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Thursday's Frosty Mug: Fresh grass

We've got an update on the new playing surface at Miller Park and more in today's roundup of all things Brewers.

Tom Lynn

Some things to read while dressing up.

While the baseball world focuses on the AL and NLCS, our top story this morning is back in Milwaukee where John Steinmiller and Caitlin Moyer have a look at the field renovation process underway at Miller Park. The goal is to have all the new grass installed by the end of this week.

It's a near lock that Ryan Braun will be one of the first players to play on that grass. Dave Radcliffe of Yahoo asks if the Brewers should trade Braun this winter and concludes that no, they shouldn't.

Norichika Aoki's future with the organization is a little less certain. Benjamin Orr of Reviewing the Brew, though, gave Aoki an A for his work as a Brewer in 2013.

Today in free agency: Noted leisured gentleman Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs is asking for your help to predict the free agent contracts of two mid-to-lower tier starters, Josh Johnson and Scott Kazmir.

In the minors:

  • Congratulations are due out this morning to four 2013 Brewer draft picks who made Baseball America's 2013 draft report card. Seventh round pick Omar Garcia was credited with the second best pro debut among junior college players and listed as the second fastest runner, while tenth round pick Michael Ratterree was named as the fourth best pro debut among college players and 22nd round pick Johnny Davis was named the fastest baserunner.
  • Meanwhile in Arizona, Mitch Haniger went 1-for-4 and Tyler Cravy, Kevin Shackleford and David Goforth combined to pitch 3.1 innings in Surprise's 2-1 loss to Scottsdale in AFL play yesterday. Here's the box score.
  • Further south, Arcenio Leon pitched 2.2 innings and allowed a run on two hits in Zulia's 3-2 loss to Magallanes in Venezuela last night. Here's the box score.

Back here, yesterday fans selected Brandon Kintzler as 2013's seventh most valuable Brewer. You can see his profile here, then follow this link to vote for #8. We also gave the bench a C- grade for 2013, and now JP would like your help grading the coaching staff.

Around baseball:

Angels: Have hired Don Baylor as their new hitting coach.
Blue Jays: Outfielder Ryan Langerhans has rejected an outright assignment to the minors and is now a free agent.
Orioles: Rick Adair will not return as pitching coach for 2014.
Rangers: Claimed pitcher Edwar Cabrera off waivers from the Rockies.

Baylor's new gig is his ninth since leaving the Brewers following the 1991 season. His job history is so long that I needed a two-part tweet to discuss it:

Today in former Brewers:

One of my favorite things about winter league baseball is spotting long-forgotten former big leaguers like 1999-2000 Brewer Horacio Estrada continuing to press on south of the border. This might be an even more unlikely discovery, though: Former longtime big leaguer Ugueth Urbina, 40 years old and recently released after six years in prison, pitched an inning in relief for Caracas last night.

If you watched the Dodgers extend the NLCS with a win over the Cardinals yesterday, you certainly weren't alone. Early ratings for the series on TBS are up 22% this season, with each game averaging five million viewers.

Today In Brewer History was off this morning, but today is 1986-90 Brewer Glenn Braggs' 51st birthday and Plunk Everyone notes that his 24 career HBP are the second most ever for a player born on October 17. Today is also recent Brewer waiver claim Jose De La Torre's 28th birthday, and he's the only active pitcher born on this day to have hit a batter in the majors.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to find a place for some old banners.

Drink up.