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Friday's Frosty Mug: Last first half homestand

The Brewers are back home tonight to open their last homestand before the All Star Game, and we're talking about that and more in today's news roundup.

Patrick McDermott

Some things to read while flipping around.

The nice thing about losing a day game is that it leaves your evening free. The Brewers remain awful in daytime baseball this season following an 8-5 loss to the Nationals yesterday, and morineko has the recap if you missed it.

Yesterday's game featured some bizarre, out-of-character decisions for Ron Roenicke. First he intentionally walked Ian Desmond to load the bases for Bryce Harper, which worked out. Then he double-switched out Carlos Gomez less than an inning following his game-tying home run. Roenicke later said Gomez was suffering aftereffects from a crash into the wall in the sixth, but Gomez denied that was the case.

Other notes from the field:

Let's put a bow on the Nationals series with a look at this week's home runs, with help from Hit Tracker and Wezen-ball (Monday and Thursday):

Day Player Distance Trot Time
Monday Juan Francisco 428 feet 23.4 seconds
Monday Rickie Weeks 421 feet 23.63 seconds
Tuesday No home runs
Wednesday No home runs
Thursday Carlos Gomez 394 feet 19.4 seconds
Thursday Yuniesky Betancourt 369 feet 22.32 seconds

Weeks and Francisco, by the way, had the slowest and second slowest trots among 16 home runs hit across baseball on Monday.

The Brewers are back home today and resume play tonight, taking on the Mets at 7:10. Johnny Hellweg will take on Zack Wheeler in the series opener, and Kevin Massoth has the preview.

The Mets will likely make a roster move before today's game to make room for first baseman Ike Davis, who is expected to rejoin the team. Davis hit just .161/.242/.258 in his first 55 MLB games this season, but rebounded to hit .293/.424/.667 in 21 games for AAA Las Vegas after being sent down.

The Brewers are also expected to see former teammate Shaun Marcum on Saturday, despite the fact that Marcum has been dealing with a back injury. Marcum has a 5.03 ERA over 13 appearances for New York this season.

Meanwhile, the Mets bullpen may be a little shorthanded tonight. They played 15 innings in a loss to the Diamondbacks yesterday and used seven pitchers in relief.

Jean Segura was on base four times yesterday, stole a pair of bases and scored two runs. Before yesterday's game noted leisured gentleman Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs listed Segura as baseball's seventh best base stealer as a percentage of opportunity. Bryan Grosnick of Beyond the Box Score has him as a reserve on his NL all Star team.

In injury news, for the first time in weeks we have an encouraging development regarding Ryan Braun. He was able to swing a bat on back-to-back days Tuesday and Wednesday without issues, raising the possibility that he could be back before the All Star break. The Brewers are probably still best served, though, by resisting the urge to rush his return.

While Ryan Braun works his way back in, other Brewers may be on their way out. Here's today's trade deadline update:

Decisions on how to handle the next couple of months could help determine Doug Melvin's legacy as GM of the Brewers. Kristin Zenz of says it's not fair to blame him for this team's bad year, but Jonah Keri of Grantland has a piece that suggests his future may be uncertain. (h/t BBTF) The piece features an extended look at the departures and decline of the Brewer scouting department, but this paragraph late in the post caught me by surprise:

But behind the scenes, there's anxiety, especially at the lower levels. A source close to the situation said some baseball ops people below the GM and assistant GM level have started preparing résumés, with one team confirming they've received one such résumé for a job posting they put out. The Brewers have called on a tech-savvy friend of Attanasio's son to help build a new database, with rumors that the new system might be designed to be used by a new regime and a more quantitatively inclined general manager.

As bad as Brewer pitching has been lately, we still haven't seen a position player on the mound. Grant Brisbee of Baseball Nation notes that the last Brewer non-pitcher to pitch in a game was Joe Inglett in 2010.

The Brewers went 12-15 in June, but after seeing this number it's hard to believe they won that many: Bill Chuck of Baseball Analytics notes that they batted .113 with runners in scoring position and two outs for the month, the worst mark in baseball.

At least Ron Roenicke says the problem isn't a lack of effort. Roenicke said his team has not quit in response to recent articles accusing them of the opposite.

In the minors:

  • The affiliates went 2-3 yesterday and Chris Narveson had a big day, pitching eight shutout innings in Nashville's 7-0 win over Memphis. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
  • Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio has details from Wisconsin's 3-1 loss to Cedar Rapids.
  • Earlier this week Alec took a look at who's hot and who's not in the Brewer organization.
  • Jimmy Nelson will represent the Brewers in the All Star Futures Game, but Kevin Nielsen of Fake Teams isn't sold on him. He says Nelson "looks like a future bullpen piece to me and is another player who shouldn't be overvalued based on his minor league ERA this season."
  • Nashville broadcaster Jeff Hem has interviews with Sounds relievers Rob Wooten and Michael Olmsted.
  • Looking back a few days, Tim Dillard picked up a win for Nashville over the weekend to become the franchise's all-time leader with 36.

Around baseball:

Blue Jays: Designated pitcher Chien-Ming Wang for assignment.
Braves: Placed outfielder Jordan Schafer on the DL with an ankle contusion.
Cubs: Designated reliever Shawn Camp for assignment.
Diamondbacks: Placed infielder Willie Bloomquist on the DL with a hand contusion.
Dodgers: Infielder Luis Cruz refused an outright assignment to the minors and is now a free agent.
Marlins: Designated catcher Miguel Olivo for assignment.
Mets: Designated reliever Brandon Lyon for assignment.
Orioles: Reliever Jon Rauch has opted out of his contract and is now a free agent.
Rangers: Signed outfielder Manny Ramirez to a minor league deal.
Twins: Placed outfielder Josh Willingham on the DL with a meniscus tear in his left knee and designated pitcher P.J. Walters for assignment.
White Sox: Designated catcher Hector Gimenez for assignment and placed first baseman Paul Konerko (back) and reliever Jesse Crain (shoulder strain) on the DL.
Yankees: Signed infielder Luis Cruz.

Let's go around the NL Central:

  • The Phillies cooled off the Pirates a bit, completing a series win against baseball's best team with a 6-4 victory yesterday. Gerrit Cole allowed three runs over 5.1 innings for his first MLB loss.
  • The Cardinals missed an opportunity to gain ground when they lost two of three to the Angels this week. They led 5-3 entering the ninth Thursday but lost 6-5 on Erick Aybar's walkoff single.
  • The Reds completed a sweep of the Giants with a 3-2, eleven inning win Wednesday. Shin-Soo Choo's walkoff single was the difference. The two teams were scheduled to play a fourth game Thursday but got rained out.
  • The Cubs managed just two hits in a 1-0 loss to the A's yesterday. Travis Wood pitched six shutout innings but received a no-decision.
  • The Brewers, of course, finished off a split of the Nationals with a loss yesterday.

Here are today's standings and probables:

Team W L GB Today Time Matchup
Pirates 52 32 -- @ CHC 3:05p Francisco Liriano v Jeff Samardzija
Cardinals 50 34 2 v MIA 7:15p Jake Westbrook v Justin Turner
Reds 49 36 3.5 v SEA 6:10p Mike Leake v Aaron Harang
Cubs 36 47 15.5 v PIT 3:05p
Brewers 34 50 18 v NYM 7:10p Johnny Hellweg v Zack Wheeler

Today in former Brewers:

Today in Brewer History was off this morning, but Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that today is the 41st anniversary of Nolan Ryan striking out eight consecutive Brewers in a 1972 game.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to come up with a more creative name.

Drink up.