Some things to read while changing the game.
As of this morning, you can fill in the month of March on your 2014 calendar. The Brewers released their spring training schedule on Tuesday afternoon, and here are some of the highlights:
- The Cactus League season opens with a road game against the A's on Thursday, February 27.
- The first of 14 home games at Maryvale Baseball Park will be against the Dodgers on Saturday, March 1 as part of a split-squad doubleheader. There's also a split-squad day on Sunday, March 9.
- The Brewers make four trips to Salt River Fields, visiting the Rockies and Diamondbacks twice each.
- The exhibition season will wrap up with a pair of games at Miller Park against the Royals on March 28-29.
As of this writing Norichika Aoki is scheduled to be a Brewer next spring, although his job status is something we'll probably discuss a fair amount this winter. Dobber Baseball compared his skill set to Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino's.
Carlos Gomez, however, is a lock to be patrolling center field in Maryvale. Lou Olsen of Reviewing the Brew gave Gomez an A+ for his 2013 season, and Benjamin Orr is projecting him to win a Gold Glove. I agree that he should win it, but I'll be surprised if anyone other than Andrew McCutchen actually does.
Moving from the best to the worst, Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs has compiled lists of the wildest swings and wildest pitches of the 2013 season. Alfredo Figaro, Jean Segura and John Axford (as a pitcher) appear on the former list, while Jimmy Nelson, Yovani Gallardo and Figaro appear on the latter.
Marco Estrada did not appear on either list, and that fact alone may have been enough to earn him an MVBRewers Honorable Mention. You can see his profile here, then check back at 1 to see who we're profiling today.
In free agency:
- Nick Michalski of The Brewers Bar looked at the full list of free agent pitchers and identified eight starters that could fall into the Brewers' price range: Alfredo Aceves, Erik Bedard, Chris Capuano, Freddy Garcia, Chad Gaudin, Jason Hammel, Roberto Hernandez and John Lannan.
- Of the pitchers on that list, only Hammel (#34) and Hernandez (#47) appear on noted leisured gentleman Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs' crowdsourced list of this winter's top 47 free agents. The community predicts Hammel will receive two years and $14.8 million while Hernandez gets one year and $3.6 million.
- Athletics Nation has a look at Scott Kazmir as a potential target for Oakland.
- Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk cautions fans against freaking out over salary implications of the winter's first few free agent contracts.
In the minors:
- Juan Francisco and Sean Halton each had big nights in the Dominican Republic last night, as they combined for six hits, two home runs and seven RBI in Licey's 18-8 win over Este. Ariel Pena also pitched the ninth inning for the winning side. Here's the box score.
- Closer to home, Jason Rogers went 1-for-3 with a walk, double and RBI in Surprise's 4-2 win over Mesa in the Arizona Fall League (box score). Mitch Haniger went 1-for-3 with a walk in the game, and David Goforth pitched a scoreless ninth for the save.
- John Sickels of Minor League Ball discussed Helena pitcher Barrett Astin as part of his recap of the third round of the 2013 draft, crediting Astin for strike-throwing and efficiency but also suggesting he may be moved to the bullpen in the long term.
Astros: Hired Pat Listach, Craig Bjornson and Ralph Dickerson as their new first base, bullpen and assistant hitting coaches, moved Dave Trembley from third base to bench coach and Eduardo Perez from bench to third base coach.
Dodgers: Designated reliever Peter Moylan for assignment and fired bench coach Trey Hillman.
Giants: Re-signed pitcher Tim Lincecum to a two-year, $35 million contract.
Twins: Hired Paul Molitor for a coaching role.
Today in former Brewers:
- Tom Haudricourt is covering the World Series for the JS and has a story on Mike Matheny settling into his role with the Cardinals.
- @Mass_Haas notes that Russell Branyan, who sat out the 2013 season, is playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic.
- nullacct continued his Face of the Franchise series yesterday with a look at Rick Manning as a representative of the 1986 team.
Of course, the World Series opens tonight. I'll be skipping at least the first game due to a prior commitment, and I'm not really interested in watching any of the other Red Sox/Cardinals games either. Grant Brisbee of Baseball Nation used science to identify this season's installment as the most annoying possible World Series.
Game 2 of the World Series will go head-to-head with an NFL game tomorrow night, the first of four possible times the Series could conflict with football's schedule. Bleed Cubbie Blue has a look at how MLB could've avoided these issues by starting the Fall Classic a day earlier.
This isn't Brewer-relevant, but today's most fascinating story comes from Ben Lindbergh of Grantland, who recently attended Baseball Scout School and wrote about the experience. (h/t BBTF, where you can also find links to parts 2-4 of the series)
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm still looking for a cup.