Some things to read while setting a lofty goal.
The Brewers added six players to their spring training roster over the weekend, inviting top 2009 draft picks Eric Arnett and Kyle Heckathorn along with Zach Braddock, Jonathan Lucroy, Martin Maldonado and Logan Schafer to camp (FanShot).
Of the six, Braddock and Lucroy are probably the only ones with even an outside shot of making the team out of spring training. Arnett and Heckathorn were likely promised invitations when they signed last season, and Schafer is being rewarded for winning the Florida State League batting title last season, but has only spent a few days above high A ball. With that said, Arnett is on his way to Arizona a month early to get ready.
With Maldonado and Lucroy invited, the Brewers might have all the catchers they'll need to handle pitchers in camp: Gregg Zaun, George Kottaras, Matt Treanor, Angel Salome, Lucroy and Maldonado. Maldonado is a career .221/.297/.280 hitter over six minor league seasons, but Lisa Winston of MiLB.com cited "amazing defense" as a reason to keep an eye on him as a sleeper candidate.
Speaking of long shots, the Brewers will send area scout Jeremy Booth to watch Ben Sheets throw in Louisiana tomorrow, as he attempts to prove he's ready to return to action this season. MLB Trade Rumors has a list of teams that will be there, and one that won't: So far, the Angels are the only team announcing they aren't interested.
It almost certainly won't be Sheets, but umpbump.com says a starting pitcher to replace Jeff Suppan is what the Brewers still need this offseason.
Replacing Suppan would probably help with this math: The Junkball Blues has crunched the numbers and determined the Brewers could win somewhere between 85 and 90 games if they can find a way to allow 100 fewer runs than they did last season.
With Major League Baseball and the MLBPA cracking down on the Marlins last week for failing to spend their revenue sharing dollars, attention around baseball has shifted to other small market teams and the way they're spending their money. Apparently, the union considers the Brewers an example of how revenue sharing money should be used, giving us yet another reason to be thankful for having Mark Attanasio in charge.
In the minors:
- The Nashville Sounds unveiled their spring training schedule over the weekend. If you're going to be in Maryvale for spring training, free admission to a minor league game might be too good to pass up.
- Mass Haas of Brewerfan.net reports that Amaury Rivas, Josh Butler, Zach Braddock and Jonathan Lucroy were in Washington, DC last week for MLB's Big League Orientation program last week. It's interesting that Butler was one of the four attendees: He was already in the majors briefly in September.
- We have another close race in the voting for prospect #12 in our BCB Community Rankings. As of this writing, Wily Peralta leads Mark Rogers by one vote, with Cody Scarpetta three votes back. Polls close at 4 pm today.
By the way, after taking a look at the vote from Friday, I've decided to rank 17 prospects again this year. When the polls closed on Saturday, 49% of voters wanted to rank more than 17, and roughly 41% of voters wanted to rank less. So, I've decided to settle for the option in the middle that will invariably please no one. Enjoy!
Baseball Musings' Players A to Z series is almost through the C's, and covered Luis Cruz over the weekend. There's not much in Cruz's game to be too excited about: something would probably have to happen to Craig Counsell for the Brewers to consider keeping him on the roster.
FtJ did a great job rounding up the arbitration news in his Weekend Mug, so I only have one transaction to report today:
Rangers: Avoided arbitration with pitcher Dustin Nippert, who will make $650,000 in 2010.
I'm having creative fail this morning, so if you don't mind I'm going to do the "other notes" part in bullet points:
- Jeff Sullivan of Lookout Landing has a great read on ten changes he'd like to see baseball make over the next decade.
- Jonah Keri suggests another change, the addition of a 26th man to major league rosters, but wonders if it would actually help.
- Chuck Brownson of The Hardball Times has a look at salaries paid to closers, and how out of line they are with the rest of the marketplace.
- Maybe I'm just that much of a nerd, but I think this Joe Mauer mushroom might be one of the cooler things I saw all weekend.
- Kings of Kauffman wonders if the Royals should kick the tires on former Brewer Jason Bourgeois, who was recently DFA'd by the Astros.
On this day in 1985, the Brewers acquired pitchers Danny Darwin and Tim Leary in a four team trade involving catcher Jim Sundberg. Darwin went 14-26 with a 3.70 ERA over two seasons as a Brewer, and Tim Leary went 13-16 with a 4.18 ERA over the same stretch.
Also, on this day in 2006 the Brewers released Russell Branyan. Branyan had hit .257/.378/.490 for the Crew in 2005, and would go on to hit 18 home runs in 242 ABs for the Rays and Padres in 2006.
Happy birthday today to Brett Lawrie, who turns 20.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm running out of bacon.