Some things to read while picking up strays.
We're 42 days away from pitchers and catchers and Canadian front office-staffers reporting to Maryvale, and this morning we have a reminder that the Brewers are flush with the third item on that list. Doug Melvin (sixth), assistant GM Gord Ash (31st) and scout Jay Lapp (52nd) all made the Toronto Sun's list of baseball's 100 most influential Canadians for 2012. Melvin fell from #2 in 2011 to #6 in 2012, and John Axford went from #6 last year to off the list entirely. (h/t @Mass_Haas)
In case you're wondering, today is also the day Martin Maldonado heads back to the gym to get ready for the 2013 season. His Puerto Rican winter league regular season just wrapped up over the weekend, so his offseason was pretty short.
One can only assume Shaun Marcum is also getting ready for 2013, although he still doesn't know where he's headed. The Indians have reportedly been in touch with Marcum but signed Brett Myers yesterday (noted below), so it's possible they're no longer in the market. Roughly 5% of voters in this MLB Trade Rumors poll think Marcum will be the last top 50 free agent to sign.
Marcum is also the #4 starter on our 25-man roster of active former Brewers. Their lineup would be a little weak but with a Sabathia-Greinke-Capuano-Marcum-Villanueva rotation I'm not sure that would be a problem.
Moving back to players still with the Brewers, the Wisconsin Sports Blog has a look at the Brewers' new bullpen.
As the calendar turned over to 2013 David Schoenfield of ESPN penned a list of New Year's resolutions for players around baseball, and challenged Ryan Braun to "reaffirm" his position as the NL's best player.
Rickie Weeks' resolution may be "move more baserunners." Lee Panas of Tiger Tales has Weeks near the bottom of his lists of the best and worst players at advancing runners in 2012. Jonathan Lucroy does appear near the top of one of those lists, though.
In the minors: Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio has a look at the work done to this point on renovations to Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium. Work continues in the snow and cold and the ballpark is still on pace to be ready for Opening Day in April.
Today in former Brewers:
- In honor of the first day of 2012, Kevin Kimmes of Cream City Cables has a look at the Brewers who have worn #1.
- Joe Posnanski of Sports on Earth is working on an epic, three-part post on the players on this year's Hall of Fame ballot. He included Jeff Cirillo and Royce Clayton on his list of players with no chance, and Julio Franco on his list of players just shy of being worthy.
- By the way, Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times points out that today is Clayton's birthday. It's also Jeff Suppan's.
Speaking of the Hall of Fame, it's starting to look increasingly likely that the BBWAA will induct no new members from one of the most loaded ballots in the history of the organization's annual voting. The Book Blog has a look at the precedent for selecting no one and what it would mean going forward.
Finally, here's today's most interesting statistical note: The Rays led all of baseball in walks in 2012 despite drawing just 571 free passes. That's the first time a league leader in a full major league season has drawn less than 600 walks since Boston led with 582 in 1968.
Now, if you'll excuse me, Chuck Norris is back.