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What we learned: April 28, 2014

Today's lessons include new injuries, Rule 5 picks on playoff teams, playoff projections, and All-Star cases.

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Mike McGinnis

This Weekend's Results

Brewers 5, Cubs 2

Matt Garza finally got his first win of the season, pitching seven innings of two-run baseball.  He allowed a total of four hits and a walk in the start with seven strikeouts.  Carlos Gomez and Ryan Braun both had three-hit days, and Jonathan Lucroy and Lyle Overbay had two-hit games as well.  Francisco Rodriguez recorded his tenth save in the game.

Brewers 5, Cubs 3

Marco Estrada put together his fourth straight quality start with 7 2/3 innings pitched.  He only allowed four hits and no walks, but two of those were home runs that led to the three runs on the board.  Filling in for Jean Segura, Jeff Bianchi went 2-for-4 with two RBI to lead the offense, and Khris Davis chipped in with a home run as well.  Rodriguez got his eleventh save in April in the win.

Cubs 4, Brewers 0

The Brewers had a depleted lineup in on Sunday, and it showed as the offense put up just three hits and two walks.  Wily Peralta put together a quality start of seven innings and allowed three runs, eight hits, and a walk with eight strikeouts.

Injuries are starting to pile up a little.

The biggest news of the weekend was two new injuries to the starting lineup.  On Saturday, in the first inning, Jean Segura walked into Ryan Braun's bat as he was stretching for his at-bat, and had to be helped to the Brewers clubhouse.  He received some stitches but it wasn't any worse than that.  It was another injury in a long line of recent strange injuries that the Brewers have dealt with.

Then, later on in the ninth inning, Ryan Braun came out of the game on a defensive switch.  Reports came out that Braun had an intercostal strain that he had aggravated in batting practice.  His injury isn't expected to need a DL trip, but will keep him out for a few days.

With these injuries, the Brewers find themselves in a tough situation.  Yesterday, they played with a two-man bench, with Yovani Gallardo and Kyle Lohse available in an emergency situation.  The bench gets some help back with Martin Maldonado returning from suspension today, but still will play short.  Jean Segura could return in a day or two, and Braun is expected to be out for a few days.  Carlos Gomez has a potential suspension looming, and Logan Schafer should return from the DL at the end of the week.

The Brewers are not the first playoff-capable team to hold on to a Rule 5 pick all season.

Wei-Chung Wang pitched in only his third game of the season yesterday.  Because of the way they have used Wang, it has been like playing with a 24-man roster.  There's a reason that most playoff capable teams don't keep Rule 5 picks on the roster all season, and it's that the team needs every spot they can get.  Noah looked back at recent playoff teams on Friday to see how many carried a Rule 5 pick all year.  He found that more teams than expected keep one.  It's a good sign that the Brewers may be able to pull it off.  We will have to see how it all plays out.

The Brewers are favored to win the division now.

When the season started, the Brewers weren't given much of a chance to win the division.  With their hot start, that has changed quite a bit.  More and more people are giving the Brewers a chance.  On Friday, Derek wrote that the Brewers are now favored by Baseball Prospectus to make the playoffs.  It's just projections and it doesn't mean much, but it shows how perception is growing.  That's always good to see.

Jonathan Lucroy deserves to be an All-Star.

Several Brewers have made the All-Star team over the past few years.  However, there has been one player that has avoided that list despite putting up number that deserved to be on it.  Jonathan Lucroy is in his fifth year in the league now, and has still not been on a team.  There's various reasons for this, but it's time for that to change.  Yesterday, I covered the case for Lucroy and what it will take to get him into the game.  There's a lot of work to do to get him into the game, but it's time for it to happen.

Cram Session

Minor League Update

Team Level Record Yesterday Today
Nashville Sounds AAA 12-11 Fri: Nashville 5, Oklahoma City 3
Sat: Nashville 6, Oklahoma City 3
Sun: Nashville 8, Oklahoma City 5
New Orleans @ Nashville
Huntsville Stars AA 15-9 Fri: Huntsville 15, Tennessee 1
Sat: Huntsville 4, Tennessee 3
Sun: Tennessee 2, Huntsville 1
Huntsville @ Tennessee
Brevard County Manatees A+ 11-12 Fri: Daytona 6, Brevard County 3
Sun: Daytona 2, Brevard County 0
Sun: Daytona 2, Brevard County 1
Brevard County @ Clearwater
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers A 10-12 Fri: Kane County 8, Wisconsin 4
Sat: Kane County 5, Wisconsin 4
Sun: Kane County 10, Wisconsin 2
Burlington @ Wisconsin

Check out morineko's daily minor league update for a more in-depth look at yesterday's minor league results.

Division Update

Team W L GB
Brewers 18 7 -
Cardinals 14 12 4.5
Reds 11 14 7
Pirates 10 16 8.5
Cubs 8 16 9.5

Today's Games

  • Cubs (Jeff Samardzija) @ Reds (Alfredo Simon) - 6:10 pm
  • Pirates have the day off.

Today's Action

The Brewers travel to St. Louis to start a three game series against the Cardinals.  Game one will feature Yovani Gallardo facing off against Michael Wacha.  Jenifer Langosch of has the preview.