Thursday's Frosty Mug

Carlos Gomez wants to make sure we don't forget that the Brewers now have two ties this spring.

Some things to read while celebrating an improvement in dignity.

We're 15 days away for Opening Day and, for the first time in a while, we have some reason to believe this could be the Brewers' last spring in Maryvale. Laurie Roberts of the Arizona Republic (via @Mass_Haas) is reporting that the Brewers are negotiating with the city of Scottsdale regarding the possibility of constructing a new facility. The team would apparently help finance the new park, while the city is working to find other private partners to get involved. The Brewers' lease in Maryvale expires following this spring, but they hold multiple two-year options to extend it.

Corey Hart's rough spring continued yesterday, as he was hit in the head while lifting weights and required eight stitches. Nicole noted that his ongoing struggles are becoming comparable to former Brewer reliever Matt Wise, who once missed time with an injury suffered when he cut himself on a salad server. At any rate, this latest mishap shouldn't affect Hart's ability to be ready for Opening Day.

On the field, Yovani Gallardo, Daniel Hudson and seven relievers combined for 18 shutout innings yesterday as the Brewers and Diamondbacks played to a rare 0-0 Cactus League tie. We've got the recap here, if you missed it. Gallardo apparently spent much of the game working on his often discussed but rarely used changeup, and told Adam McCalvy he's "starting to feel comfortable" with the pitch.

Other notes from the field:

While the Brewers were away yesterday, Shaun Marcum remained at home and pitched two innings in a minor league game, allowing a solo home run but nothing else. He says he'll be ready to go by the time the Brewers need him in the rotation on April 9 or 10.

Away from the field, yesterday's biggest news was the team's announcement of plans to unveil a Bob Uecker statue outside Miller Park on August 31. Adam McCalvy captured several Uecker quotes in his post, while Tom Haudricourt shared a few more via Twitter.

The Brewers are off today, but you might see them on TV tonight: Tom Haudricourt is reporting that several of them will attend Marquette's NCAA tournament game in Phoenix in a suite purchased by Rickie Weeks.

ESPN has launched a project this spring to rank baseball's top 500 players, and Chris Narveson (#362) was mentioned yesterday as they unveiled players 350-400. Carlos Gomez (#458) and Mat Gamel (#461) also cracked the top 500.

Speaking of Gamel, he was one of several Brewers held hitless yesterday, but even after that performance he's still third among all spring training batters in Carson Cistulli's SCOUT stat. Gamel deserves a fair amount of credit for turning himself from a question mark to the clear starter at first base this spring.

Norichika Aoki had one of the Brewers' five hits yesterday, and now has six in his last four starts. Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker says we're starting to see how Aoki can get extra base hits with line drives and speed.

Aramis Ramirez also had a hit yesterday and was the subject of The Brewer Nation's latest edition of "Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers."

Brooks Conrad followed Rickie Weeks at second base yesterday and popped out in his only plate appearance. Yesterday we mentioned that Todd Rosiak said he seems likely to make the team, and today Adam McCalvy has an article confirming that.

In the minors:

  • TRatsBaseball.com has pictures of Michael Fiers, Eric Marzec and Kevin Berard from minor league games yesterday.
  • Baseball America has a story on the Brewers' pitching prospect depth, but it's subscriber-only.

Today's pundit prediction is another downer: Eric Karabell of ESPN says the Brewers are the 2011 playoff team least likely to repeat in 2012.

Around baseball:

Braves: Third baseman Chipper Jones will retire following the season.
Cardinals: Pitcher Chris Carpenter will likely open the season on the DL with a bulging disc in his neck.
Indians: Claimed pitcher Rick Vandenhurk off waivers from the Blue Jays and designated pitcher Kelvin De La Cruz for assignment.
Mariners: Released pitcher Shawn Camp.
Orioles: Pitcher Zach Britton could open the season on the DL with shoulder soreness.
Twins: Returned Rule 5 pick Terry Doyle to the White Sox.

Jon Paul Morosi notes that Carpenter is 36 and led the National League with 237.1 innings pitched in 2011, then tacked on 36 more in the postseason. That extensive workload may not be the primary cause of his current health issues, but it likely didn't help.

In former Brewers:

Today in baseball economics: Forbes released an annual look at franchise values yesterday and concluded that 27 teams made money in 2011, with the Mets, Phillies and Angels serving as the exceptions. Grant Brisbee of Baseball Nation has much more on the findings.

This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History notes the 72nd birthday of Dick Ellsworth, the only Wyoming-born player in franchise history. Today is also 1999-2000 Brewer Sean Berry's 46th birthday, and Plunk Everyone notes that his 32 career HBP are the second most ever for a player born on March 22.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm in the middle of a text-based adventure.

Drink up.

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