Monday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while reliving it over and over again.

As we enter week two of the offseason, it's time for stories about players getting minor surgeries to prepare for spring training 2011. One of those surgeries might not be all that minor, though: Tom Haudricourt is reporting that Manny Parra will seek a second opinion after initial tests showed a torn labrum in his hip. It's too early to speculate on surgeries or missed time at this point, but this likely makes Parra questionable for spring training at best.

The link above includes notes on procedures for several Brewers, including a surgery to remove some loose bodies from Casey McGehee's right knee. Gord Ash characterized the procedure as "very, very minor."

The 2010 Brewers may have been a disappointment, but at least it won't cost us any more to watch the 2011 team: The Brewers announced over the weekend that they're freezing ticket prices for next season for the first time since 2004. 

There are a few small tidbits of news and information this morning regarding candidates for the managerial vacancy:

  • Tom Haudricourt is reporting that Angels bench coach Ron Roenicke and White Sox bench coach Joey Cora have been mentioned as candidates. Both would be first time managers so they're likely long shots for the position.
  • Dodgers AAA manager Tim Wallach has been suggested as a candidate for several jobs. Wallach has been promoted to the team's major league coaching staff for next season, but could still leave if a team offers him the opportunity to manage.
  • Mop Up Duty makes the case for former Indians manager Eric Wedge to be the next manager of the Blue Jays. 
  • Nationals third base coach Pat Listach is no longer a candidate for the Cubs' vacancy, according to MLB.com. Before moving to Washington this season Listach had spent two seasons managing for the Cubs in AA and AAA.

We started a series on Friday with scouting reports on Brewer managerial candidates and that series will continue this afternoon, so be sure to check back for more.

Elsewhere, the JS released their 2010 report cards (playerteam) over the weekend. I'll admit I didn't burn too much time on them, but Nicholas Zettel of Bernie's Crew has a reaction to Rickie Weeks getting a B.

Meanwhile, Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar is unveiling his 2010 grades in groups, starting with eight players that received D's and F's.

In a relatively minor transaction, the Brewers freed up two spots on their 40 man roster by outrighting pitchers Marco Estrada and Alex Periard to Nashville (FanShot). 2010 was both Estrada and Periard's sixth minor league season, so (if I understand the rule correctly) neither will be eligible for free agency but either could be selected in the Rule 5 Draft.

John Sickels of Minor League Ball has a look at Lorenzo Cain's debut season, and finds a fair amount to be positive about. He concludes that Cain could be quite valuable if he adds some plate discipline and maintains his defensive and baserunning abilities.

Looking ahead to free agent season, Jim Breen of Bernie's Crew has a second look at free agent pitchers, and again reaches the same conclusion: Jeff Francis, Kevin Correia and Hiroki Kuroda are pitchers the Brewers might target.

Speaking of free agents: Gregg Zaun almost certainly won't be back as a Brewer next season but Jack Moore notes that he was on pace for 3.5 WAR this season when he got hurt, and could still help a team in 2011.

He acknowledges it's very early to be looking this far ahead, but View From Bernie's Chalet has an early projection for the 2011 Opening Day roster, predicting the Brewers will trade Prince Fielder for a pitcher, move Casey McGehee to first and play Mat Gamel at third.

In the minors:

  • The Arizona Fall League opens on Wednesday, and the Brewers have reportedly added Wisconsin first baseman Hunter Morris to the roster for the Surprise Rafters. Morris was drafted in the fourth round in 2010, and hit .251/.306/.436 in 71 games in his first pro season.
  • Project Prospect has their list of the top five center field prospects in the minors this season, and Caleb Gindl earned an honorable mention. Gindl probably projects to play a corner spot in the big leagues, but hit .272/.352/.406 in his age 21 season in Huntsville.
  • Marc Hulet of The Baseball Analysts listed Jake Odorizzi among players who did the most to increase their value in 2010. Odorizzi was the Brewer Minor League Pitcher of the Year this season, posting a 3.43 ERA and striking out 135 in 120.2 innings for Wisconsin.
  • Ben Hill of MiLB.com listed the picture of Scooter Gennett destroying a snowman after Wisconsin's Opening Day snowout as one of his top ten pictures of 2010.
  • MLB Bonus Baby has a very early 2011 mock draft, and projects the Brewers to select Oklahoma high school righty Dylan Bundy and Virginia lefty Danny Hultzen with the 12th and 15th overall picks.

Around baseball:

Astros: Exercised manager Brad Mills' contract option for 2012, and added a club option for 2013 to his deal.
Reds: Plan to exercise pitcher Bronson Arroyo's option for 2011. He'll earn $11 million.

The Reds' postseason is over after the Phillies shut them out twice in three games, but at least their attendance wasn't an issue in the NLDS: They set a new record for Great American Ball Park with 44,599 tickets sold last night. They were also the subject of my favorite post of the weekend, this Walkoff Walk look at the Kentucky Post's preparations for the series. This Onion story on the Padres was a close second.

The KY Post story apparently didn't include anything about buying tequilla for the opposing pitcher.

The Twins are also done, and have been swept out of the first round in four consecutive playoff appearances. David Pinto of Baseball Musings thinks the Twins might need a managerial change to reach the next level, but GM Bill Smith says Ron Gardenhire's postseason struggles will not affect his job status.

I don't have any former Brewer notes today, but I do have one on a former Milwaukee Brave: Bruce Markusen of The Hardball Times has a look at the career and a baseball card of 64-65 Brave Rico Carty.

Happy birthday over the weekend to:

  • Wausau native Bill Fischer, who turns 80. Fischer played nine major league seasons from 1956-64 as a member of the Twins and three other teams.
  • 1998-99 Brewer Bill Pulsipher, who turned 37 Saturday.
  • 1981-82 Brewer Randy Lerch, who turned 56 Saturday.
  • 1901 Brewer Bill Reidy, who would have turned 137 Saturday.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need a new shirt.

Drink up.
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