Some things to read while altering your setlist.
The Brewer roster is finalized for tomorrow's opener, with just one question remaining unanswered: Brandon Boggs has until this morning to announce if he's accepting an assignment to Nashville or will become a free agent. He cleared waivers yesterday, but still has the right to refuse the assignment (FanShot). I'm hoping Boggs will stick around but I'll understand if he doesn't: I'd be upset too if the organization passed over me in favor of Mark Kotsay and Jeremy Reed.
The Brewers are scheduled to work out in Cincinnati today in preparation for tomorrow's opener, but it's going to be a cold one: The forecast is calling for a high of 39 with light snow today. Conditions should be better tomorrow: Sunny with a high around 50.
In our final spring training tune up we got a taste of something we'll probably see a fair amount this season: A first inning Yuniesky Betancourt error led to four unearned runs. Tom Haudricourt said Betancourt "just gets lazy with his throws at times." Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker selected Betancourt as the Brewers' 2011 X-factor.
Other notes from the field:
- Tom Haudricourt notes that the Brewers hit .321 this spring, easily the highest in the NL.
- Adam McCalvy talked to Nyjer Morgan yesterday, and he said he just wants to fit in with his new team.
- Morgan, by the way, will wear #2. Sergio Mitre, Jeremy Reed and Erick Almonte are expected to be assigned #52, 7 and 22, respectively.
- Jonathan Lucroy saw a doctor yesterday and was cleared to start playing in minor league games. He's still expected to open the season on a rehab assignment with Brevard County.
- Yesterday I mentioned that Zach Braddock was keeping a dead scorpion in his locker. Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar wonders if he's acquired superpowers this spring.
- As the Brewers leave Maryvale, they also leave behind the seven Arizona State students who have done a pretty good job supplementing the JS coverage this spring. On behalf of all of them, Corie Stark said goodbye.
It remains to be seen how the 2011 Brewers will perform on the field, but it looks like the vast majority of us feel pretty good about this team and the front office that assembled it: This week's BCB tracking poll showed 91% approval for Doug Melvin and 92 and 99% approval for the Greinke and Marcum deals, respectively.
This offseason's acquisitions have certainly changed the way people talk about Brewer pitching. Tom Haudricourt says this rotation is the third best in the NL, and Frank Clines of the JS is comparing it to some of the best in Brewer history.
If the Brewers win this season and Prince Fielder has a big year, it'd be a big step in his climb to potential superstardom. Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports listed Fielder as one of 12 candidates for baseball's next wave of stars.
Speaking of Fielder, David Gassko of The Hardball Times has the slugger hitting 426 career home runs as part of his latest wave of career projections. He's also projecting Ryan Braun for 313.
We're running out of time to help John Axford select his 2011 entrance music, so Tyler Maas of Bugs & Cranks is pulling out all the stops: He's promising a donation to Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services, Inc. every time Axford comes out to Refused's "New Noise." Go vote, if you haven't already.
By the way, Axford made The Hall of Very Good's list of ten players you must follow on Twitter.
Erick Almonte and Brandon Kintzler were both somewhat surprising choices to make the Opening Day roster, and Indy Baseball Chatter notes that both have some indy league history.
Meanwhile, Luis Cruz remains a free agent, as I haven't seen any confirmation of the rumor that he planned to sign with the Rangers. Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar says the reaction to losing Cruz was overblown.
In the minors:
- For those of you in the Appleton area, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers will be holding their annual Fan Fest on Tuesday. Check it out for free food and drinks and a first look at the 2011 Rattlers.
- Adam Foster of Project Prospect seems a little down on Kentrail Davis, saying the outfielder had "not a bad first season, but he has limited upside." (h/t @SessileFielder, formerly Battlekow)
- Prospect Madness Continues at Bernie's Crew: The last matchup I've seen features Brandon Kintzler and Scooter Gennett.
While the Brewers prepare for Opening Day in Cincinnati tomorrow, I'd guess a fair number of you are preparing for Opening Day at Miller Park on Monday. One-Man Sausage Fest has an addendum to their guide, from a lady's perspective.
The Brewers are done with Cactus League baseball for 2011, but it's never too early to start planning a trip for next year. Breaking Down The Brewers has a recap of their recent trip, including some notes on hotels and restaurants to check out.
Here's today's massive dose of predictions and whatnot:
- Subjective Baseball is picking the Brewers to win the Central.
- Jordan of You Can't Predict Baseball is also picking the Brewers.
- A Simple Kind of Fan joined them in that prediction.
- David Pinto of Baseball Musings gives the Brewers a 36% chance of winning the Central, making them the most likely team.
- The six beat writers who cover the NL Central for MLB.com voted and picked the Brewers to finish second behind the Reds.
- Sports Illustrated's MLB preview is on newsstands this week and they're picking the Brewers to go 84-78, finishing second behind the Reds.
- Walk Like A Sabermetrician says the NL Central will be baseball's best pennant race, but is picking the Brewers to finish second behind the Cardinals.
- Two of the six writers at Bless You Boys are picking the Brewers, while three picked the Reds and one took the Cardinals.
- All five writers at The Bucky Channel are picking the Brewers to make the playoffs, with three picking them to win the Central and two predicting a Wild Card berth.
- Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com is picking the Brewers to finish fourth.
- Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated is picking the Cardinals to win the Central, and predicting Prince Fielder will get an eight year, $180 million deal from the Cubs after the season.
- Brewers Mix has six bold Brewer predictions.
By the way, Jordan checked in earlier this morning with the results of our Community Projections. I'll second what he said: I'm pretty proud of the fact that our community came up with numbers that look pretty realistic.
While we're on the subject of predictions, take a moment today (if you haven't yet) to enter our 2011 BCB Prediction Contest. You could win a BCB t-shirt or other prizes.
Blue Jays: Acquired infielder Jayson Nix from the Indians for cash.
Giants: Closer Brian Wilson is expected to open the season on the DL with a strained oblique. Also, the team released Jeff Suppan.
Mariners: Outfielder Franklin Gutierrez is going to open the year on the DL with a stomach ailment.
Mets: Catcher Ronny Paulino had abnormalities in a recent blood test and will open the season on the DL.
Orioles: Pitcher Justin Duchscherer will open the season on the DL with left hip soreness.
Red Sox: Designated catcher Mark Wagner for assignment.
Major League Baseball took a big step forward in the handling of concussions yesterday, creating a special 7-Day DL for players recovering from them (FanShot). I'm assuming we'll hear more about the details in the coming days.
There's a short break today between the end of spring training and the start of the regular season, and Joe West is making the most of it: Today he's ejecting Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden.
- Helena Brewer Thomas Keeling, who turns 23.
- 1984 Brewer Jack Lazorko, who turns 54.
- 1970 Brewer Dave Baldwin, who turns 73.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm putting my mask back on.