Some things to read while finding evil wax.
The Brewers were off yesterday for day one of the All Star break, but the local media appears to have spent the entire day following Ryan Braun around. To the bullet points!
- Braun will start in left field and bat third for the National League tonight.
- Matt Kemp says he didn't ask Braun to participate in the Home Run Derby because he had heard he wasn't interested.
- Braun told reporters he feels vindicated by his strong first half after his turbulent offseason.
Robert J. Baumann of NotGraphs has a guide to locating Braun in the heavens.
Meanwhile, the lone Brewer involved in last night's festivities was the Bratwurst, who made us all proud by winning the Great Mascot Race. Nats Enquirer has a photo of all the participants.
Michael Fiers has been one of the Brewers' biggest surprises in the first half and has probably earned an opportunity to be a member of the rotation long term. Nathaniel Stoltz of Beyond the Box Score has the most thorough look you'll ever see at Fiers' arsenal and his ability to get by with an 88 mph straight fastball.
Another day, another set of Zack Greinke trade notes:
- The Brewers have said they're planning on waiting nine more games before making any moves, but Jim Owczarski of OnMilwaukee.com says they need to make a decision on Greinke now.
- Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs used recent history as a guide to what the Brewers or Phillies may expect to get in return if they opt to trade Greinke or Cole Hamels.
Greinke, by the way, remains #2 behind Braun in Justin Hull's Brewer Power Rankings at LosersBracket.com.
Tonight the Brewers will have just one All Star for the first time since 2005, when Carlos Lee was Milwaukee's lone representative. They'd have six position players, however, if Plunk Everyone were allowed to choose the roster. Of course, the Brewers would also have four players if rosters were selected based on Hardball Times' Worst of the Worst for the first half.
Rickie Weeks is listed among the Worst of the Worst in the above link, but it's worth noting he's been better lately. J.P. Cadorin notes that Weeks finished the first half with a .199 batting average and is hitting .344 in July.
Axford is another of the Worst of the Worst listed above. He also posted what might be the grossest picture you'll see today of his recently extracted wisdom teeth.
In the minors:
- 2012 supplemental round pick Mitch Haniger has left Wisconsin and is back in Maryvale rehabbing a partially torn PCL. It remains to be seen how long he'll be out.
- When Nashville opens the second half they'll do it without outfielder Jay Gibbons, who has decided to retire (FanShot). Gibbons is 35 and played in 840 major league games (including 24 as a Dodger in 2011), but was hitting just .204/.275/.439 for the Sounds this season.
- The affiliates went 1-4 yesterday with the lone win coming from Wisconsin, where Brandon Macias had four hits in the Timber Rattlers' 6-4 win over Kane County. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- Rattler Radio has video highlights from Wisconsin's win.
- Wily Peralta was named the Pacific Coast League's pitcher of the week after allowing just one run over two starts.
- Hunter Morris was the Southern League's position player of the week after posting a .517/.533/1.103 line with four home runs. Matt Eddy of Baseball America also credited him with the weekend's top batting performance.
- Mark Rogers pitched seven scoreless innings for Nashville over the weekend and was also one of Baseball America's top performers.
- Amber Kuehn of the Helena Independent Record has a story on pitcher Preston Gainey, who left the Naval Academy to sign with the Brewers.
- The Independent Record also has a story on Raul Mondesi Sr., who was in attendance to watch his son Raul Jr. play for the H-Brewers this week.
If you'd like more Brewer coverage today but you're sick of reading, I've got two options for you:
- First, I'll be making my weekly appearance on The Watercooler with Jimmie Kaska on Sports Radio 1400 in Eau Claire at 5:15.
- I'll be going straight from there to The Sports Den with Downtown Ollie Burrows on SportsFan 100.5 in Wausau at 5:30.
Braves: Placed shortstop Andrelton Simmons on the DL with a broken finger.
In former Brewers:
- Prince Fielder won the Home Run Derby last night, and did it with Brewer minor league hitting instructor Sandy Guerrero as his pitcher.
- ESPN still hasn't updated Fielder's graphics.
- Robin Yount (1989) is one of nine players ever to win the MVP without being an All Star.
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the 54th anniversary of pitcher Lew Burdette hitting two home runs and pitching a complete game in the Milwaukee Braves' 8-4 win over the Dodgers in 1958. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also been 20,000 days since Burdette pitched a shutout in Game 5 of the 1957 World Series and 23 years since Greg Vaughn's major league debut.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to throw harder.