Some things to read while finding something to believe in.
We're 21 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training, and we're going to spend at least a few more of those days facing uncertainty about Corey Hart's status going forward. Hart's plan to have arthroscopic knee surgery Tuesday was shelved when he decided to seek a second opinion. Lance Allen reports that Hart's surgery now won't be performed until Thursday at the earliest. I flipped that around in my head and read it as "it's possible this will only mean a two-day delay."
In the meantime, Hart's uncertainty is great news for Mat Gamel. Ron Roenicke told 540 ESPN yesterday that he's "comfortable" with Gamel at first base, although it's hard to imagine him saying any different publicly.
The Brewers are probably better equipped to handle losing Corey Hart for a month than they would be to weather a similar injury to a member of their rotation. Howie Magner pointed out that none of the Brewers' young pitchers appear on Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated's list of pitchers facing increased injury risk in 2013.
Meanwhile, we have a new candidate for 2013's most interesting spring training story: The Brewers signed shortstop and 2004 AL Rookie of the Year Bobby Crosby to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training yesterday despite the fact that he hasn't played organized baseball at any level since 2010. Crosby impressed Brewer scouts at a workout in January and will get a chance to compete for a bench job.
The Brewers now have 19 non-roster invitees to major league spring training, but if Nick Michalski of The Brewers Bar had his way they'd have more: He's got the list of remaining free agent starting pitchers and looks at some buy-low possibilities.
The upcoming season is a huge one for Carlos Gomez as he'll represent his home country in the WBC, profiles to be an everyday center fielder for the first time and approaches free agency this fall. Noted leisured gentleman Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs has a look at Gomez and his Dominican WBC teammates.
It's still early, but it's possible this will be the most unexpected thing I read today: Howie Magner spotted Doug Melvin on NBA TV yesterday.
In the minors:
- Martin Maldonado and Mayaguez picked up a win last night to even the Puerto Rican winter league championship series at two games apiece. Game 5 of the series is scheduled for tonight.
- Halos Heaven says Ariel Pena and Jean Segura (who both came to the Brewers in the Zack Greinke deal) had the 14th and 15th best performances by Angels minor leaguers in 2012, respectively.
- Speaking of Pena, he's one of ten candidates for the #6 spot in our BCB Community Prospect Rankings. Hunter Morris has opened up a big lead on the field in the voting, but you still have until 1 pm to make your voice heard. Voting for the #7 spot will open at 2.
- The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers will be giving away (manager) Matt Erickson bobbleheads to all fans when they open their home season on April 8.
Blue Jays: Signed infielder Mark DeRosa to a one-year, $750,000 deal and designated pitcher Sam Dyson for assignment.
Cardinals: Signed reliever Jason Motte to a two-year, $12 million contract to avoid arbitration.
Diamondbacks: Avoided arbitration with shortstop Cliff Pennington (two years, $5 million).
Phillies: Signed outfielder Delmon Young to a one-year, $750,000 deal.
Rays: Signed pitchers Juan Carlos Oviedo (formerly Leo Nunez), Jamey Wright and Juan Sandoval and outfielder Shelley Duncan to minor league deals.
Red Sox: Designated pitcher Chris Carpenter for assignment.
Reds: Signed pitcher Armando Galarraga to a minor league deal.
Watching the Brewers slash payroll this winter has been frustrating at times, but it could always be worse: The Marlins salary slash-and-burn has been much more drastic and now the MLBPA is threatening to take action against them.
2013 will be the first year in a while where my wife and I aren't planning a March trip to Arizona for spring training. If you are heading out there, though, and especially if you're going for the first time, Dave Cameron of FanGraphs' advice on the trip is a must-read.
Elsewhere in road trips: If you were planning on following the Brewers out to Seattle in August you may want to get your tickets early: The Mariners will be inducting Ken Griffey Jr. into their Hall of Fame on August 10, before the Saturday game in that series.
Meanwhile, the Brewers will induct one former Milwaukee Brave into the Miller Park Walk of Fame (Johnny Logan) this summer, but no former Brewers for the eighth consecutive year. Larry Granillo of Baseball Prospectus has a look at the decision to leave out players like Teddy Higuera, Ben Oglivie and Jeff Cirillo and nails it with this sentence:
Unless the lesson is that there is a generation of Brewers history worth forgetting completely, the current Walk of Fame is failing miserably at achieving the goal of connecting 21st century Brewers fans to Milwaukee baseball history.
I also have this note on a couple of Milwaukee Braves: David Schoenfield of ESPN says Eddie Mathews (1953) and Hank Aaron (1957) had the 14th and 18th best seasons ever for a player under 25 years old.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to give someone a sense of perspective.