As the equipment truck loads for Arizona, we're looking at what the Brewers are doing to get ready for spring in today's daily news roundup.
Some things to read while evaluating your prospects.
We are 27 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Maryvale, but apparently it's never too early to start loading the truck for Arizona. Tom Haudricourt is reporting the Brewers' first equipment truck (containing items the team needs for Fantasy Camp) will leave Milwaukee tomorrow. Last year's "Truck Day" media event was held on Feburary 7.
After a relatively quiet winter the Brewers will arrive in Arizona with some significant questions regarding their starting rotation. Jeff Passan of Yahoo has the Brewers ranked 20th coming into the spring largely because of those issues.
That slow winter hasn't had as big of an impact on 2013 ticket sales as you might expect, though: The Brewers announced yesterday that they've reached 1 million tickets sold, and this is the second earliest in franchise history they've reached that mark. The record was set last winter, when they did it nearly a month earlier.
The biggest item of business remaining for the Brewers this week will happen tomorrow when they're expected to trade contract proposals with their four arbitration-eligible players. Adam McCalvy has a primer on what happens next.
I'm not sure if these numbers mean anything, but I thought they were interesting: Corey Hart hit 16 of his 30 home runs in 2012 with no one out, good for third place in all of baseball in that category. Ryan Braun hit 14 home runs each with one and two outs, putting him among the leaders on both of those lists.
The biggest thing we worry about when players from our favorite team play winter ball is injury, but this might be a close second: Adam McCalvy found a story in Spanish saying that recent Brewer signee Jairo Asencio was kicked off his Dominican team for what sounds like an attitude issue. With help from Google Translate, here's a sentence that appears to tell the story:
"In a press release the high command romanense team states that the attitude of Asencio, besides being a recidivist, lacking respect for the game, his teammates, the fans and the franchise headquarters in this city."
In happier news, yesterday the Brewers unveiled Norichika Aoki's bobblehead to be given away on April 7.
In the minors:
- Baseball Prospectus has released their list of the Brewers' top ten prospects for 2013, led by Wily Peralta.
- Yadiel Rivera had a couple of hits and scored twice but it was not enough as Mayaguez beat Santurce 7-6 in the final game of the round robin portion of Puerto Rico's winter league playoffs. You can read about that and more in today's Winter League Recap.
- Martin Maldonado and Mayaguez now advance to a best-of-three series for the league championship and a possible berth in the Caribbean World Series.
- Hainley Statia, who split 2012 as a utility infielder between Huntsville and Nashville, will play for the Netherlands in the WBC. The rest of the provisional rosters are expected to be announced this morning.
- John Sickels of Minor League Ball has released a couple of excerpts from his 2013 prospect book (which I highly recommend, by the way) and Damien Magnifico and Mitch Haniger are among the players featured.
- The Brewer Nation has a look at lefty pitcher Travis Webb, #75 on your spring training roster, as part of their "Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers" series.
- Taylor Jungmann is currently leading the voting for the #3 spot in our 2013 BCB Community Prospect Rankings over Hunter Morris and others. You have until 1 pm today to cast your vote, and voting for the #4 spot will open at 2.
We'll start off today's "Around baseball" section with a three-team trade:
|Athletics Get||Mariners Get||Nationals Get|
|C John Jaso (from SEA)||1B/OF Mike Morse (from WAS)||P A.J. Cole (from OAK)|
|Two minor leaguers|
To make room on the roster for Jaso, the A's designated George Kottaras for assignment.
Elsewhere around baseball:
Angels: Released pitcher Jo-Jo Reyes.
Blue Jays: Re-signed reliever Darren Oliver to a one-year, $3 million contract.
Dodgers: Signed reliever Peter Moylan to a minor league deal.
Orioles: Signed manager Buck Showalter and GM Dan Duquette to contract extensions through 2018.
Padres: Avoided arbitration with outfielder Will Venable (one year, $2.675 million).
Rangers: Signed pitcher Matt Harrison to a five-year, $55 million contract, buying out three free agent years.
Tigers: Signed utilityman Don Kelly to a minor league deal.
Yankees: Avoided arbitration with pitcher Phil Hughes (one year, $7.15 million). Also, third baseman Alex Rodriguez will open the season on the DL following hip surgery.
Perhaps you've already seen it, but my favorite thing from yesterday was an Auburn fan's effort to remake the school's baseball uniforms in the style of all 30 MLB teams. You can see the Brewers version here or head over to College and Magnolia to see them all.
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks what would have been catcher Darrell Porter's 61st birthday. Plunk Everyone notes that Porter's 45 career HBP are the most ever for a player born on January 17.
Finally, our condolences go out this morning to the family of former Seattle Pilot Fred Talbot, who passed away on January 11 following what his obituary called "a long illness." Talbot appeared in 25 games for the Pilots in their lone season in Seattle as part of an eight-year major league career.