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Monday's Frosty Mug


Some things to read while going back to normal.

At least the road trip is finally over.

The final leg of a ten-day, three-city west coast road trip claimed two more injury victims this weekend, as Carlos Gomez left Friday's game with a strained hamstring and Alex Gonzalez had to be carried off the field Saturday with a knee injury. The specifics of Gonzalez's injury aren't known at this point but it's believed to be serious, and @Mass_Haas notes that it will likely prevent him from reaching his vesting option for 2013. As such, the Brewers shortstop situation is once again completely up in the air.

This week's injury nightmares forced the Brewers to make several roster moves to cover themselves for the weekend. They put Carlos Gomez and Alex Gonzalez on the DL following Saturday's game to call up Taylor Green and Edwin Maysonet (FanShot). They also moved Mat Gamel to the 60-day DL to clear a 40-man spot for Maysonet.

On Friday the Brewers also released Zach Braddock to make room for Brooks Conrad on the 40-man roster (FanShot). The move ends a troubled Brewer tenure for a very talented young pitcher, hopefully he can put things back together and we'll see him in the majors again someday.

The Brewers' current roster leaves plenty of options for the team at first base and shortstop, but it remains to be seen how they'll perform. Kevan Feyzi of says the current collection of replacemenys can't be counted on going forward, and Katie has a closer look at Taylor Green. Green played his first major league game at first base yesterday.

As you might expect, the Brewers' sudden vacancies at first base and shortstop have started the rumor mill swirling. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (via Blaine Blontz of Call to the Pen) tied the Brewers to free agent Derrek Lee, Red Sox prospect Lars Anderson and Orioles third baseman Mark Reynolds. Meanwhile, Craig Counsell says he considered dusting off the uniform but isn't planning on doing it.

For what it's worth, Mark Attanasio isn't ready to give up on this season. He told reporters the team is still "trying to win this year" and is looking for options to fill some of the new gaps.

Meanwhile, back on the field the Brewers lost 4-3 in eleven innings yesterday to finish off a 3-6 road trip. Noah has the recap, if you missed it. The Brewers used five relievers in the game but John Axford wasn't one of them. Ron Roenicke Stole My Baseball has a look at the traditional usage of closers in extra innings and how it may be wrong.

Other notes from the field:

  • Giants outfielder Angel Pagan had two hits yesterday to extend his hitting streak to 20 games.
  • Jonathan Lucroy and Aramis Ramirez have the Brewers' longest active streaks, at four games each. The Brewers have only had eight hitting streaks of four or more games all season.
  • The Brewers finished yesterday's game with five infielders, an alignment Howie Magner proposes we call "The Braunstop."
  • Yesterday was the first time the Brewers have played three different starters at first base over a three game stretch since June of 2008.
  • Noah has a look at yesterday's turning points.
  • Saturday's game was briefly delayed while the Kentucky Derby was shown on the scoreboard.

Yesterday's extra innings exacerbated a difficult travel situation for the Brewers: Because of construction they needed to make it to Milwaukee before midnight last night, or would have to fly into Chicago and take buses north. I haven't heard if they made it on time.

Assuming the Brewers made it back to Milwaukee last night, they'll send Yovani Gallardo to the mound to face Bronson Arroyo at 7:10 tonight. James Walker has the preview, and Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs gave the game a 4 out of 10 (third lowest of the day) on his NERD scale. Alan Ferguson of the AP has a preview of the series, and we'll have ours at 2.

The Brewers won't face new Red Mat Latos (he pitched on Sunday) this week, and may also not see utility infielder Miguel Cairo (still out on a rehab assignment). You know that and much more if you've read this morning's edition of Around the NL Central.

If you're heading out to tailgate today, you may want to dress warm. The Weather Channel says the overnight low in Milwaukee tonight will be around 48. There's only a 20% chance of rain, though.

It was overshadowed by the injuries and the losing, but the Brewers tweaked their lineup a bit by moving Rickie Weeks from the #1 to #2 spot for this weekend's series. Weeks went 3-for-12 with a double and three walks against the Giants.

Ryan Braun played in both Saturday and Sunday's games while the Brewers were shorthanded in the outfield despite still being hampered by his sore Achilles. Braun rounded the bases in 23.08 seconds following his home run Saturday, though, which is only slightly off his normal pace. He's also the reigning Brewer of the Week.

The Brewers managed to avoid saddling Shaun Marcum with a loss last night, but still left him with a no-decision following his fifth quality start in six 2012 appearances. Nathan Petrashek of Cream City Cables says Doug Melvin gambled by not buying low on a Marcum contract extension when he could have this winter.

Jonathan Lucroy went 1-for-5 yesterday but, as Noah points out, Brewer catchers entered the day as the team's second best offensive position with a .934 OPS. Ryan Kartje of FS Wisconsin has a look at Lucroy's hot road trip.

Norichika Aoki missed a sign over the weekend that led to a failed hit-and-run attempt. Apparently there are still some challenges in translation between Aoki and the coaching staff.

Apparently this season's early struggles haven't changed Mark Attanasio's feelings on Doug Melvin and Ron Roenicke: Reports are surfacing that the team is close to contract extensions with both its GM and manager. Melvin's current contract runs out following the season, while Roenicke has a club option for 2013.

In the minors:

In power rankings: Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star has the Brewers 23rd, down two spots.

If you'd like more Brewer coverage today but you're sick of reading, my Friday appearance on The Home Stretch with Justin Hull has been archived and is available in two parts here. This week we talked about:

  • The Brewers' slow start.
  • Various options at first base.
  • Ron Roenicke, as always.
  • Comparing the slow starts in 2011 and 2012.
  • The bottom half of the bullpen.

Congratulations are due out this morning to cmow, yesterday's winner in our SB Nation Pick 6 contest. The overall lead still belongs to Morbidly Obese, Right-Handed Jamie Moyer. You have until 12:05 today to get your picks in. If you're reading this post before 7 pm, there's also still time to make your Prognostikeggers picks for today.

Around baseball:

Athletics: Placed outfielder Coco Crisp on the DL with an inner ear infection.
Cubs: Designated infielder Blake DeWitt for assignment.
Nationals: Outfielder Jayson Werth is likely to be placed on the DL with a broken wrist.
Orioles: Placed outfielder Nolan Reimold on the DL with a bulging disc in his back and signed infielder Miguel Tejada to a minor league deal.
Padres: Placed closer Huston Street on the DL with a lat strain.
Rangers: Acquired outfielder Ryan Spillborghs from the Indians for cash.
Red Sox: Placed pitcher Aaron Cook on the DL with a cut on his left knee.
Rockies: Placed outfielder Eric Young Jr on the bereavement list.
Tigers: Designated first baseman Brad Eldred for assignment.
Twins: Placed DH Justin Morneau on the DL with a wrist injury, claimed outfielder Erik Komatsu off waivers from the Cardinals and designated outfielder Clete Thomas for assignment.

If you were near a TV yesterday you probably saw highlights from Baltimore's 17 inning win over the Red Sox. First baseman Chris Davis pitched two scoreless innings to pick up the win for the Orioles (the first win for an AL position player since 1968), and Red Sox outfielder Darnell McDonald was the losing pitcher, making it the first AL game where both teams used a position player to pitch since 1925.

If you saw highlights of that game then you're probably also aware of this: Cole Hamels of the Phillies hit Bryce Harper of the Nationals with a pitch yesterday, which led to Harper eventually stealing home. After the game Hamels admitted to hitting Harper intentionally. He'll likely be suspended.

Here's a bizarre scheduling quirk for you: The Cardinals opened their season with a single game in Miami, but have since played 27 consecutive games against NL Central opponents. Mike Matheny says he's impressed by the other teams in the division.

Today in former Brewers:

This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the first anniversary of Yovani Gallardo's near no-hitter against the Cardinals last season. Today is also 2003 Brewer Mark Smith's 42nd birthday, and Plunk Everyone notes that his 11 career HBP are the fifth most ever for a player born on May 7.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm out of bubbles.

Drink up.