Wednesday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while making a minor transaction.

We're 44 days away from Opening Day, and Zack Greinke was the topic du jour in Brewer camp yesterday. Doug Melvin told reporters he plans to pursue a long term deal with Greinke even if he does decide to continue to operate without an agent. Ron Roenicke, meanwhile, appears to have earned Greinke's trust.

Greinke also provided several quotes and had a lot of nice things to say in Adam McCalvy's profile of Jonathan Lucroy. Since being thrust into a starting role when Gregg Zaun went down in 2010 Lucroy has really done an impressive job making the most of the opportunity.

Infielder Cesar Izturis was in camp for the first time yesterday, and talked to Adam McCalvy about his likely role as a backup infielder. Mat Gamel is also likely to make the roster, but doesn't appear to be taking it for granted: He told Tom Haudricourt it's "time to get it done."

Ryan Braun is expected to report to camp on Friday, leading Tom Haudricourt to speculate that the result of his appeal will be known today or tomorrow. Dan Szymborski might have a more likely theory.

If Nyjer Morgan (or Carlos Gomez) make the All Star team this season, they'll be breaking a long trend: SweetSpot notes that no Brewer center fielders have appeared in an All Star Game since Dave May in 1973.

Gomez, by the way, is on Twitter (mostly in Spanish). Teammate Chris Narveson is also trying it out.

When Nyjer Morgan is in the lineup this season Ron Roenicke says he'll likely bat in the #2 spot, as he did last year. Roenicke also seemed to imply that Aramis Ramirez has been penciled into the #4 spot. I think I'd rather see him behind Rickie Weeks, but it's probably not a big deal either way.

Travis Ishikawa has probably become a long shot to make the roster out of camp, but there's still a chance he'll log some innings at first base this season. The Brewer Nation profiled him as part of their "Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers" series.

Elsewhere in unlikely big leaguers: Nick Prill of The Brewers Bar has a look at the non-roster catchers in Brewer camp.

The Brewers made a minor transaction yesterday, signing Brandon Kintzler to a 2012 contract. They still have five players left to sign, but the deadline isn't until March 11 so it's unlikely to become an issue.

In the minors:

Brewer single game tickets go on sale on Saturday, and Caitlin Moyer has a guide to this season's promo schedule.

If you'd like more Brewer content today but you're sick of reading, @Mass_Haas has a link to archived audio of Doug Melvin's appearance on WTMJ yesterday. Also, I'll be appearing on The Home Stretch with Justin Hull on The Score (AM 1570) in Appleton at 3 today.

Around baseball:

Blue Jays: Signed pitcher Rick Vandenhurk to a minor league deal.
Rangers: Acquired pitcher Kelvin De La Cruz from the Indians for cash.
Red Sox: Received pitcher Chris Carpenter and a PTBNL from the Cubs as compensation for Theo Epstein.
Yankees: Signed third baseman Eric Chavez to a one year, $900,000 deal.

The free agent market for closers went south pretty quickly this winter, and stories like this pretty clearly display one reason why: Bob Nightengale of USA Today notes that there are only four teams that have had their current closer in place for at least two full seasons. John Axford missed the cut as he took over the role in May of 2010.

Many if not most of you will probably remember an interleague game last season where Rays manager Joe Maddon sent outfielder Sam Fuld to the mound to warm up to pitch to buy more time for a reliever in the bullpen, then pulled him before he had faced a batter. The New York Times notes that the rules have been changed to prevent that this season, but the rule is largely based on intent and will be nearly impossible to enforce. (h/t Baseball Musings)

In former Brewers:

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going back to sharpening knives.

Drink up.

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