Whispers around the majors

Kudos to Brewers owner Mark Attanasio for biting the bullet and swallowing approximately $10.5 million in releasing Bill Hall . . . Jordan Zimmermann’s out-of-nowhere Tommy John surgery is a huge setback for the Nationals, adding even more pressure on them to sign Stephen Strasburg . . . Sandy Alderson’s name continues to pop up with teams facing some transition after the season . . . Cecil Cooper, who long ago lost the faith of the Astros’ players, last week became the first manager to intentionally walk a hitter to get to Hanley Ramirez. . . . The Yankees will continue to monitor Joba Chamberlain’s workload in the regular season but foresee handling him the same as their other starters if they reach the playoffs . . . The Marlins are a threat to steal a playoff spot . . . Rick Porcello got a raw deal when he was suspended for defending himself against Kevin Youkilis. But a five-game suspension for a starting pitcher is a joke; it needs to be at least nine to make a team feel the loss . . . The Rangers signed University of Florida outfielder Riley Cooper only after promising him that he could play another year of football for the Gators.