thrown out by a mile the last inning.

And with the kicker, here's Adam McCalvy:

Yuniesky Betancourt could be a free agent after this season. He apparently doesn't want the Twins to be interested.

Even Carlos Gomez got in on the fun this weekend, going 3-for-4 with a home run and scoring twice on Saturday in his only start in the series. Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar has a look at Gomez's career performance against the Twins.

Prince Fielder also homered on Saturday, and now has 21 this season. Josh Wussow of Inside Wisconsin Sports listed Fielder's season home run record as one of four that could be in jeopardy this season. Fielder also passed Geoff Jenkins to move into second place on the Brewers' all time homer list with 213.

When the Brewers resume play tomorrow, Zack Greinke will be on the mound to open a series against the Yankees in New York. Joey Nowak of has the preview. Greinke, by the way, is our reigning Brewer of the Week.

Shaun Marcum is expected to pitch the middle game of the series, and the Brewers are saying he's back at full strength after his short start last week.

Looking ahead another day, CC Sabathia is expected to pitch against Randy Wolf on Thursday. On Saturday, he became 2011's first pitcher with ten wins.

Another day, another set of All Star predictions: Today, Brewers in 11 is predicting Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, Yovani Gallardo and John Axford will make the squad. There haven't been five Brewers on an All Star team since 1983. The players cast their ballots for All Star reserves on Friday.

Meanwhile, you may not have realized that Robin Yount made just three ASG appearances in his career, and none after 1983. Barring something unforeseen, Ryan Braun will make his fourth appearance in 2011.

It's a little early to be looking this far ahead, but most of this likely will not change: MLB Trade Rumors' projected Elias rankings have Prince Fielder as a Type A free agent and Yuniesky Betancourt and Takashi Saito as Type B's. The Brewers will almost certainly receive compensation for Fielder but not for Betancourt or Saito: To receive picks in exchange the Brewers would have to offer arbitration and have the player reject it, then go on to sign a major league deal with another team.

Matthew Pouliot of Hardball Talk, by the way, ranked Fielder as this winter's #2 free agent behind Albert Pujols.

Ryan Braun's hitting streak continues, and he's drawing a fair amount of praise this week: Tyler Kepner of The New York Times has a look at Braun's emergence as a national star, and Tommy Rancel of FanGraphs looks at Braun as a franchise player.

I'm guessing Sveum probably doesn't have to spend much time with Braun: Tom Haudricourt has a look at Dale Sveum's job as hitting coach, and quotes him as saying it's "more mental than mechanical." Maybe Sveum should take a page out of LaTroy Hawkins' book and get t-shirts made.

In the minors:

  • Nashville pitching coach Rich Gale has resigned, citing personal reasons. Former Brewer pitching coach Bill Castro was his interim replacement, and now another former Brewer pitching coach, Chris Bosio, is expected to take over full time.
  • The affiliates went 3-3 last night, with Takashi Saito pitching a perfect inning for Nashville in their 9-2 win over New Orleans. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
  • Rattler Radio has video highlights from Wisconsin's 8-3, 10 inning loss.
  • Chris Dennis homered for Wisconsin over the weekend and now has 30 as a Timber Rattler in his career, leaving him just six short of the franchise record.
  • The Appleton Post Crescent has a profile of Wisconsin starting pitcher Jameson Dunn, who seems more interesting than the average former undrafted free agent.
  • The Canton Repository has a story on Wisconsin reliever Eric Marzec.
  • Fourth round pick Nick Ramirez, who recently signed and is expected to report to Helena today, received a $215,000 signing bonus (FanShot). The Brewers have also signed third round pick Drew Gagnon, but I haven't seen the terms of that deal.
  • Baseball America is reporting the Brewers have released pitcher Corey Frerichs and outfielder Derrick Shaw. Frerichs was a 2007 30th round pick and had posted a 7.14 ERA in 21 appearances for Brevard County and Huntsville this season. Shaw was a 41st round pick in 2010 and hit .269/.324/.387 in 30 AZL games last season.

I feel like the Mug was created just to make sure people like you see things like this. This morning Admiral Ackbar of Anonymous Eagle drew my attention to this tweet from Milwaukee Buck Jon Brockman, who appears to have built a retro logo out of stones on the beach in Hawaii. I'm not sure if this is a really cool tribute or an attempt to curse Milwaukee's most successful sports team. You be the judge.

This might be equally cool: Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs has an animated gif of Corey Hart's behind-the-back bat flip to the dugout after walking on Friday.

And elsewhere in cool things: John Axford, Corey Hart and Zack Greinke got to play table tennis with a Chinese Olympian before Saturday's game.

If you haven't yet, please scroll down and take a moment to vote in this week's BCB Tracking Poll. It will remain open through tomorrow and results will be posted on Wednesday.

Around baseball:

Giants: Placed pitcher Jonathan Sanchez on the DL with biceps tendonitis.
Indians: Placed outfielder Shin-Soo Choo on the DL with a broken thumb.
Nationals: Hired Davey Johnson as their new manager. Former bench coach and interim manager John McLaren is expected to resign.
Orioles: Former third base coach John Russell and bench coach Willie Randolph have switched jobs.
Phillies: Placed pitcher Roy Oswalt on the DL with a back injury.
Pirates: Designated pitcher Aaron Thompson and catcher Dusty Brown for assignment.
Twins: Placed outfielder Delmon Young on the DL with a right ankle sprain.
White Sox: Placed pitcher John Danks on the DL with an oblique strain.

Brown was DFA'd to make room for former Brewer farmhand Eric Fryer, who made his major league debut on Sunday. Fryer was a tenth round pick in 2007, and was later traded to the Yankees for Chase Wright.

The Brewers were the NL Central's only winner yesterday, allowing them to gain a game on every divisional rival. You already know that if you've read this morning's Around the NL Central, which contains your full recommended daily dosage of zinc. Howie Magner says the Brewers' division lead is starting move from tenuous toward "commanding."

This weekend's sweep improved the Brewers to 5-4 in interleague play. David Schoenfield of ESPN notes that NL playoff teams since 2006 have gone 147-161 against AL teams.

Today in former Brewers:

  • Carlos Villanueva continues to have a career year for Toronto: He made his seventh start over the weekend and has posted a 3.15 ERA over 65.2 innings as a Blue Jay. Ghostrunner on First has created the Carlos Villanueva Recognition Coalition.
  • Tyler Lockman of FS Wisconsin interviewed Juan Nieves, who is now the White Sox pitching coach.

Today in baseball economics: The Dodgers, who likely do not have enough money to make end of the month payroll on Thursday, have filed for bankruptcy. Follow that link for Craig Calcaterra's analysis of what could be an extended legal battle.

I feel like it's time for a collection of reminders regarding just how good we have it as Brewer fans:

  • White Sox first baseman/DH Adam Dunn struck out four times on Saturday and is now on pace to K 205 times this season. He'd be just the second major leaguer ever to break 200, although he did have 199 last season.
  • The Astros called up catcher Brian Esposito over the weekend. He's 32 years old and has just three major league ABs, but is the sixth catcher they've used this season.
  • In a nightmare scenario for virtually any GM who drafts a college pitcher, A's first round pick Sonny Gray of Vanderbilt was allowed to throw over 130 pitches in a College World Series game this weekend.
  • At last check, I haven't seen anyone shave their favorite Brewer's name and number into their back hair.
  • The Marlins lost again last night and are now 2-21 in June. This is the first time in franchise history they've lost 21 games in a month, and they still have three to play. 

Adding insult to injury: Last night's Marlins/Mariners game, moved to Seattle to accommodate a U2 concert in Florida, didn't start until 7:10 pm Pacific time (10:10 Eastern) because Safeco Field was hosting an MLS game. It was the latest Sunday start in Safeco Field history, and the first of three 10:10 Eastern time starts for the Marlins this week.

If you weren't around this weekend, then you might have missed this: My good friend J.D. Fox of The D+ Sports Advantage stopped by to review Out Of The Park Baseball 2012, and has a thorough, in-depth look at what appears to be the most thorough, in-depth baseball simulator on the market.

Now, if you'll excuse me, there's a finger in my pie.

Drink up.