Some things to read while getting your ship together.
We're 37 days away from Opening Day and another chapter in the Ryan Braun saga was written yesterday, as sample collector Dino Laurenzi Jr. issued a statement with his side of the story (FanShot). I know the statement has generated a lot of attention around the web, but personally I don't feel like anything new or unexpected came from it. I probably could burn a few hundred words here dissecting what was said, but I'd rather just move on.
Back on the field, Derek Ambrosio of The Hardball Times says he's not worried about Braun's performance this season. In what might be today's least surprising news, Prospect Insider says Braun (best bat) and Yovani Gallardo (best arm) have the Brewers' best tools. Nicholas Zettel of Disciples of Uecker has a look at how Gallardo could improve his efficiency.
Ron Roenicke is managing a team in spring training for the second time, and talked to Adam McCalvy about his strategy of giving the players input in the schedule. Of all the players in Brewer camp, Norichika Aoki might be making the biggest adjustment: He told Tom Haudricourt (linked via Twitter) that in Japan spring training workouts go longer, but the players get every fifth day off.
It's also Aramis Ramirez's first spring in Brewer camp. Adam McCalvy has a profile of the team's biggest offseason acquisition.
Here's your daily reminder that Mat Gamel is having the most important spring of his life: MLB Depth Charts listed him and Wily Peralta as the Brewers' players to watch this spring.
It has to be a frustrating spring for 2011 first round pick Jed Bradley, who has been limited by a groin injury in his first opportunity to impress the big league coaching staff. The injury is not believed to be serious.
It's still possible this could be the Brewers' last spring in Maryvale, and for some that would be a welcome development. Keith Law published a massive guide to food near various spring training ballparks yesterday, and this was his entire entry on the Brewer facility:
Are you out of your mind? Don’t go to Maryvale.
My wife and I saw a game in Maryvale last spring and are planning on going back this year. I'll agree that it's not a neighborhood I'd like to hang out in at night or on a non-game day, but the facility is nice enough and I never felt unsafe while we were there.
Elsewhere in Maryvale, the Brewer marketing team used the facility yesterday to shoot the team's 2012 TV ads. It'll probably be a while before the finished products are unveiled, but Caitlin Moyer has a slideshow of pictures from the production.
The Brewers made a minor transaction yesterday, signing Chris Narveson to his 2012 contract. Narveson isn't arbitration-eligible, so he'll likely make something near the league minimum this season before getting a significant raise next year. Narveson was also the subject of yesterday's edition of "Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers" at Brewer Nation.
The BCB Community Projections continue this week, so take a moment if you haven't already to share your expectations for Rickie Weeks, Alex Gonzalez and the Brewers' other potential middle infielders, then check back later today to do the same for the team's catchers and center fielders.
Today in former Brewers:
- Tom Haudricourt (linked via Twitter) has a great story about LaTroy Hawkins and a kind gesture he made for Tim Dillard last season.
- Jason Bere is in camp as a special assistant with the Indians.
We've got a trifecta of spring training slice of life stories today:
- The only thing scarier than Rays outfielder Luke Scott is Rays outfielder Luke Scott carrying a pair of seven-foot-long spears.
- I think even Mets reliever Tim Byrdak dressed as Hulk Hogan would run away from that one.
- Elsewhere in Mets camp, first baseman Ike Davis gave me an idea for lunch.
Today's best infographics come via High Heat Stats, where they have an extensive look at how players' value (measured in wins above replacement and OPS+) changes as they age. In most cases it appears a player's peak comes younger than we'd expect.
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History notes the 40th anniversary of Hank Aaron signing the most lucrative contract in baseball history to that point, $600,000 spread over three years. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also been 6000 days since Paul Molitor's 500th double.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to switch machines.