Wednesday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while bobbing your head.

It could be an interesting matchup in the desert today, as Doug Davis is scheduled to face off against Aroldis Chapman and the Reds this afternoon. Depending on who plays for the Brewers, their right-handed regulars could pose an interesting challenge for the Cuban lefty, whose fastball has been reported at around 100 mph.

Chuck Lofgren has pitched four scoreless innings this spring, and Brewer fans might get to see him pitch some more after all: the team has agreed to send reliever Omar Aguilar to the Indians in exchange for the right to keep their Rule 5 selection (FanShot). Lofgren was sent to minor league camp yesterday but could still be called over for games if the Brewer bullpen is shorthanded.

However, we've probably seen the last of John Halama. After the veteran lefty allowed ten hits and four earned runs in his first four Cactus League outings, the Brewers released him yesterday.

The outlook is slightly more optimistic for Chris Capuano, but not much. He's been shut down with elbow inflammation, and the team isn't sure when he'll pitch again. He told Adam McCalvy that he'll try throwing again in a few days, though, so all hope is not lost (FanShot).

While Chris Narveson was leading the Brewers to victory yesterday over the Royals, Randy Wolf and Mitch Stetter pitched in minor league camp to get their work in. In an effort to keep all seven rotation candidates on schedule, the team is working on scheduling B games over the coming week. Dave Bush will pitch in one such game against the Rangers on Thursday (at 2:30 in Surprise), and they're hoping to schedule another one for Saturday to allow both Randy Wolf and Chris Narveson to work on the same day again.

Elsewhere in camp minutiae:

At least Jeff Suppan's contract situation is giving you an opportunity to teach your kids something about economics: In-Between Hops uses Jeff Suppan to explain the definition of a sunk cost.

In the comments of yesterday's Mug there was an extended conversation about the role the 2009 Brewer defense might have played in Manny Parra's disastrous season. As a continuation of that conversation I present this: Bernie's Crew makes the case that Brewer pitchers who can keep the ball on the ground (and out of the outfield) will be key to the Brewers' success this season.

If you had to handicap the field right now, George Kottaras might be the favorite to win the backup catcher job, hitting .333/.409/.667 (compared to Matt Treanor's .235/.278/.294) in his first eight Cactus League games. If Kottaras doesn't make the team, though, he could be an interesting candidate for someone else: Royals Review has him on their list of Out of Options Players to Watch.

Around the minors:

  • Larry Stone of the Seattle Times has a look at Brett Lawrie's relationship with his sister Danielle, one of the nation's best softball players.
  • Chad Anderson has an interview with Huntsville manager Mike Guerrero, who will manage the Stars this season for the first time after being Manager of the Year in the Florida State League last season.

Brewer broadcaster Brian Anderson continues to be in high demand: TBS announced yesterday that Anderson will be the play by play voice of several of their national broadcasts this season, although the Brewers say a deal to allow Anderson to leave the team for those games is not yet finalized.

If you're planning on heading out to Miller Park for the opening series against the Rockies but haven't picked up your ticket yet, you might be interested in the Brewers' St. Patrick's Day deal, with select tickets available for $3.17.

In predictions/projections and other leftovers:

  • The FanGraphs community projections give the Brewers an 11% shot at winning the NL Central and a 16% chance at the playoffs.
  • Dueling Couches predicts the Brewers will win 75 games.
  • The Baseball Analysts has a series of charts and graphs showing the Franchise Strength Index history for all 30 teams. Despite the 2008 playoff appearance and 3 million fans in attendance each of the last two seasons, the Brewers are still in roughly the middle of the road.

Around baseball:

Dodgers: Reliever Cory Wade will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his pitching shoulder and will be out for at least a couple of months.
Giants: Returned Rule 5 pick Steve Johnson to the Orioles.
Marlins: Released Derrick Turnbow.
Nationals: Released outfielder Elijah Dukes. (thanks FtJ for the tip)

Today's former Brewer roundup has bad news for several pitchers:

  • Derrick Turnbow left yesterday's Marlins game with pain in his shoulder, ending his comeback bid. It's been reported in other places (FanShot) that Turnbow is retiring, but as of last night he hadn't made it official. The fact that the Marlins released him this morning will make his comeback a little harder, though.
  • The Florence Times Daily caught up with David Weathers, who is enjoying spending more time with his family and says it's possible he'll retire if the right mid-season offer doesn't come along. (h/t John Fay)
  • I recently mentioned that Tomo Ohka was in camp with a Mexican team this spring. He's since been released. (h/t MLBTR)

If you're in Arizona this morning and feel a sudden breeze, it might be a sigh of relief coming from White Sox camp: Jake Peavy avoided serious injury but totaled his car in an accident Monday afternoon.

Also taking a deep breath today: The Washington Nationals. After starting the spring 0-11, the Nationals doubled their odds by playing two split-squad games yesterday, and won them both.

Happy birthday today to likely 2010 Nashville Sound A.J. Murray, who turns 28.

That's all I've got for you today, unless you'd like to go vote for me over at Last Fan Standing. I've submitted a post there but don't see it yet: Hopefully it will appear soon.

Speaking of the tournament, there's still time to sign up for the Brew Crew Ball Bracket pool, if you haven't yet.

Drink up.

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