Tuesday's Frosty Mug

Norichika Aoki went 2-for-4 with a triple yesterday while a few dozen people looked on.

Some things to read while updating your gym attire.

We're three days away from Opening Day, and as of this morning The Weather Channel has upgraded Friday's forecast to a much more optimistic-sounding "mostly sunny" and 52 degrees. As expected, Mark Attanasio's father Joe will sing the national anthem before the Brewers open their season. The first pitch will be thrown out by reigning Miss Wisconsin and Miss America Laura Kaeppeler despite the fact that she's a lifelong Cubs fan.

Back in Arizona the Brewers beat the White Sox in a 13-7 spring training slugfest yesterday to climb back above .500 in Cactus League play. Four Brewers had mutliple hits in the game and recent minor league signee Jason Jaramillo hit a grand slam to power the offense. I've got the recap here, if you missed it.

Zack Greinke got roughed up in his final spring appearance yesterday, allowing six runs (five earned) on five hits and three walks while finishing just three innings. After the game he told Tom Haudricourt, "That was such a mess I can't really think about it too much."

Other notes from the field:

The Brewers play a rare late spring split-squad doubleheader today, as Kyle Heckathorn and most of the Huntsville Stars (joined by Jonathan Lucroy, Mat Gamel and Nyjer Morgan) will take on the Cubs in Mesa at 2:05 and Randy Wolf and most of the Brewers will take on the Diamondbacks at Chase Field at 8:40.

Once the Brewers get back to Milwaukee a fair amount of attention will shift to Yovani Gallardo, who is making his third career Opening Day start. Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports lists Gallardo as baseball's 12th best pitcher getting the ball on the season's first day.

Ryan Braun, of course, will also get some attention. SweetSpot contributors have him fifth in their preseason NL MVP voting, and he's the only Brewer to appear in the top five on anyone's ballot.

All signs continue to point to Corey Hart being in right field on Friday. He's been cleared to rejoin the major league team and should see action in tonight's game.

Shaun Marcum won't pitch at home for the Brewers this weekend, making his 2012 debut against the Cubs on Monday instead. Jim Owczarski of OnMilwaukee.com says Marcum is the key to the Brewers' season.

Season preview week continues: Today's entry comes from Drew Silva of Hardball Talk, who listed the Brewers' life without Prince Fielder as one of his "Springtime Storylines."

The Brewers' biggest news item yesterday might have been the announcement of rosters for all four full season minor league affiliates:

Today in predictions, projections, power rankings and whatnot:

  • FanGraphs listed the Brewers 13th in their 2012 organizational rankings.
  • ESPN also has the Brewers 13th in their first power rankings of 2012.
  • Walk Like A Sabermetrician has the Brewers third in the Central, but is picking Zack Greinke to win the NL Cy Young.

If you haven't yet, please take a moment today to vote in this week's BCB Tracking Poll. It will remain open through the day and results will be posted tomorrow.

Also, if you're reading this before 2 pm there's still time to make your Prognostikeggers predictions for today's games.

Around baseball:

Giants: Signed pitcher Matt Cain to a five year, $112.5 million contract extension with a vesting option for 2018.
Indians: Pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez has been suspended for the season's first five games for hitting Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki with a pitch Sunday.
Nationals: Placed outfielders Michael Morse (lat strain) and Rick Ankiel (quad) on the DL.
Rays: Outfielder Sam Fuld will be out for 4-5 months following wrist surgery.
Reds: Signed first baseman Joey Votto to a ten year, $225 million contract extension through 2023.

The ripple effect of Cain's deal may be seen in Milwaukee, where the price of a possible Zack Greinke deal probably went up a bit yesterday. Greinke still isn't talking to the media about it, but Doug Melvin acknowledged that the new deal could affect negotiations. Grant Brisbee of Baseball Nation compares Greinke, Cain and Cole Hamels.

In former Brewers:

Marlins Park will be in the spotlight tomorrow night when the Cardinals and Marlins open the US-based portion of the 2012 MLB schedule. Hopefully they'll have this ironed out by then: A glitch with one of the sensors briefly prevented the roof from closing during a rainstorm on Saturday.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need more sunscreen.

Drink up.

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