Some things to read while placing your order.
One Brewer might be sporting a new look for the start of spring training play tomorrow: Corey Hart learned he needs glasses during his physical this spring and isn't considering contacts, so he'll be wearing a new pair of glasses or goggles this season (FanShot). It's good to hear Hart is getting the issue corrected, but one has to wonder why it's taken so long: Hart hasn't been able to read the writing on the wall regarding his plate discipline for some time now.
With exhibition play starting tomorrow and his first start scheduled for Friday, the Brewers will likely complete a deal with Yovani Gallardo in the next 24-48 hours, whether it's agreed upon via negotiation or simply renewed. Because Gallardo has less than three years of major league service time, the Brewers can pay him whatever they want as long as it's above the major league minimum. Bobby Witt, former major leaguer and Gallardo's agent, told Adam McCalvy the two sides are "probably headed for a renewal." The two sides could also be working on a long-term deal, but Brewers Bar says the team should avoid it.
Elsewhere in spring training profiles, Anthony Witrado has a look at Alcides Escobar. I'd tell you what it's about, but I stopped reading at this line:
The player that made a name for himself by using go-go-Gadget range to field balls and fire them across the diamond with a bazooka arm is a finally a full-time Brewer.
The JSOnline depth chart at shortstop shows a somewhat concerning lack of depth: the third option at shortstop is weak-hitting Luis Cruz, and the fourth is Adam Heether, who played 22 games at short in the minors last season.
He's closing in on 600 saves and 1000 appearances, but he's also closing in on Social Security eligibility, so Trevor Hoffman was included on Tracy Ringolsby's list of players who might play their last season in 2010.
Meanwhile, Jeff Suppan is closing in on a 6.00 ERA, so he's on MLB Trade Rumors' list of overpaid veterans who could be released this spring. Our BCB Tracking Poll showed that 82% of readers think he should be the odd man out in the rotation.
Yesterday I mentioned a USA Today story on Gregg Zaun's appearance in the Mitchell Report. Tom Haudricourt has a response/explanation from Zaun, who says he wrote a blank check to settle a bet with then-teammate Jason Grimsley, who in turn used the check to purchase performance enhancing drugs from Mets clubhouse staffer Kirk Radomsky. Whether the story is true or not is anyone's guess, but if Gregg Zaun signs blank checks to pay off his gambling debts, more people should be betting with him.
In other spring training minutiae:
- Ken Macha has been impressed with what he's seen so far from Zach Braddock, calling his stuff "overpowering."
- Tony La Russa had some nice things to say about Jim Edmonds, saying he felt the veteran outfielder was good enough to make the Cardinals, but didn't know how he'd handle a bench role (FanShot).
- I don't know if you've heard this before, but Matt Treanor is married to Misty May-Treanor.
If you've been gone through the offseason, Miller Park Drunk continues to help you catch up with a look at the coaching staff of the 2010 Brewers.
Meanwhile, Hotstove.com asked some other Brewer writers and I to assess the pitching staff Peterson has to work with, and whether or not it's good enough to make a run at the playoffs.
In the minors:
- If you needed another reason to check out Timber Rattlers Opening Day in April, here you go: For the second consecutive year, the team is giving away Fang/Bernie Brewer Bobbleheads, with this year's in beach attire.
If you haven't yet, take a moment to add your two cents to the BCB Community Projections for center field. I'm very interested to see the consensus opinion, both on Carlos Gomez's production and Jody Gerut's playing time.
Just one transaction to note today, but it's a significant one:
Diamondbacks: Agreed to a five year, $51 million extension with Justin Upton.
As mentioned above, the Brewers may be forced to renew the contract of Yovani Gallardo if the two sides can't reach a deal soon. Gallardo is the only remaining unsigned Brewer, and would be the first player renewed by the team since 2008. The Pirates are handling things a little differently, renewing the contracts of 28 players yesterday. Teams aren't required to negotiate with pre-arbitration players, and apparently the Pirates didn't feel a need to do so. For comparison's sake: The Marlins, widely considered baseball's cheapest team, renewed just two players.
In former Brewer notes: Brian McTaggart has a profile of Jason Bourgeois, who is spending the spring trying to win a spot with his hometown team, the Astros.
One of the draws of spring training baseball is the affordability and access to players it provides. Not everyone got the memo, though: The Braves are charging fans $14.50 to watch practice at their Disney facility. I've only made one spring training trip (to Florida in 2004), but I loved every minute of it that wasn't spent at Disney. I'd skip that park if I did it again.
Here's an interesting study to take a look at today if you're interested in baseball economics: Sky Andrecheck of The Baseball Analysts has a look at what draws fans to the ballpark, and the lasting impact of playoff appearances, World Series wins and expansion franchises.
On this day in 1953 Lou Perini, owner of the Boston Braves, blocked an attempt by the St. Louis Browns to move their team to Milwaukee. Perini owned the territorial rights to Milwaukee, where the Braves had a minor league team. Shortly thereafter, Perini would move the Braves to Milwaukee. The Browns stayed in St. Louis for one more season before becoming the Baltimore Orioles in 1954.
Happy birthday today to:
- Matt Treanor, who turns 34.
- 2009 Brevard County Manatee Eric Farris, who turns 24.
- 2009 Brewer Jorge Julio, who turns 31.