Monday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while making the connection.

Many of you were likely a part of history yesterday, as the Brewers set a new franchise record by turning out 11,299 fans for Brewers On Deck. Here are some notes from the event:

As I mentioned above, the Brewers set a new record by drawing over 11,000 fans to On Deck this weekend. This number shifted my perspective a bit, though: The Pirates held their annual winter event this weekend, and drew 16,839 fans.

Meanwhile, Rob Neyer was at the Royals' fan event this weekend and snapped this picture of a Yuniesky Betancourt game-used bat.

Before stopping by On Deck, Doug Melvin spent a couple of hours Saturday morning at Milwaukee's SABR meeting. Brew Town Boozer has some notes from his remarks.

Rickie Weeks was also in town for this weekend's festivities, and while he was there he told the team he wants to be done with extension discussions before spring training (FanShot). Gord Ash told Adam McCalvy that multi-year talks with Weeks are continuing. If the two sides can't reach a deal, Weeks' arbitration hearing is scheduled for February 17. He may or may not get a new contract before reporting to Maryvale, but either way Weeks will be Vaughn's Valley's #4 Brewer Critical to 2011 Success.

With the new additions to the Brewer rotation and his ensuing move down the ladder, we haven't talked much about Randy Wolf this offseason. Call to the Pen did note, though, that Wolf was one of just 13 pitchers to throw a sub-70 mph curveball last season. (Dave Bush and Doug Davis are two of the others.)

I mentioned above that LaTroy Hawkins chatted with fans yesterday. Here's what he told Tom Haudricourt about his recovery from off-season shoulder surgery:

Hawkins is still throwing off flat ground as part of his rehab program but said he expects to be able to throw off the mound again when spring training begins. And he expects to be full-go for opening day.

"I have no tightness like I'd felt before," he said. "The strength is there and its' getting better every day.

"With no setbacks, I should be good (for opening day). All is going well right now."

Even that somewhat optimistic quote would imply that being ready for Opening Day is a goal, not a given. Given the number of relievers the Brewers will bring to camp, I'll be surprised if Hawkins doesn't open the season on the DL.

As you probably know, I typically follow the Brewers pretty closely. As such, I was surprised to discover that Hardball Talk's Brewer depth chart contains a few players I'd completely forgotten about (like Edwin Maysonet, for example). Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar considered two more potential spring training stories: Jeremy Reed and Mark DiFelice.

The Brewers made a few minor moves over the weekend, signing Mat Gamel, Eric Farris, Justin James, Martin Maldonado, Daniel Merklinger, Wily Peralta and Cody Scarpetta to 2011 contracts. None of the seven have enough service time to be eligible for arbitration.

In the minors:

Around baseball:

Blue Jays: Avoided arbitration with pitcher Jason Frasor ($3.5 million) and reliever Frank Francisco ($4 million).
Dodgers: Signed reliever Mike MacDougal to a minor league deal.
Marlins: Signed pitcher Shawn Hill to a minor league deal.
Mets: Avoided arbitration with pitcher R.A. Dickey (two years, $7.5 million).
Orioles: Signed pitcher Justin Duchscherer to a one year, $750,000 deal with incentives.
Padres: Claimed pitcher Samuel Deduno off waivers from the Rockies.
Rangers: Avoided arbitration with catcher Mike Napoli ($5.8 million) and signed Dave Bush to a minor league deal.
Rays: Signed first baseman Casey Kotchman to a minor league deal and claimed pitcher Rob Delaney off waivers from the Twins.
Reds: Avoided arbitration with pitcher Edinson Volquez ($1.6 million).
Rockies: Signed pitcher Rafael Betancourt to a one year, $4 million contract extension for 2012 with a mutual option for 2013.

Today in former Brewers:

'Tis the season for spring training stories. We'll lead off this year with "retired veteran looking for one last shot at glory:" Jason Isringhausen is trying out with the Reds.

With help from the B-Ref Play Index and Brewerfan.net, happy birthday over the weekend to:

Now, if you'll excuse me, I can't seem to get a signal. (h/t @CraigCalcaterra)

Drink up.

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