Thursday's Two Year Mugiversary

Some things to read while debating the merits of nihilism.

Some of the more unlikely faces were drawing the most notice in camp yesterday, as Ken Macha had a lot of positive things to say about the early work of Chris Capuano, Kameron Loe and Chris Narveson. Capuano is back to throwing his signature changeup, which was a huge part of his success as a Brewer.

We've talked a lot lately about expectations for Rick Peterson, and what he can and can't do as a pitching coach. Here's a note on some extra work he did with Tim Dillard, who apparently needed to make a mechanical adjustment.

While some pitchers are making adjustments and drawing positive reviews, at least one Brewer pitcher is handling this camp just like any other: Jeff Suppan told Tom Haudricourt he's getting ready for the 2010 season the same way he always has, and that nothing has been said to him about competition for spots in the rotation. Suppan posted a 5.29 ERA last season, the fourth consecutive season it's gone up. If he honestly doesn't think he needs to compete for a spot this spring, then his head is pretty deep in the Arizona sand.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have Casey McGehee. Coming off the best season of his life, McGehee is taking nothing for granted and is in camp prepared to earn his roster spot again this season. The JS Depth Chart has him #1 at third base, with Craig Counsell, Mat Gamel and Joe Inglett following him, in that order.

Other minutiae from camp:

It's spring training for the fans too: If you fell behind this winter, Miller Park Drunk has a crash course on the new Brewers, including lots of made up facts and things to yell if they underperform.

It's also spring training for the folks who run the MLB.com store: Right Field Bleachers noticed a Claudio Vargas #4 jersey for sale online. Vargas wore #46 last season. Even if he wanted to make a change, #4 is unavailable: it's Paul Molitor's number, and has long been retired.

Another day, another new set of expectations for Alcides Escobar: the Community Projections at Minor League Ball have him hitting .271/.316/.354, significantly lower in every aspect than Bill James, CHONE or FanGraphs have him projected. Even at those numbers, his defensive contributions would still make him valuable.

The Brewers also need to decide where he'll hit. Tipping Pitches has another look at the concept of batting the pitcher eighth and Escobar ninth.

At any rate, most Wisconsin-based fans will be able to watch Escobar and the Brewers 157 times this season. The Brewer broadcast schedule was announced yesterday, with 136 games on FS Wisconsin, 15 on WMLW, and six on national TV (FanShot). For the first time, all 136 FSWI games will be in HD. Just like last year, the WMLW games will be in something vaguely resembling SD.

In the minors: The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers are asking for your help to select a left handed pitcher for their 15th Anniversary Team.

One of the most interesting Community Projection positions is up for your consideration, as we're asking for your thoughts on Brewer second basemen in 2010R.J. Anderson of FanGraphs has a look at Rickie Weeks' notable defensive improvement over the last few seasons, and thinks he should be projected to be roughly league average defensively in 2010.

On rankings, predictions and stuff:

  • The Ghost of Moonlight Graham gave the Brewers a B for their offseason moves, tied for the NL's third highest grade.
  • Bucs Dugout has an extended preview of the 2010 Brewers, and thinks they'll win 76 games and finish fourth in the Central.

Around baseball:

Mets: Designated lefty Arturo Lopez for assignment.
Nationals: Signed Livan Hernandez to a minor league deal.

Here's an interesting debate from The Book Blog: Would you support or oppose a rule allowing teams to concede defeat after the sixth inning? I can see the point in occasionally doing so: Preserving bullpen arms, avoiding risk of injury, etc. But even if the rule were in play I don't think it would be frequently used. The concept of giving up on a game, no matter the deficit, probably wouldn't go over well with fans.

Larry LaRue of the Tacoma News Tribune filed this story under the headline "Pitchers are strange," and it's hard to argue with his logic: Erik Bedard won a pool in Mariners camp yesterday by correctly predicting that reliever Shawn Kelley would need six stitches after getting spiked in the face by teammate Mark Lowe.

Do pitching and defense win championships? That's the question Brandon Isleib of The Hardball Times is looking to answer with his Report Cards series. Follow the link for a cameo appearance by the 1982 Brewers.

Happy birthday today to:

  • Wisconsin native and long time Milwaukee Brave Andy Pafko, who turns 89.
  • 1995-96 Brewer David Hulse, who turns 42.

Finally, two years ago today the Frosty Mug appeared on the front page of this site for the first time.Thanks to everyone who's stopped by (and hopefully continued to stop by) to make the Mug a part of your morning each weekday. Each morning I wake up at 6:15 and wonder why I've kept doing this for two years...but by 10 am or so I usually remember.

Also, as you may have noticed at the top of today's Mug, I've decided to ditch my pen name and go by my real name full-time from here on out. My true identity was kind of an open secret anyway, so now seemed like as good a time as any to make the switch.

Oh, and if you're headed to the ballpark in Japan, watch out for creepy mascots.

Drink up.

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