Monday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while checking out your new haircut.

Finally, the Brewers have some good news on the injury front. Shaun Marcum, who left his start last week with shoulder tightness, is expected to skip one spring training start but should be fine in time for the regular season. Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar looked for potential warning signs in Marcum's mechanics.

In a related note, Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told Jon Heyman the team had "no inkling" of an arm issue with Marcum and was discussing the possibility of an extension with him when they decided to trade him to the Brewers. Of course, if the opposite were true there's no way Anthopoulos would admit to it.

Meanwhile, the news is not as good for Zack Greinke. While he had been tentatively scheduled to join the rotation on April 16, he has yet to resume throwing and that date is being treated as optimistic. If Greinke can't go on the 16th then the Brewers would need a fifth starter again on that date. After that, though, they have some leeway again: An off day on the 21st means the Crew could skip that spot in the rotation and wouldn't need it again until April 26.

So, how do you feel about the new, aggressive-on-the-basepaths Brewers? Through 23 spring training games they're fifth in the NL with 23 stolen bases, and tied for third with 12 caught stealings. Craig Calcaterra noticed that "running more" has been a theme across baseball this spring, and wonders if there's anything to it.

Here's a side note I stumbled across while looking up that last stat: The Brewers are hitting .335/.389/.508 as a team this spring, the best in the National League in all three numbers. Even if these games are meaningless, that's pretty impressive.

On the field Chris Narveson had a rough outing yesterday, and told Owen Perkins of MLB.com that he never really felt like he was in rhythm. The lefty lasted just 4.1 innings in a loss to the Reds, allowing seven runs on nine hits and two walks while striking out just two.

Pat Egan pitched 1.2 scoreless innings in relief of Narveson yesterday, but Satchel Price of Beyond the Box Score says he's still likely to be returned to the Orioles at the end of camp, and also predicts the Orioles will return reliever Adrian Rosario to the Brewers.

Other notes from the field:

Despite the fact that it's a pretty exciting spring to be a Brewer fan, attendance in Maryvale is falling. The Arizona Republic is reporting that, while attendance is soaring at the new Salt River Fields, ticket sales at Phoenix's two pre-existing ballparks are down about a third this spring. The Brewers are experiencing a 30% drop.

By the way, if you stopped in an Arizona casino as part of your spring training trip, odds are you helped pay for the Diamondbacks and Rockies' new facility.

The Brewers' search for an Opening Day fifth starter has been long and frustrating, but have they gotten this desperate? Doug Davis is expected to audition for teams this week (FanShot).

Despite having missed a few games and being lifted early a couple of times, Rickie Weeks (knock on wood) has actually been one of the healthier Brewer regulars this spring. Will Carroll dumped a bucket of cold water on that campfire, though, noting that Weeks has only had one healthy season.

Everything I've heard about spring training would suggest that the players have a lot of time to kill. As such, John Axford had time to open his third (and perhaps final?) poll to help select his 2011 entrance song.

If you've been watching too much basketball over the last week and you've fallen behind on the spring training storylines, Vaughn's Valley has an update for you.

In the minors:

Another day, another season preview: Big League Stew stopped in Maryvale to see the Brewers and left with five questions.

If you got up late this morning, you might have missed Jordan's post asking for your thoughts on starting pitchers as part of our Community Projections. Follow that link to offer your input.

Around baseball:

Mets: Released pitcher Oliver Perez and second baseman Luis Castillo.
Padres: Claimed reliever Pat Neshek off waivers from the Twins.
Phillies: Signed second baseman Luis Castillo to a minor league deal.
Pirates: Released third baseman Garrett Atkins, claimed pitcher Garrett Olson off waivers from the Mariners and placed pitcher Kevin Hart on the DL (shoulder surgery).
White Sox: Pitcher Jake Peavy has shoulder tendinitis and is likely to miss Opening Day.

Today in former Brewers:

  • MLB Trade Trees has a look at the players the Brewers received in exchange for Jeff Cirillo. In hindsight, it's a pretty underwhelming return.
  • The B-Ref Blog notes that Willie Randolph, Eric Young and Scott Podsednik are among the 50 most valuable players in baseball who stole at least 100 bases and had five times as many steals as home runs.

Here's an interesting example of how the game changes over time. As noted at Beyond the Box Score, in 2010 there were only four players in all of baseball who qualified for the batting title and had more walks than strikeouts. Before last season, there had never been less than ten.

Take a moment this morning to rip a few pages out of a science textbook, because everything it taught you about dinosaurs is wrong. Today's episode of The Adventures of Joe West shows that the cowboy, not a meteor strike, was responsible for ejecting the prehistoric creatures.

Last week, in the back of my head, I started work on a song parody. I thought it had a chance to be pretty good. Then I forgot it and now I can't recall anything about it. While I work on getting it back, you'll have to settle for Royals Review's "The Pitching Years."

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

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to refill a prescription.

Drink up.

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