PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 03: Fans of the Milwaukee Brewers arrive to Maryvale Baseball Park for the spring training game against the Oakland Athletics on March 3, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Some things to read while catching up on your reading.
We're still two days away from the official start of spring training in Maryvale, but as of yesterday Gord Ash reported that 19 Brewers are already in camp getting ready for the 2012 season. There's still a chance this could be the Brewers' last spring at the facility: Their lease expires in April but the team holds a series of three two-year options to extend the deal if they can't find a better alternative in time.
Not that long ago, guys like Jeff Suppan, Braden Looper and Dave Bush were competing for the #2 spot in the Brewer rotation. But times have changed quickly, and Zack Greinke and Yovani Gallardo have given the team two bona fide frontline starters. Ryan Smith of Cream City Cables has more on the development.
With that said, Shaun Marcum isn't bad either. He was listed as an honorable mention on Albert Lyu of FanGraphs' ranking of baseball's top five changeups in 2011.
Of course, Greinke and Marcum are both still on pace to be eligible for free agency this winter. MLB Trade Rumors says the Brewers will almost certainly receive compensation if Greinke departs, and could possibly get draft picks for Marcum too.
Brewer Nation's "Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers" series continues today with a profile of Kameron Loe.
It's a little too early to set your DVR, so I guess you'll have to mark your calendar for now: The Brewer episode of MLB Network's "30 Clubs in 30 Days" series will air on March 19 at 7 pm.
"I'll be in Arizona," however, is an acceptable excuse for missing the show. EAS Sports Nutrition is giving away a three day trip to spring training to one lucky fan on their Facebook page.
In the minors:
- The Brewers shuffled their minor league coaching staffs a bit yesterday when Huntsville pitching coach John Curtis resigned due to a family matter. Former Wisconsin pitching coach Chris Hook will take his place with the Stars, while former Rangers minor league coach Dave Chavarria will be the new pitching coach for Wisconsin.
- J.P. Breen of Disciples of Uecker has a look at potential starting rotations throughout the organization this season.
- 2011 Wisconsin Timber Rattler Casey Medlen was the guest on this week's Bernie's Crew podcast.
- Erick Almonte (in Spanish) is on Twitter. He's been added to the list.
If you spend any time at all on the internet you're probably already familiar with and sick of the "Sh*t (insert group of people here) Do" meme which continues its slow crawl across our collective conscience. With that said, I did laugh a couple of times at Nyjer Morgan's contribution to the collection.
For my money, this video is a better use of your time: Grim Spandango is back as Fake Doug Melvin with his rendition of "You're My Deputy," a parody of Jewel's "You Were Meant For Me." Personally, I think it's the best one in the series.
Giants: Re-signed outfielder Justin Christian to a minor league deal.
Orioles: Released pitcher Clay Rapada.
Red Sox: Signed pitcher Ross Ohlendorf to a minor league deal.
Twins: Signed infielder Alexi Casilla to a one year, $1.4 million deal to avoid arbitration.
If Livan Hernandez pitches in the big leagues in 2012 it'll be his 17th major league season, and the Astros will be his eighth team. Despite the fact that he's made over $50 million over the last two decades, though, his wages with the Astros this season will likely be garnished to help pay off nearly $500,000 in delinquent bank debt.
Today in former Brewers:
- High Heat Stats remembers a game in 1993 where Mike Fetters faced six batters and threw six pitches. That's only happened twice since 1988.
- Craig Counsell was a part of Carson Cistulli of NotGraphs' valentine for his wife.
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History remembers one year ago today when the 2011 Brewers officially opened spring training. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also the 59th anniversary of a four team trade that brought slugger Joe Adcock to the Milwaukee Braves, the 32nd anniversary of Harvey Kuenn's emergency amputation of his lower right leg and the eleventh anniversary of the death of longtime Milwaukee Brave Bob Buhl.
Today is also 1970's Brewer Bobby Darwin's 69th birthday. Plunk Everyone notes that his 37 career HBP are third all time among batters born on February 16.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to round up some outlaws.