Some things to read while preparing an extra special dinner for Opening Day.
Unfortunately, today's big story may turn out to be the weather. As I write this, it's 54 and cloudy in San Francisco, but it's going to rain and perhaps thunderstorm this afternoon and well into the evening. There does appear to be a window to play a day-night doubleheader tomorrow, but that's the last thing everyone wants to do to open the season.
Small sample size analysis of Opening Day, anyone?
- The Brewers swept the Giants last season and have not lost to them since August 26 of 2007.
- The Brewers have hit Lincecum in limited opportunities: He's 1-2 with a 5.25 ERA in four starts against them. Ryan Braun has taken him deep twice.
- Jeff Suppan will start on Opening Day for the fourth time in his career, but the first time since 2002. He's 0-1 with a 7.31 ERA in those starts.
The JS has today's lineups (h/t FanShot). Today's opener is also one of Baseball Musings' Games of the Day.
While waiting around for the start of the season, Adam McCalvy and Doug Melvin sat down with a six pack...of questions, with Melvin discussing roster composition, closers, injuries, payroll flexibility and the aftermath of a postseason appearance.
Braden Looper made his final minor league start this week, throwing 89 pitches over 6 innings, and appears to be ready for his debut at Friday's home opener.
This week's games will also see the debut of a new studio analyst for Brewer games, former Brewer Jerry Augustine.
I thought I waited until the last minute to make my 2009 predictions for the NL Central, but MLB Trade Rumors has done me one better, and waited until Opening Day to release their 2009 Brewer Offseason in Review.
J.J. Hardy is giving Brewer fans a fair amount to be excited about this spring. Obviously, they're just spring training stats, but John Sickels noticed Hardy's 11 spring training walks and says, "If he maintains strike zone judgment like that, he could have a monster season." Hardy also picked up a first place vote in Dugout Central's preseason NL MVP voting.
If you'd like to feel good about baseball on Opening Day, here's a double shot for you: Ken Macha is having a lucky spring and Casey McGehee is profiled in another hometown paper.
If you're looking to watch some baseball in person this weekend but you haven't made plans yet, there may still be hope for you after all. There are reportedly still tickets available for Saturday and Sunday's games against the Cubs, and some grass seating available for the Timber Rattlers opener as well.
While I'm on the subject, here are some other minor notes:
- The Timber Rattlers roster has been announced. It's probably going to be the biggest collection of pitching prospects in the Brewer system in a long time.
- Taylor Green is taking longer than expected to recover from his wrist injury and may be out into June. This frees up some time for Vinny Rottino to play third base in Huntsville.
- Former #1 pick Mike Jones was offered his release over the offseason, but decided to remain with the Brewers. He'll continue to rehab in Brevard County along with Mark Rogers, another former #1 pick.
Barring something unforeseen, this is likely the last batch of predictions and projections for 2009:
- Baseball by Paul has the Brewers winning 84 games and finishing in second place.
- Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star thinks the Brewers will finish third.
- Chuckie Hacks is projecting the Brewers to win 94 games.
- Two-Fisted Slopper has them winning 83 games and finishing in second place, and also has a bunch of other Brewer predictions.
- Circling the Bases' four contributors predicted the Brewers to finish third, third, third and second.
- Jonah Keri has the Brewers winning 81 games and finishing in third.
Here's an unlikely niche market: Fans who watch baseball in Milwaukee and like to drink but don't know where the bars are. Assuming that niche exists, Drew Olson of OnMilwaukee.com has filled it.
Elsewhere around baseball:
D-Backs: Two switch hitters, Felipe Lopez and Tony Clark, hit home runs in yesterday's opener from both sides of the plate, the first time it had happened since 2000, and the first time ever on Opening Day.
Dodgers: Cleared a space on their 40-man roster by moving Claudio Vargas to the 60-day DL with elbow tendinitis.
Indians: Placed Jamey Carroll on the DL with a broken bone in his hand and added Tony Graffanino to the roster.
Twins: With Joe Mauer already on the shelf, backup catcher Mike Redmond also had to leave yesterday's game with a groin injury.
Yankees: CC Sabathia was seen applying a hot water bottle to his ribs in the dugout yesterday, but he says it was only to stay warm.
So the Marlins are 1-0, they lead the NL East and yesterday's game featured an inside-the-park home run from new acquisition Emilio Bonifacio. Yet somehow, they still only drew 30,000 fans, well below capacity. I'm not convinced a new stadium is going to solve their problems.
That's all for today. Drink up.