Thursday's Frosty Mug

Mar. 14, 2012; Mesa, AZ, USA; Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Randy Wolf (43) throws during the third inning against the Chicago Cubs at HoHoKam Park. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

Some things to read while finding a better dance partner.

Before I get started this morning, I wanted to take a moment to thank the Admiral, morineko, Jordan, JP, Nicole and Noah for all of their work keeping the site active and current while I spent a week in Arizona. Because of them I was able to relax and recharge a bit, and the site should be better off for it.

With that said, we're 22 days away from Opening Day and Randy Wolf's bat appears to be ready. He pitched four innings, went 2-for-2 in his first plate appearances of the spring and drove in a run in the Brewers' 10-2 win over the Cubs in Mesa yesterday. JP has the recap.

Other notes from the field:

The Brewers are back on the field again today, with Chris Narveson taking the mound as they host the Padres at 3:05. There's no radio or TV coverage to speak of, but the game will be broadcast live on Brewers.com. Mike Vassallo has the lineup and informs us that Wily Peralta, Tyler Thornburg and Francisco Rodriguez are also expected to pitch.

Meanwhile, The Official Site has a couple of video interviews from Brewer camp:

  • Carlos Gomez talks about bouncing back from injury and the 2012 Brewers.
  • Mat Gamel discusses moving from third to first base.

Gamel, by the way, scored two runs yesterday and continues to draw attention with his productive spring. Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs has Gamel fifth among all batters this spring in his SCOUT stat, and Cream City Cables listed him among March's most interesting stat lines to this point. Gamel is also the subject of one of Troy Patterson of The Hardball Times' five questions facing the Brewers.

Jonathan Lucroy is also mentioned in that Cream City Cables post, as he's been one of the most productive Brewers this spring. Marc Hulet of FanGraphs notes that he's also one of just ten projected regular catchers in 2012 with collegiate catching experience. Joey Nowak of MLB.com has a story on how having Lucroy and most of 2011's pitchers back gives the Brewers some continuity in camp.

Logan Schafer went 0-for-1 yesterday and is now only hitting .556/.579/.944 in ten games this spring. The Brewers don't really have a place to play Schafer at this point, but Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt the team is not considering trading him. Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker agrees with the decision.

Rickie Weeks had a hit, drew a walk, stole a base and scored two runs yesterday. He was also the subject of the latest post in The Brewer Nation's "Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers" series.

This is a big spring for Frankie De La Cruz, who is out of options, but it hasn't gone well to this point as he's allowed seven earned runs in his first 3.1 innings. Ron Roenicke told reporters he's still in the mix for a bullpen spot, though. The news isn't as good for Juan Perez, who is out of the hospital but still can't throw for a week or so as he recovers from a partially collapsed lung.

John Axford isn't expected to pitch again until tomorrow, so he has time to do some lobbying: The Hall of Very Good has a video of his speech in support of the "Stache Act."

Away from the field, several Brewers worked together this week to collect toys for a local church in Maryvale. Manny Parra has a picture of the result.

In the minors:

Today in predictions, projections and whatnot:

It's a relatively quiet day around baseball, unless you're a Royals fan:

Royals: Catcher Salvador Perez will likely open the season on the DL following knee surgery.

Today in former Brewers:

The Brewers are in the middle of a strange stretch in their Cactus League schedule, as they play three split-squad doubleheaders and nine games total in seven days. The Reds also had a weird schedule quirk yesterday: They played a split-squad doubleheader with both halves at home.

How about some baseball economics? Larry Stone of the Seattle Times reports that the Mariners lost $7.3 million last season, and drew under 2 million fans to Safeco Field for the first time.

As part of the new collective bargaining agreement Major League Baseball has unveiled a new social media policy for its athletes. Both Craig Calcaterra and I are pleasantly surprised to see that it's a pretty forward thinking, encouraging document.

Here's a reminder of how quickly everything we discuss here can become a side note to something far more important: Big League Stew has pictures of players and spectators at a Mexican League game diving for cover after gunfire erupted nearby.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go outside.

Drink up.

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