March 10, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs manager Dale Sveum (right) talks to Milwaukee Brewers manager Ron Roenicke (left) before the game at Maryvale Baseball Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE
Good morning and welcome to the Jordan edition of the Frosty Mug. I haven't mugged since way back in 2010 when I ran the show for a few weeks. So I broke out the old Google Reader list and here's all the news fit to print from the weekend.
The biggest news in the official article linked above is on the injury front. That's pretty much the only actual news worth monitoring at this stage in the year. Nyjer Morgan is just fine after Barry Zito put a "fastball" into his helmet in Saturday's game, though he sat out yesterday's game. Meanwhile, Corey Hart's recovery from knee surgery is going well and has an "outside chance" at being ready for the opener, though it doesn't sound like they will be rushing anything. One other injury to note, that's lefty non-roster invite Juan Perez, who suffered a partially collapsed lung and is expected to be out for at least a week.
Yoenis Cespedes had a pretty impressive debut for the A's over the weekend. In his first game on Saturday he went 2-2 with a walk, single, and home run in 3 at-bats. Here's the video from MLB.com in case you want to see the Cuban sensation in action.
MLBTR has a week in review with a bunch of transaction notes from the past week. This includes the note that Zack Greinke will most likely hire an agent at the end of the season (Signals intention to request trade?). To sum up what we know about that whole situation, Greinke will negotiate with the Brewers on his own if they approach him with an extension offer.
Fangraphs has a list of minor league system rankings, and the Brewers check in at number 29. Probably not a surprise but it still stings a bit to see the Brewers ranked that low. I have nowhere near the expertise to know if 29 is actually a fair ranking or not, but I do think it's very clear that the system has taken a step forward in the past year, and the major league team doesn't exactly have a short-term need for high-upside bats but that will most likely be the primary focus in the June draft.
In other Fangraphs rankings we have the top 15 teams in terms of starting pitching. We already talked about the Brewers sitting at 17. I'll take the Brewers group over Seattle, Florida, Boston, Minnesota, the LA Dodgers, the White Sox, and Indians. However, remember that it's all based on ZiPS (and Marcum only got 2 WAR), so it's more of a reflection of that than of a conscious decision to knock the Brewers.
One interesting pitcher to keep an eye on this spring (especially for the fantasy players among is) is former Cub Andrew Cashner, sent to the Padres in the deal to acquire first baseman Anthony Rizzo. Cashner averaged 102.22 MPH throwing 10 consecutive fastballs and topped out at 103.3. There seems to be thought that the camera was a touch off, as spring training Pitch f/x cameras sometimes are, but even if it was 2 MPH high that's some impressive heat. Working at Petco Park this year for a team that lost its top two relievers during 2011 he could become a dominant option pretty quick.
The Disciples of Uecker conglomerate pumped out a few stories this weekend, among them some minor league notes on how impressive Tyler Thornburg has been, a comparison between Logan Schafer and Caleb Gindl, and Mark Rogers seeing his first action on the mound for some time. I'd like to tell you how hard Rogers was throwing on Saturday but it doesn't look like there was a Pitch f/x camera working for either Brewer game that day. Also at DoU, the case is made for an extension for Jonathan Lucroy. As with any talk of extension, something below market value should be pursued. Ron Roenicke says that he "couldn't ask for more" from Lucroy this spring, as he's 7-11 with 4 extra-base hits already.
Marc Hulet from Fangraphs dropped his top 100 prospect list for all of baseball today. Wily Peralta is number 88, Taylor Jungmann is number 61 (Hulet has always been very high on Jungmann). The top 3 of Matt Moore, Bryce Harper, and Mike Trout should surprise no one. Interestingly, he says that if eligible, Yu Darvish would rank 8th on the list, and Yoenis Cespedes would rank 32nd. If anything that says a lot about how much the draft supresses salaries, it says that anyone ranked above 32 could do better than the 4 year, $32 million contract Cespedes got from the A's.
Jonah Keri previewed the Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays for Grantland. Grant Brisbee previewed the A's on the Baseball Nation mothership. This is also pretty cool, Fangraphs and Beyond the Boscore author Bill Petti appeared on MLB Network and had a discussion about "clutch hitting" (which, to be clear, exists but is not at all predictable or a repeatable skill, which is commonly misunderstood). Also at Beyond the Boxscore, a neat illustration about hitter durability. Is it just me, or does Beyond the Boxscore have a heck of a lot more graphs than Fangraphs?
This week in stupid controversies, the Astros will keep the gun as part of the logo on their throwback Colt .45 uniforms this season. Also, in case you are starting to feel yourself warming up to the Cardinals now that Tony La Russa and Albert Pujols are gone, here's your reminder that Chris Carpenter is on their team. This link will tell you all about how he has a bulging disk and will miss some time. According to Rob Neyer they're getting Lance Lynn ready to start, so if you were wondering which annoying Cardinals reliever is going to take part in the annual tradition of being a moderately effective starter in 2012, your answer has arrived.
The Jose Canseco story is very weird. Here's him tweeting something funny. Deadspin has been making Jose Canseco tweets into motivational posters, I've linked the entries tagged with "Josayings" right here.
One more prospect note from the morning, but Bryce Harper won't be breaking camp with the Nationals. I didn't realize that was even an option for the 19 year old, but it seems likely he could be up by June.
That's about all I have for you this morning, feel free to add any interesting links in the comments. Soon enough I'll be summarizing the community projections series and doing some fun things with the results, but this week could be a bit too busy for that, so we will get there when we get there. The Brewers don't play today so you'll have to survive without a box score today. 25 days until opening day!