Monday's Frosty Mug

Ryan Braun may have flown out in this at bat, but he's picked up seven of his nine Cactus League hits in the last six games.

Some things to read while being mistaken for someone else.

We're four days away from Opening Day on Friday, and The Weather Channel has downgraded the forecast a bit: The high temperature for the day is now projected to be just 51 under partly cloudy skies.

Back in Arizona, the Brewers have won three straight games and seven of their last nine to get back to .500 on the spring after beating the Giants 7-4 yesterday. JP has the recap here, if you missed it.

Yesterday's game was the Brewers' last spring home game in Maryvale for 2012, but it likely won't be their last ever. The team and the City of Phoenix have reached a tentative agreement to extend the lease on the facility, contingent on a vote from the City Council and $1.5 million in improvements around the grounds (FanShot). The new lease is for ten years, but the Brewers get the right to opt out anytime after the second season if certain criteria are met.

Other notes from the field:

  • Ryan Braun went 1-for-4 with a double yesterday and has a hit in six straight games.
  • Brian Anderson was in Maryvale yesterday as a fan and took this picture from the spring's final game there.
  • 6069 people paid to see the Brewers' home finale.

The Brewers play their final four exhibition games on the road this spring, starting with today's 2:05 start against the White Sox in Glendale. Zack Greinke will take the mound for his final start of the spring, in a game exclusively broadcast via Gameday Audio at Brewers.com.

The team got multiple pieces of good news on the injury front this weekend. First, Shaun Marcum pitched five scoreless innings in the minors on Friday, is expected to pitch in the Brewers' spring training finale on Wednesday and should be on track to pitch against the Cubs on April 9.

Meanwhile, Corey Hart is also expected to be in right field when the Brewers open play Friday. He's expected to play in two of the team's final three Cactus League games tomorrow and Wednesday after playing in minor league games in five straight days from Wednesday to yesterday. Hart also made headlines this weekend by saying the Brewer clubhouse has a more positive atmosphere this season. He told WSSP, "We lost a few guys that could veer toward the negative vibe once in a while."

If Marcum and Hart are ready in time and the team doesn't make a move between now and then, the Opening Day roster is more or less finished three days in advance of Wednesday's 4 pm deadline. Mike McClendon was one of the last Brewers cut as he was optioned to Nashville on Friday. Edwin Maysonet has also been returned to minor league camp.

The 25 man roster appears all but set but the team still has a handful of roster moves to make this week as Brooks Conrad, Cesar Izturis and potentially Travis Ishikawa will need to be added to the 40 man roster. The team cleared one space by outrighting pitcher Amaury Rivas to Nashville (FanShot). Rivas was viewed as a top prospect at one point but is 26 and stagnated a bit in AA last season.

The Opening Day rotation is also set: Yovani Gallardo, Zack Greinke and Randy Wolf will pitch the first three games for the Crew and face Jaime Garcia, Adam Wainwright and Lance Lynn, respectively.

There's still a chance, however, that the Brewers could make one or more moves to bring in a player before Wednesday's roster deadline. Alex Poterack of Disciples of Uecker has a look at their bench, which is drawing a fair amount of negative attention.

Mat Gamel went 0-for-4 yesterday, but still hit a pair of home runs (including a grand slam) Saturday and leads the team with six this spring. Howie Magner voiced tentative approval for getting excited.

Alex Gonzalez is also swinging a hot bat this spring, as he's hitting .440 and is tied for the team lead with 14 RBI. Tom Haudricourt (linked via Twitter) has a look at Gonzalez's performance.

Here's the latest update on Zack Greinke's agent situation: Jim Bowden of ESPN says the pitcher is expected to hire an agent before Opening Day, and it's believed it'll be Casey Close. Close represented Greinke when he was traded to the Brewers in 2010, but has since switched firms.

I doubt the Brewers would even consider trading these guys at this point, but I guess that's the point: MLB Depth Charts listed Yovani Gallardo (#32) and Greinke (#46) among the players ranked between 26-50 in all of baseball in trade value. SweetSpot also had Greinke fifth in their preseason NL Cy Young voting, while Gallardo was 15th.

Gallardo also joins Ryan Braun, Aramis Ramirez and John Axford on Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com's All-NL Central team.

One can only assume season previews will be everywhere this week: Adam McCalvy got the jump on the crowd by posting his this morning. In a related note, The Brewer Nation's "Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers" series continued over the weekend with profiles of Taylor Green and Norichika Aoki.

It's minor league moving day today, as the Brewers are expected to announce the rosters for their full season affiliates. Brewerfan.net has a list of players who have revealed where they're headed on Twitter, with the most notable being Jed Bradley's announcement he's skipping Wisconsin and going to Brevard County.

Elsewhere in the minors:

Today in predictions, projections and whatnot:

If you'd like more Brewer coverage today but you're sick of reading, my appearance on The Sports Train on WCCF in Fort Myers, Florida yesterday morning has been archived.

Around baseball:

Astros: Released pitcher Livan Hernandez.
Braves: Signed pitcher Livan Hernandez and acquired third baseman Juan Francisco from the Reds for a minor league pitcher.
Blue Jays: Acquired pitcher Ryota Igarashi from the Pirates for cash.
Diamondbacks: Sent a minor league pitcher to the Pirates in exchange for the right to retain Rule 5 pick Brett Lorin.
Dodgers: Pitcher Ted Lilly will open the season on the DL with a stiff neck.
Giants: Released infielder Mike Fontenot and placed infielder Freddy Sanchez (shoulder), pitchers Ryan Vogelsong (back strain), Eric Surkamp (elbow strain) and Dan Runzler (lat strain) on the DL.
Indians: Signed shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera to a two year, $16.5 million contract extension.
Mariners: Released pitcher Aaron Heilman.
Marlins: Pitcher Juan Carlos Oviedo still has not joined the team, but will face a six week suspension when he does.
Padres: Signed pitcher Cory Luebke to a four year, $12 million contract extension with club options for 2016 and 2017.
Phillies: Signed infielder Andres Blanco to a minor league deal.
Rays: Acquired outfielder Kyle Hudson from the Rangers for future considerations.
Royals: Signed outfielder Alex Gordon to a four year, $37.5 million contract extension.
Twins: Pitchers Kyle Waldrop (elbow strain) and Scott Baker (elbow tendonitis) will open the season on the DL.
White Sox: Signed first baseman/outfielder Conor Jackson to a minor league deal.
Yankees: Pitchers Cesar Cabral (stress fracture in his elbow) and Michael Pineda (shoulder tendonitis) will open the season on the DL.

Today in former Brewers:

  • Baseball Nation listed Takashi Saito, Henry Blanco and Guillermo Mota among their candidates to be baseball's oldest player in 2013.
  • Erik Komatsu is going to make the Cardinals as a Rule 5 pick after hitting .278/.333/.389 with six stolen bases this spring.

As of this writing, 28 people have projected Brewer playing time as part of Tom Tango's Community Forecast project. If you haven't yet, please take a moment to do so today.

Given the high stakes and the emotional news being handed out, I'm surprised things like this don't happen more often: Paul Sullivan is reporting that one Cubs player threw his hat in the garbage on his way out after being cut from major league camp.

This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History notes the 21st anniversary of the Brewers releasing Mike "Tiny" Felder, one of the organization's all-time leaders in stolen bases. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also Don Sutton's 67th birthday and has been 20,000 days since Eddie Mathews' best offensive game (as measured by WPA).

Now, if you'll excuse me, I believe I've won a truck.

Drink up.

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