Thursday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while having it both ways.

Craig Counsell is feeling good and has decided not to have surgery to repair his torn meniscus. The subheadline in McCalvy's story says, "Torn meniscus hasn't limited Brewers infielder's abilities." Go ahead and make your own joke about the other things that have limited Counsell's abilities.

With Counsell good to go for Opening Day, the Brewers were able to option Alcides Escobar to Nashville to open the season. Adam McCalvy says Escobar will take ground balls at shortstop and second in the minors, to be ready in case the need arises. With Casey McGehee and Craig Counsell on the roster, I'd guess Escobar is around #4 on the depth chart at second base.

Speaking of McGehee, his local paper has an article about how proud his parents are to have fathered a major league utility infielder.

Brad Nelson had to leave yesterday's game early with stomach cramps. It sounds like it's possible he's caught the same bug that Corey Hart had over the weekend. Hopefully he can get over it quickly.

Lots of Brewers are getting attention in award predictions this week: One of the voters at Big League Screw picked Ryan Braun to win the NL MVP, and Yovani Gallardo showed up on one ballot in Dugout Central's NL Cy Young voting. Parker Hageman of Baseball Digest is picking J.J. Hardy as his NL Breakout Player of the Year.

Braun is becoming a popular pick for MVP, but at the moment it sounds like he'll just be happy to get out of Arizona.

Miller Park Drunk is picking Braun to win the NL MVP and the Brewers to win the Wild Card and make a World Series appearance. View From Bernie's Chalet also has the Brewers winning the Wild Card.

Elsewhere in rankings and predictions:

It was cutdown day in minor league camp, with several players getting bad news. Brewerfan.net has the list of twelve players who have been released. Unless you're a truly hardcore Brewer fan, there's no more than a name or two on that list you'll recognize. (h/t FanShot)

Hopefully no one was cut down with a guitar, as The Honky Tonk Man made an appearance in Brewers camp yesterday, on his way to Houston for Wrestlemania this weekend.

Planning on making the Opening Day trip to Miller Park? Archbishop Timothy Dolan wants to make sure Catholic Brewer fans know they're not allowed to enjoy a bratwurst on Good Friday. All other kinds of fun are also strictly prohibited. Meanwhile, Tom H. has an overview of what you can bring in to Miller Park, and it's much more than I expected.

As of right now, there are 35 entries in the Brew Crew Ball Over/Under contest. Get yours in today for a shot to win a fantastic prize to be determined.

Also, Right Field Bleachers reminded me that Tom Tango still needs help predicting playing time for the 2009 Brewers. At the moment, 28 Brewer fans have weighed in. We can do better than that.

MLB Trade Rumors is reporting the Rockies are planning to release Scott Podsednik, and suggested the Brewers might be interested. The Brewers weren't interested enough to offer a contract when Podsednik was a free agent this winter, and I can't imagine much has changed. If Tony Gwynn Jr. clears waivers or Chris Duffy is sent down, there likely wouldn't even be room for Podsednik in AAA. Chuckie Hacks does think a Podsednik signing could help deflate Ryan Braun's ego, though.

In other camps:

Cardinals: Troy Glaus will be out until at least June with shoulder issues.
D-Backs: Waived Rule 5 pick James Skelton.
Marlins: Acquired Ross Gload from the Royals for a PTBNL and pitcher Hayden Penn from the Orioles for infielder Robert Andino.
Padres: Acquired reliever Edward Mujica from the Indians for cash or a PTBNL.
Phillies: Returned Rule 5 pick Bobby Mosebach to the Angels.
Rangers: Released Frank Catalanotto. (Also noted in FanPost)
Reds: Along with the Phillies and Braves, they've shown some interest in Gary Sheffield.
White Sox: Jerry Owens has cleared waivers and will begin 2009 in AAA, which should make the Brewers feel pretty good about the chance that Tony Gwynn Jr. could do the same.

It's still relatively rare in the baseball community, but I'm going to guess we'll see at least a few stories like this each season for a while: Mariner pitchers Brandon Morrow and Mark Lowe discuss the challenges of playing with Type 1 Diabetes. It sounds like the disease may have contributed to Morrow's move to the bullpen.

Oh, and I didn't pull an April Fools prank yesterday, but the Tigers had a creative one.

Drink up.

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