Thursday's Frosty Mug

Salt Flats Field is supposed to be pretty nice, but whoever sat behind this guy didn't see much of it.

Some things to read while practicing on a Gatorade cooler.

And finally, I'm back. I can't say enough to thank Jaymes Langrehr, morineko, Noah, Nicole and the Admiral for keeping things going around here while I took a break, and all of you for your patience when I needed an extra day yesterday. Thankfully I'm starting to feel better today and I'm ready to get back on the horse.

Of course, seeing this news made me want to take a few more days off: Zack Greinke has a fractured rib and is going to miss Opening Day. (FanShot) He injured the rib playing pickup basketball this offseason and was going to try to work through it, but changed plans.

Here's some reaction:

The news wasn't much better for Randy Wolf yesterday, as he allowed five runs (including a grand slam) in two innings and is now sitting on a 30.00 ERA after two spring outings. After the game he sat down with Adam McCalvy to look for a silver lining.

Looking ahead, the Brewers are meeting with union officials this morning, and will play the Rockies in Maryvale this afternoon. Shaun Marcum Chris Narveson is scheduled to get the start against Esmil Rogers.

The Brewers are above .500 again this spring, for whatever it's worth. Baseball In Depth notes that they've been among baseball's five best teams in two of the last three springs. The Astros, meanwhile, have baseball's worst record once again.

Erick Almonte is a big part of the reason the Brewers have been winning this spring: He's hitting .429/.448/.821 over his first ten games, and Ron Roenicke has noticed.

Other notes from camp:

Once again this year, this subject is relevant to too many Brewer hitters: Daniel Moroz of Beyond the Box Score wonders if young hitters can develop plate discipline.

On the other end of the spectrum we have Prince Fielder, who walks more often than almost anyone in baseball. This week's edition of A Simple Kind of Fan wonders if the Brewers would benefit from moving Fielder up in the lineup.

Here's something that caught me off guard this morning: Lucas Apostoleris of Beyond the Box Score has a list of the top 25 pitches in baseball by whiff rate. I wasn't surprised to see that Shaun Marcum's changeup and Zack Greinke's slider made the list, but seeing Manny Parra's splitter listed next to them surprised me.

I saw John Axford pitch a couple of times during my trip, and he looks like he's pretty close to 100%. He's also opened the second round of voting for his new entrance song.

Corey Hart's recovery remains up in the air. He's still not close to returning to action, and is setting March 24 (his birthday) as a deadline for his return. If he can't play by then, he's unlikely to be ready for Opening Day.

LaTroy Hawkins, meanwhile, is getting closer to appearing in his first spring game. He's expected to throw live BP on Saturday.

In the minors:

  • Scooter Gennett is getting into a fair number of big league contests this spring, but he took a break to be featured in the Timber Rattlers' Interrogation Room.
  • On the other end of the spectrum, Amaury Rivas hasn't been pitching much. Toby Harrmann noted that Brian Anderson said Rivas has been dealing with an infected tooth.
  • Reliever Adrian Rosario will probably be back in minor league camp before Opening Day. He was selected in the Rule 5 draft by the Orioles, but doesn't appear likely to make the team.
  • Prospect Madness at Bernie's Crew has moved on to the second round. The last matchup I've seen features Mike McClendon and Logan Schafer.

Back at home, it's time once again for a reminder that the road construction around Miller Park is eternal: Howie Magner says fans visiting the ballpark this season aren't going to be happy when they see this year's added challenges.

If you get your season tickets today and they smell a little meaty, here's why: The Racing Sausages delivered them to the USPS.

Take a moment this morning to set your DVR, or make a note to remind yourself to do it when you get home: Once you're done filling out your bracket Sunday night you can catch MLB Network's "30 in 30" special on the Brewers.

While I was away, it came to my attention that a small percentage of you may have been getting error messages and/or virus alerts while trying to access this site. The SBN Support team is continuing to work on the issue, and would like to hear from you if you've been experiencing any issues.

Around baseball:

Astros: Signed catcher Robinson Cancel to a minor league deal.
Dodgers:
Pitcher Jon Garland will open the season on the DL with an oblique strain.
Phillies:
Signed manager Charlie Manuel to a two year contract extension through the 2013 season.

Easily yesterday's scariest moment came in Braves camp, where minor league coach Luis Salazar was unconscious for at least 20 minutes and suffered multiple facial fractures after being struck by a line drive in the dugout. The good news is that he has since regained consciousness and doctors have ruled out the possibility of brain damage.

Today in former Brewers:

And today's spring training stories:

This might be one of the best days ever for the heading of "miscellaneous silliness:"

  • In observance of the 33rd anniversary of the release of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Larry Granillo of Baseball Prospectus wrote some baseball-themed Vogon poetry.
  • Lookout Landing has a look at the Droid auto-corrects of several Mariner names, sorted by concern level.
  • NotGraphs has a montage and a continuation of the Adventures of Joe West.
  • Odds are you've already selected a team to root for this season, but if you haven't then you might want to consult this flowchart. (h/t Bucs Dugout)

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

That's all I've got for you today, unless you have nothing better to do.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need more sugar. (h/t @dwalsh76)

Drink up.

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