Some things to read while thinking about what could have been.
So, the bullpen situation is increasingly chaotic, with Trevor Hoffman now possibly opening the season on the DL. (Also noted in FanShot) The situation is exacerbated by the fact that David Riske and Carlos Villanueva aren't pitching well and Seth McClung, who isn't pitching exceptionally well either, may be needed to fill a spot in the starting rotation. Riske, for one, is taking his spring results pretty seriously, saying he's in shock after allowing an earned run in five straight outings.
We all respond to stress differently, I suppose: After getting shelled in two innings in his first spring start yesterday, Mark DiFelice was cutting hair in the Brewer clubhouse.
Also in that last link is a note mentioning that Sam Narron was sent down to minor league camp. Elsewhere in roster moves, the Brewers decided to let the Astros keep Rule 5 pick Lou Palmisano. (Also noted in FanShot)
The Brewers also made a minor trade over the weekend, acquiring minor league infielder Sergio Miranda from the White Sox for future considerations. The move was big enough to draw notice from Al and in Rumorville, but it slipped through the cracks over at the JS. There's some speculation that those "future considerations" might end up being Tony Gwynn Jr., but of course that's not confirmed.
Speaking of Gwynn, while he would appear to be behind Chris Duffy, Brad Nelson and Trot Nixon in the race for backup outfield spots, he thinks his history with the organization will get him a spot on the team this spring. Best of luck to him in his future endeavors.
Casey McGehee also continues to make a solid case for making the team. View From Bernie's Chalet is going to be pretty upset if he doesn't make the roster.
Baseball Intellect has posted 6-15 in their rankings of Brewer prospects: Follow the link for scouting reports on Jonathan Lucroy, Lorenzo Cain, Jake Odorizzi, Taylor Green, Cutter Dykstra, Cody Scarpetta, Caleb Gindl, Cole Gillespie and Zach Braddock, and an invitation to follow another link for a scouting report on Efrain Nieves.
Crawfish Boxes finished up their position-by-position look at the NL Central this weekend, ranking Corey Hart fourth among right fielders and Jason Kendall dead last among catchers.
Would their projection have changed if they knew Mike Rivera is going to get more starts in 2009? Ken Macha is planning to pair Rivera with Dave Bush to get Jason Kendall more frequent rest.
Elsewhere among predictions/projections/rankings:
- FeinSports.com projects the Brewers for 79 wins and a third place finish.
- Baseball Digest Daily doesn't have a prediction in their Brewer 2009 preview, but they do have some cool graphs and charts.
- BareKnucks.com thinks the Brewers will win 72 games and finish fourth.
- Not Today You Ain't picked the Brewers to finish fourth as well.
Do you like jokes involving Rickie Weeks? If so, you may enjoy his "interview" with Chatterbalks.
In other camps:
Dodgers: Released Shawn Estes.
Giants: Noah Lowry received a cortisone shot and will be unable to throw a baseball until April.
Mets: Released Tom Martin.
Nationals: Signed Josh Bard to a minor league deal.
Padres: Mark Worrell needs Tommy John surgery and will miss the 2009 season. He was acquired from the Cardinals for Khalil Greene.
Rangers: Signed Jimmy Gobble to a minor league deal.
Twins: Joe Mauer still has pain and inflammation in his back and is unlikely to be ready for Opening Day.
White Sox: Signed Gavin Floyd to a four year deal worth $15.5 million.
The Astros spring training has been pretty bad, but for one day the Tigers had it worse: they were no-hit by the Marlins yesterday with Ricky Nolasco and two relievers combining to accomplish the feat.
On Friday I mentioned the new Dodgers policy of putting a contribution to Dodger charities into all contracts. The MLBPA has filed a grievance that will likely end that practice in a hurry.
The Cubs sale is still on hold and will almost certainly not be done by Opening Day. Between the Green Pillars took a look at its implications for the Brewers.
Like one in four Americans, I'm left handed, so as a writer I'm encouraged by the fact that all the Reds beat writers are also lefties.
Think you know your stats? Got seven minutes to prove it? Take this quiz and see how many franchise win leaders you can name. I got 12, which is pretty good in the "taken before 7 am" division.
At the very least, those seven minutes will be a better investment than the $70,000 Torii Hunter invested in furniture rafts.
Baseball Reference is working on a new site design. As someone who uses the site countless times daily, I was concerned, but they've opened up the beta page and it looks pretty good. Here's Jeff Cirillo's page, if you're curious.
Over the weekend, BCB made a roster move of its own. Josh Kalk, aka Dixieflatline, is leaving the site to take a job with an AL team. Josh is a phenomenal talent and will be a tremendous asset to his new employers, but to the internet baseball community he's more than that.
There's a stereotype out there about bloggers and internet-based writers. There are people who label us as glorified loudmouths with too much time on their hands and a "home office" in mom's basement. As a medium, we owe a debt of gratitude to people like Josh, Jeff Sackmann, David Pinto, Tom Tango and a variety of others that have shown that, at times, the best baseball analysis being done today is happening here on the internet, and the work that we're producing here should not be universally ignored by teams and the media.
At any rate, congratulations and thank you to Josh for all he's done and continues to do.
Oh, and Peter Angelos may not be the best savior for horse racing.