The Brewers enter the 2013 predicted to finish below .500 by the people who set gambling lines. We're talking about that and more in today's daily roundup of all things Brewers.
Some things to read while figuring it out.
Day three of spring training 2013 is Valentine's Day, but the Brewers aren't getting much love from the oddsmakers in Vegas. The first batch of 2013 over/unders from The Atlantis are out and the Brewers' betting line has been set at just 79.5 wins. That's only half a win better than the Pirates and nine behind the Reds.
The projection systems have the Brewers in similar territory: AZ Snakepit notes that Baseball Prospectus has the Brewers winning 79 games this season and CAIRO has them down another step at 78.
Back in Arizona, there are five empty lockers in Brewer camp awaiting the arrival of five players dealing with visa issues in the Dominican Republic: Jairo Asencio, Alfredo Figaro, Miguel De Los Santos, Ariel Pena and Jean Segura have all come across issues in their travels to the US. Pena and Segura's issues appear to be resolved, but it's unknown how long the others will take.
Another empty locker in the clubhouse belongs to Ryan Braun, who is expected to report on Friday. He's already said he won't discuss performance enhancing drugs with the media when he gets there. Ron Roenicke reiterated yesterday that the Biogenesis story "shouldn't be out there."
Corey Hart is still several weeks away from being able to fully rehab his surgically repaired knee or participate in baseball activities, but he's in camp anyway and maintains he's ahead of schedule in his efforts to get back on the field. He's due for another MRI in early March, and if that goes well he can start more intense rehabbing.
Meanwhile, only one player in camp is limited by an injury discovered in spring training physicals. Left-handed reliever Travis Webb, who was a long shot to make the roster anyway, has a minor shoulder issue and won't throw for a week or two.
Other notes from camp:
- Adam McCalvy has a spring training preview for the bullpen, which returns just one member (John Axford) from Opening Day 2012.
- Tom Haudricourt talked to Hunter Morris, who is excited to be in major league camp but appears to know he's a long shot to make the roster.
- The ASU students covering spring training for the Journal Sentinel have a photo gallery from camp's first official workout.
- John Steinmiller has a six second video of Tyler Thornburg bunting.
- Yovani Gallardo cut his hair.
- Brandon Kintzler got married at a drive-through chapel in Las Vegas this winter.
We're a little more than a week away from the first spring training games, and Baseball By Paul featured Norichika Aoki in his countdown post from yesterday. He says "the 31-year old import is still a bit underrated."
This either means they're really not interested, or a deal will be announced tomorrow: Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt the Brewers have not been in touch with Kyle Lohse or his agent, Scott Boras.
In the minors:
- The Wisconsin Sports Blog has an interview with spring training invitee Jimmy Nelson.
- Rodrick Anderson of the Sulphur Daily News has a hometown profile of spring training invitee outfielder Josh Prince. (h/t @Mass_Haas)
If you'd like more Brewer coverage this morning but you're sick of reading, check out Wednesday's debut edition of The Home Stretch Hangout, where Justin Hull of 95.3 FM WSCO in Appleton and I spent a little more than six minutes discussing Yovani Gallardo. We're planning on making it a daily feature throughout the spring.
Meanwhile, this transaction that didn't happen might be bigger news than anything that did: White Sox manager Robin Ventura turned down the team's offer of a contract extension.
Earlier we reported that Felix Hernandez's seven-year, $175 million contract with the Mariners was complete, but that was before we knew this detail: It contains an option that gives the Mariners an extra season for just $1 million if Hernandez misses significant time with an elbow injury.
Today in former Brewers:
- Brewerfan.net has a note on seven Brewer minor league free agents, including Josh Butler and Tim Dillard, who have yet to find work this winter.
- Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com has a story on Bill Hall's efforts to make the Angels' Opening Day roster.
- Ken Rosenthal has a story on Zack Greinke as "a baseball junkie."
- Jeff Cirillo was the 1990's only inductee into Disciples of Uecker's "Hall of Greatness." Jeromy Burnitz, Greg Vaughn and Dave Nilsson were the next three in line behind him.
- Former Brewer knuckleballer Steve Sparks will be calling Astros games on the radio this season.
Here's my favorite spring training story from today: Nationals pitcher Ross Detwiler decorated third baseman Ryan Zimmerman's locker with photoshopped pictures of him on a safari.
We also have an early nominee for 2013's weirdest spring training injury: Rays reliever Joel Peralta injured his neck while getting out of his car at a restaurant.
Today in baseball economics, Wendy Thurm of FanGraphs has a great look at the financial plight of the AAA Memphis Redbirds, who have a beautiful new ballpark and a mountain of debt to go with it.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to ask you to stay behind the rope.