Some things to read while busting out the traxedo.
It's possible something could be about to happen in the race for the fifth starter's spot. Jeff Suppan, Manny Parra and Chris Narveson are all lined up to pitch today. Chris Narveson will start today's game, with Manny Parra coming out of the bullpen. But Ken Macha was evasive at best when discussing plans for Jeff Suppan, telling reporters he "hoped to have an answer this morning" about the veteran's schedule for today. Tom Haudricourt noted the unusual nature of waiting this long to announce a pitching assignment, and wonders if something is in the works.
Certainly, it's possible that something could be about to happen. But in the meantime, there are a couple of other things to note here:
- If the front office intends to hold onto Suppan, they have to know it's going to be an unpopular decision. As such, it would make sense to find a place for him to pitch today that's away from fan and media attention, either in an intrasquad or minor league game. If he had another rough outing in full view of the fans today, it'd be even harder to justify keeping him around.
- Setting the issue with Suppan aside for a moment - this will be Manny Parra's second consecutive outing working out of the bullpen. I think it's possible that's a decent indication of where he might be headed to start the season.
Adam McCalvy has his Brewer season preview. For whatever it's worth, he has Jeff Suppan on his projected roster and Carlos Villanueva off.
You can count Howie Magner of Milwaukee Magazine as one of many lobbying for Suppan's dismissal. Magner revisits the "sunk cost" argument (and has a nice shout out to BCB) in his latest column. In-Between Hops has also updated the Jeff Suppan vigil.
Meanwhile, Dave Bush had a rough outing yesterday in his first appearance since being named the #4 starter, allowing seven runs (six earned) on eight hits and two walks in six innings. Also, for the third consecutive day, Ryan Braun was held out of action with tightness in his back. On the field, the Brewers dropped to 3-7-1 in their last 11 games.
Elsewhere in camp minutiae:
- It's been a near given for weeks, but Yovani Gallardo was confirmed as the Opening Day starter yesterday.
- Ted Keith of Sports Illustrated was in Brewer camp recently and sent in a postcard.
Between televising games and offering an alternative to Baseball Tonight, MLB Network has been a great resource this spring. They'll also be televising 30 games in April, including the Brewers-Rockies afternoon game a week from tomorrow.
In the minors: Lisa Winston of MiLB.com has a Brewer organizational preview and ten prospects to watch. Last year's ten to watch only had one pitcher (Jeremy Jeffress). This year's list includes four.
If you're watching TV today, you might see one of the Brewers' new TV commercials. Caitlin Moyer has a behind-the-scenes look at their production.
- The Ghost of Moonlight Graham has updated their projected starting rotations and lineups for the NL Central. They might need to be updated again, since Jeff Suppan is still a member of the projected Brewer rotation.
- Cory Melvin is picking the Brewers to win the NL Central.
- Joel Roza of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times is predicting the Brewers will win 80 games and finish in third place.
Another note on projections: If you haven't yet, please take a moment to head over to The Book Blog and help Tom Tango with his Community Playing Time Projections. At the moment, there have only been 14 ballots cast for the Brewers. We can do better than that.
Nationals: Claimed catcher Chris Coste off waivers from the Mets.
Orioles: Signed Joey Gathright to a minor league deal. Also, reliever Koji Uehara will start the season on the DL with a hamstring strain.
Pirates: Claimed pitcher Hayden Penn off waivers from the Marlins, and designated Brandon Moss for assignment.
As noted yesterday, the Brewers showed up at #12 in FanGraphs' organizational rankings. As it turns out, that's not too far from the top of the NL Central: The Cardinals are ranked tenth.
I'm having a hard time writing anything clever about these links, so I'm just going to lump them together under "curiosities:"
- The Pirates will bat the pitcher eighth this season (FanShot)
- The Dodgers are opening the season with 11 pitchers.
- The Yankees have an ambidextrous pitcher in camp, and he's expected to pitch in their Grapefruit League game today.
We're closing in on the end of spring training, so we're almost out of spring training "slices of life" stories like this one: Scott Strickland, cut by the Marlins yesterday, will likely head back to his winter job of repossessing cars.
I struck out on birthdays today, but FtJ will likely stop by the comments to let us know what I missed.
Oh, and here's what I want for my birthday.