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Monday's Frosty Mug: An even road trip

The Brewers are back to 3-3 on the road trip following Sunday's loss to the Reds, and we're discussing that and more in today's daily news roundup.

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Some things to read while no one listens.

The Brewers had a chance to pick up their third consecutive road series win yesterday but alas, it was too much to ask for. The Reds beat the Crew 5-1 yesterday and Noah has the recap, if you missed it.

Wily Peralta's rough day doomed the Brewers yesterday, as he allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits over 5.1 innings and pushed his ERA back over 6. Dave Radcliffe of Yahoo says Peralta needs to come out of the starting rotation.

Other notes from the field:

The Brewers are now 3-3 without Ryan Braun, who was placed on the DL on Friday with his sore thumb. He'll take a week off from all baseball activities, but told Adam McCalvy he's hopeful he'll be able to return for the Cubs series on June 25. In the meantime, Caleb Gindl made his MLB debut as a pinch hitter on Saturday (and struck out). Adam McCalvy talked to him about finally getting the call.

Gindl may get a start or two in the outfield later this week: Norichika Aoki is expected to leave the team at some point to be with his wife, who is expecting their second child.

Let's put a bow on the Reds series with a look at the weekend's home runs, with help from Hit Tracker and Wezen Ball (plus Larry Granillo on Twitter):

Day Player Distance Trot Time
Sunday Carlos Gomez 390 feet 18.35 seconds
Saturday Juan Francisco 338 feet 24.96 seconds
Friday Scooter Gennett 393 feet 21.2 seconds
Friday Martin Maldonado 383 feet 22.19 seconds

The Brewers are off today before opening an interleague series in Houston tomorrow. Alfredo Figaro will take on Jordan Lyles in the opener, and Kevin Massoth has the preview. Ron Roenicke told reporters Aramis Ramirez will likely DH this week to keep some pressure off his sore knee.

Yuniesky Betancourt started at third base and got a hit yesterday, improving his line to .173/.209/.233 in his last 39 games. The Brewers are 11-28 in those games, by the way. It's possible today's best read comes from Joe Posnanski, who remains exasperated by Yuni's continued big league tenure. You sohuld go read the whole thing, but here's a money quote:

When I clicked on the box score I saw that the Brewers were not only hitting Betancourt fifth -- FIFTH! -- but playing him at first base. Even the Royals didn’t do that. I believe there is a chapter in the Bible somewhere saying something like "He who shall batteth Yuni Betancourt fifth whilst at the same time standest him at the base that is first shall be perfumed in myrrh and beer and stoned with bags of Cracker Jack."

Then I saw that twice this year, the Brewers have started Betancourt at first and hit him CLEANUP -- and even the Bible does not discuss such heresy.

Meanwhile, Jaymes Langrehr and Ryan Topp teamed up for our Tweet of the Day:

I guess you never know, but I hope Yuni doesn't remain a part of this conversation: Wisconsin Sports Blog has a look at what the Brewer offense could look like in 2014.

Hunter Morris may be a part of next year's conversation, but for now the Brewers don't appear to be considering calling him up. Tom Haudricourt reports the team feels that Morris needs more seasoning in the minors before he'll be ready to consistently face major league pitching.

We're probably going to spend a lot of time looking ahead to 2014 and beyond in the coming months unless this team engineers a massive turnaround. Benjamin Orr of Reviewing the Brew says the front office needs to decide if they're trying to contend or rebuilding, and Kristin Zenz of Pocket Doppler predicts they'll finish the season between 70 and 75 wins.

Carlos Gomez, however, has almost certainly secured a long-term position on this team with his breakout start to 2013. Adam Wieser of Disciples of Uecker has a look at the value he's added to this club. Gomez, by the way, ran away with the voting for our Brewer of the Week.

Jean Segura is also likely to be a key part of this organization's future. He snapped a ten-game hitting streak on Saturday but bounced back with another hit yesterday. He remains third among NL shortstops in the All Star voting, but Troy Tulowitzki's recent rib injury could push him into the starting lineup.

In the shorter-term future, the Brewers are about to get some reinforcements in their starting rotation. Chris Narveson is ready to return following four rehab starts for Nashville, and Marco Estrada will head out for what might only be a single rehab start later this week.

Mike Fiers, however, will not be back. He suffered a fractured forearm when he was hit by a line drive while pitching for Nashville on Saturday and is likely done for the season.

In the minors:

Around baseball:

Angels: Signed pitcher Mike Ekstrom to a minor league deal.
Cubs: Placed outfielder David DeJesus on the DL with a sprained shoulder.
Diamondbacks: Pitcher Ian Kennedy (ten games), infielder Eric Hinske (five games) and manager Kirk Gibson (one game) were suspended for their role in a brawl with the Dodgers last week.
Dodgers: Claimed catcher John Baker off waivers from the Padres and designated catcher Ramon Hernandez for assignment. Also, pitcher J.P. Howell (two games), infielder/outfielder Skip Schumaker (two games), hitting coach Mark McGwire (two games), pitcher Ronald Belisario (one game) and manager Don Mattingly (one game) were suspended.
Mariners: Signed catcher Henry Blanco and designated catcher Kelly Shoppach for assignment.
Marlins: Placed catcher Miguel Olivo on the restricted list after he left the team on Friday.
Mets: Designated pitcher Collin McHugh for assignment.
Padres: Acquired infielder Pedro Ciriaco from the Red Sox for a PTBNL and designated third baseman James Darnell for assignment.
Pirates: Designated pitcher Mike Zagurski for assignment.
Reds: Placed reliever Jonathan Broxton on the DL with an elbow strain.

Let's go around the NL Central:

  • The Cardinals dropped two of three to the Marlins this weekend, including a 7-2 contest yesterday. Tyler Lyons was roughed up in a disaster start, but did successfully execute a sac bunt.
  • The Pirates beat the Dodgers twice in three tries this weekend, including a 6-3 win yesterday. Gerrit Cole picked up his second MLB win and Pedro Alvarez hit a three-run homer off Zack Greinke.
  • The Cubs climbed out of the cellar by winning a series against the Mets this weekend, but blew a chance for a sweep when Carlos Marmol blew a 3-0 lead en route to a 4-3 loss yesterday. Marmol faced five batters, recorded just one out and allowed a pair of home runs.
  • The Reds, of course, took two of three from the Brewers and completed the series victory with a 5-1 win yesterday.

Here are today's standings and probables:

Team W L GB Today Time Matchup
Cardinals 44 25 -- v CHC 6:05p Shelby Miller v Travis Wood
Reds 42 28 2.5 v PIT 6:10p Mike Leake v Francisco Liriano
Pirates 41 28 3 @ CIN 6:10p
Cubs 28 39 15 @ STL 6:05p
Brewers 28 40 15.5 OFF

Today in former Brewers:

The Brewers have played eight extra inning games this season, which puts them roughly on pace to match the 18 they played a year ago. Across baseball, however, extra inning games are on a record pace.

I think this is a factor we don't give enough weight as the season goes along: Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk has a reaction to a study showing that fatigued players show a marked decrease in decision-making ability as the season goes along. 162 games and the accompanying travel probably play a bigger role in down-the-stretch performance than we sometimes acknowledge.

We also don't have much study on the impact of raw sewage in the clubhouse. The Athletics and Mariners had to abandon their clubhouses and share the Oakland Raiders' locker room following a sewer backup at Coliseum yesterday.

This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the first anniversary of the Brewers' 5-4, 15 inning loss to the Twins in 2012, their longest game since 2004. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also the 57th anniversary of Milwaukee Braves first baseman Joe Adcock hitting three home runs in a doubleheader against the Dodgers, including one onto the roof at Ebbets Field.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I should go get some flowers.

Drink up.