Monday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while making a new sign.

We're just one day away from the Brewers' first official full squad workout of the spring. Position players are required to report today, and be in uniform tomorrow.

As of Friday, only three Brewer position players had yet to make an appearance in Maryvale: Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder and Mark Kotsay. Fielder and Braun reported over the weekend, so Kotsay is now the only Brewer waiting until today's deadline to report. Clearly, packing all that "veteran presence" into a suitcase took longer than he expected.

Ryan Braun talked to Tom Haudricourt yesterday about the 2011 season. He said he's bigger and stronger this spring after spending the winter working out with Gabe Kapler, and is excited to play for Ron Roenicke.

Mat Gamel, who has been one of the last to arrive to camp in previous years, reported early this season and will reportedly get work in both outfield corners and at first and third base this spring. Gamel has expressed disinterest in playing first base in the past, but Howie Magner noted this Ron Roenicke quote which sums up the situation nicely:

"If I were in his shoes, I'd be open to anything."

Meanwhile, Roenicke has also started to offer a look at the potential Opening Day lineup. He seems to be leaning towards batting Yuniesky Betancourt sixth to use his power to help protect the heart of the Brewer order. If you're going to keep Betancourt in the lineup, that would seem to be the best way to use him.

It's not quite a "best shape of his life" story, but it could be: Jerry Crasnick of ESPN noted that Rickie Weeks "keeps getting bigger and bigger" and "is built like an NFL strong safety." Beyond the Box Score has a link to this interesting graph comparing Weeks and Kelly Johnson.

Other notes from camp:

The Brewers made a few minor transactions over the weekend, signing Zach Braddock, Chris Dickerson, Brandon Kintzler and Jonathan Lucroy to 2011 contracts. All five players were pre-arbitration. The Brewers now have 35 members of their 40 man roster signed.

In the minors:

When you think about it, spring training is a pretty interesting logistical endeavor: While preparing Miller Park for the regular season, the Brewers are also managing a training facility and stadium operations thousands of miles away from home. If you've ever wondered how they do it, then Caitlin Moyer's interview with Brewer VP-Controller and Spring Training Director Joe Zidanic might have your answers.

Of course, a big part of spring training is also finding ways to kill time, which might be why LaTroy Hawkins is back on Twitter. (h/t Adam McCalvy)

In predictions/projections/power rankings:  Vegas Watch notes that the 2011 Brewers have an over/under of 84.5 wins. That's third in the division behind the Cardinals and Reds.

Today in shameless self promotion: Brian Carriveau of Pocket Doppler made an appearance this weekend on Appleton's AM-1570 The Score to promote the Maple Street Press Brewer Annual, which he edited and I contributed to. You can click here to order your copy, or look for it on newsstands March 1.

Around baseball:

Astros: Lost their arbitration hearing with Hunter Pence, who will make $6.9 million in 2011.
Athletics:
Infielder Adam Rosales is unlikely to play until May after undergoing offseason foot surgery.
Mets: Signed outfielder Jesus Feliciano and first baseman Chris Shelton to minor league deals.
Rays: Signed Joe Inglett to a minor league deal (FanShot).

Today in former Brewers:

Here are my favorite spring training stories from today:

Need a Sporcle quiz to get your brain going on a Monday morning? Lone Star Ball directed my attention to this one, asking you to name the 24 pitchers who have recorded 2000 or more strikeouts with one team. I got 19 of them.

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

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to add a line to Mayor McCheese's scouting report.

Drink up.

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