Wednesday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while resetting your clock.

Today's top story is a relatively surprising roster move: After spending a fair amount of the spring under the assumption that Mark Rogers would open the season as the fifth starter, the Brewers changed course and optioned him to AAA yesterday instead (FanShot). Rogers had only pitched one inning this spring, and the organization didn't think he could be ready in time to make an April 6 start.

With Rogers out of the equation, it looks like the new most likely candidate to fill the spot is Wily Peralta, as noted at MLB Depth Charts. I wouldn't be surprised, though, if Doug Melvin is scouring the waiver wires for other options (and depth) as other teams cut their rosters down to 25. Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar wonders if the Brewers now regret not pursuing or holding onto more depth this offseason.

Here's today's daily injury update: Logan Schafer has a broken right thumb that will require surgery, and he's out for 4-6 weeks (FanShot). The news is better for Caleb Gindl, who suffered no significant damage to his knee. He'll be out for a few days and will report to minor league camp when he returns.

We also have an update on the condition of Chris Dickerson, who went in for X-rays after leaving Monday's game following a collision on the basepaths. Bob Nightengale of USA Today is reporting the injury as a "strained rib cage," which is probably good news. Nightengale also has a pretty good joke from Randy Wolf.

There appears to be a legitimate roster battle developing for the final bench infield spot. Adam McCalvy says the Brewers are looking for a versatile, right-handed batter to fill the opening, which would suggest that Erick Almonte and Luis Cruz are the primary candidates. Almonte is even taking ground balls at short this spring in an effort to increase his value. He hasn't played shortstop in the minors since 2008.

On the field, some members of the Brewers' likely Opening Day bullpen got shelled yesterday for the second straight day. Adam McCalvy noted that Zach Braddock, John Axford and Kameron Loe have combined to allow seven earned runs in 2.1 innings of work over the last two days.

Other notes from the field:

What we expected to be a pretty quiet spring has turned into a pretty interesting one, and could make for an even more interesting regular season. This week's edition of A Simple Kind of Fan has 20 questions about the Brewers' playoff chances.

In the minors:

Ryan Braun's Graffito Restaurant is nearly ready to reopen, and Inside Milwaukee has a preview of the new menu. Unfortunately, there's nothing on it I'm dying to try. (h/t Howie Magner)

Today in shameless self-promotion: The Bucky Channel has a review of the Maple Street Press Brewer Annual. If you haven't picked up your copy yet, look for it on newsstands.

Also, if you haven't yet, don't forget to sign up for the Brew Crew Bracket Competition.

Our Community Projections continue today. Follow this link to share your thoughts on the Brewer shortstops and center fielders.

Around baseball:

Athletics: Closer Andrew Bailey has a strained forearm and can start throwing again once the symptoms subside.
Cardinals: Announced the retirement of pitcher Ian Snell.

Today in former Brewers:

He's not actually a former Brewer, but MLB Trade Trees has a flow chart showing the players acquired in exchange for Bob Uecker.

It seems like roughly 50% of the stories being written about spring training this season are about the Diamondbacks and Rockies' new facility, Salt River Fields. But is all of that attention bad for Arizona's other teams? Big League Stew considers the possibility that the big crowds at the new park are coming at the expense of other games.

If your bracket is already filled out but you still want to enter one prediction contest today, before lunch, then Wezen-Ball's 2011 prediction contest just might be your answer.

If you finish that entry and you still have some time to kill, see if you can beat my score (48) on this Sporcle quiz, asking you to name the players that have produced at least 2000 runs for one franchise. (h/t Lone Star Ball)

After that, if you still have another hour and fifteen minutes to spare, View From Bernie's Chalet has a new podcast.

Joe West's offseason adventures know no bounds. At NotGraphs, you can see photographic evidence of him ejecting Richard Nixon, a pilot and a celestial body.

Happy birthday today to Madison native Rick Reichardt, who turns 68. Reichardt played eleven major league seasons between 1964-74 as a member of the Angels and three other teams.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm getting another potato.

Drink up.

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