Friday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while having nothing better to do.

As Brewer pitchers and catchers prep for their second day of workouts, the focus has been on the five likely members of the starting rotation. I think many of us have been operating under the assumption that the rotation would go Greinke-Gallardo-Marcum-Wolf-Narveson, but Ron Roenicke has expressed some interest in separating Wolf and Narveson, who are both left-handed. Toby Harrmann suggested that putting Marcum between the two lefties would make sense.

No matter who's on the mound, the Brewer starting rotation should also be pretty good at the plate: Steve Henson of Yahoo has a look at the staff's offensive successes and the pressure on Shaun Marcum and Zack Greinke to keep up.

With a new manager in the fold, it's time once again for a conversation about batting the pitcher eighth. Brian Carriveau of PocketDoppler has a look at the possibilities, and suggests Carlos Gomez as a candidate to bat ninth. I could get on board with that - Gomez's OBP isn't significantly better than the pitcher, but he'd put some speed on the basepaths in front of the top of the order.

If you're wondering when you'll get a chance to see the Brewers on TV this spring, wonder no longer: Three Brewer games will be carried on MLB Network, on March 7, 15 and 19 (FanShot). All three will be broadcast via tape delay. Also, the Brewers' edition of "30 in 30" will air on Sunday, March 13.

Here are today's remaining notes from Maryvale:

It's been a couple of days now since Rickie Weeks signed his new deal but I think Jonah Keri of FanGraphs has the fairest assessment of the contract I've seen, with thoughts on Weeks' production, health and defense.

Now that Weeks' deal is done, Charlie Marlow has a look at the Brewers' likely Opening Day payroll. It's sitting right around $87 million.

Unless the Rangers are willing to pay nearly all of his salary, the Brewers likely don't have financial room for Michael Young at this point. That's likely part of the reason Doug Melvin said he has no interest in acquiring his former shortstop from the Rangers.

Once the Brewers return to Milwaukee, they announced yesterday that they'll wear the retro jerseys six times this season, once per month from April-September. I know I'm in the minority on this but I'll echo what Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar said: That's five times too many.

None of those six games are interleague games, which ruins the best idea I had for a segue between these paragraphs. Nonetheless, Toby Harrmann noted a strong discrepancy between the interleague schedules of the Brewers and Cardinals this season: The Brewers' average opponent won 93.6 games last season, while the Cardinals' won 76.2.

In the minors:

Today in predictions, projections and whatnot: Baseball Prospectus has updated their projections and they have the Brewers at 85-77, two games back of the Cardinals and four ahead of the Reds. (h/t The Brewers Bar)

Here's today's shameless self-promotion section: Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio has a post up today previewing the Maple Street Press Brewer Annual, which you can pre-order here or check out on newsstands March 1.

Speaking of Mehring and the Timber Rattlers, congratulations to lar, tcyoung, Jeo and Detassler for winning four pairs of Timber Rattler Tickets in the final day of our Brew Crew Ball Spring Training Countdown. Thanks again to the Timber Rattlers, Huntsville Stars, Nashville Sounds and John Sickels for helping us out with this year's giveaways.

It's a quiet day around baseball:

Rockies: Signed pitcher John Maine to a minor league deal.

Today in former Brewers:

  • Joe Posnanski made a list of baseball's top five players by position and mentioned Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, Willie Randolph, Ted Simmons, Jim Edmonds and Gary Sheffield.
  • The B-Ref Blog has a list of the 32 teams in baseball history with four or more players worth 5 WAR, and the 1982 Brewers and 1964 Milwaukee Braves made the list. That Braves team won 88 games but finished in fifth place in the NL.

Here's today's baseball economics note: Todd Zolecki of MLB.com noted that the Phillies, who started selling single-game tickets yesterday, have already sold 3.3 million seats for 2011. Here's a number to put that in context: If the Brewers sold out Miller Park (43,000) for every regular season home game, that would only be 3.48 million tickets.

I'm heading out to Arizona for the first time in a couple of weeks. Even if you're not planning a trip this spring, though, Larry Granillo of Baseball Prospectus reminds us that you can still send a postcard. Here are some more postcards from around Arizona and Florida:

  • In this spring's least shocking news, Rich Harden (in camp with the A's) is already on the shelf with muscle stiffness.
  • Casey Fossum is in camp with the Mets this spring. He probably won't make the team, so Steve Slowinski of NotGraphs has what might be your last chance to learn more about "The Blade."

Here's another great graphic from today: Beyond the Box Score has a diagram of a 6-4-3 double play.

With help from the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday today to:

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm not done sleeping yet.

Drink up.

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