Some things to read while updating your wardrobe.
Day seven of spring training 2013 opens with our first injury update, as Mat Gamel may return to workouts today after leaving Saturday's first official full-squad session with soreness in his surgically repaired right knee. Gamel is still wearing what's been classified as a "heavy brace" on the knee about ten months after having his torn ACL repaired last season, and missed yesterday's workout. Ron Roenicke told reporters he's not worried about Gamel yet.
Not everyone is healthy, but at least (almost) everyone is in camp. Todd Rosiak reports that reliever Jairo Asencio, who is still dealing with visa issues, was the only player to miss Saturday's workout.
Mark Attanasio was in camp Saturday for the annual team meeting before the first full squad workout. He told reporters he's still optimistic about this team's chances despite the quiet winter.
Looking back another day, Ryan Braun was back in the news on Friday afternoon when ESPN reported they'd found another document tying Braun to Anthony Bosch and Biogenesis, although it still includes no ties to any specific performance enhancing drugs. Ken Rosenthal says Braun is "entitled to a presumption of innocence," while Tim Brown of Yahoo says Braun is "a product of his era, or a casualty of his era, or a face of his era. Someday, perhaps, we'll know which."
Meanwhile, it's worth noting that no government agencies are showing any interest in the Biogenesis investigation.
This is the first Brewer spring training for Jean Segura, who projects to play most days at shortstop despite still being pretty young. Tom Haudricourt profiled Segura as part of his position-by-position look at the 2013 roster, and as of this writing over 80% of voters in this JS poll think the Brewers can contend with him filling that role. J.P. Breen of Disciples of Uecker welcomes in the Jean Segura Era. It certainly can't be worse than the Yuniesky Betancourt or Cesar Izturis Eras.
One of the first major milestones of camp has come and gone as the Brewers had picture day on Sunday. Here are some of the highlights:
- John Steinmiller has six second videos of Ryan Braun, Yovani Gallardo and Rickie Weeks posing.
- Mike Vassallo has a picture of Taylor Green, Jim Henderson and Jeff Bianchi in their respective WBC unis, while Jonathan Lucroy models his Team USA version and Hiram Burgos shows off the Puerto Rico colors.
- Vassallo also has a picture of Aramis Ramirez posing for his Topps card.
Other notes from camp:
- Acknowledging the problem is the first step, I guess: Aramis Ramirez is looking for ways to avoid his traditional sow start in April.
- Adam McCalvy has a look at Rickie and Jemile Weeks, two brothers looking to bounce back from difficult 2012 seasons.
- McCalvy also has a note on pitchers John Axford, Jim Henderson, Mike Fiers and Brandon Kintzler, four potential contributors to the 2013 team that the organization initially acquired for a combined $3500.
- Edmund Hubbard of the JS has a video story on the Brewers' primary catchers, Jonathan Lucroy and Martin Maldonado.
- Ron Roenicke told Adam McCalvy that Bobby Crosby is still in the mix for an Opening Day roster spot.
- Santo Manzanillo is a long shot to make the roster at this point, but he appears to be fully healthy and is catching people's attention with his increased velocity in bullpen sessions.
- Taylor Green fainted while giving blood for his physical on Saturday, but appears to be ok.
- Bob Uecker was in attendance for this weekend's workouts.
- Maybe he got in some lifting while he was there. Adam McCalvy has a story on Maryvale Baseball Park's new weight room, part of $1.5 million in upgrades to the park since last spring.
- Todd Rosiak reports that Ron Roenicke doesn't drink coffee, and only likes orange juice if it's fresh-squeezed.
- Tom Haudricourt has a story on Kelvim Escobar, who is looking to get back to the majors for the first time since 2007 and didn't even pick up a baseball in 2011.
Escobar is also the topic of the latest edition of The Brewer Nation's "Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers" series.
As the Brewers work to assemble their Opening Day roster, it's worth noting that they have a fair amount of flexibility. MLB Trade Rumors points out that just four players on the roster bubble are out of options: Jeff Bianchi, Mat Gamel, Chris Narveson and Mark Rogers.
Tyler Thornburg is likely ticketed for AAA to open the season and probably sits seventh or eighth on the depth chart at starting pitcher at the moment, but Matt Whitener of MLB Depth Charts listed him as a possible candidate to steal a spot on the Opening Day roster.
It also could be a big spring for Hunter Morris, whose chances to make the Opening Day roster could increase significantly if Mat Gamel's health issues continue. Adam McCalvy talked to Morris about his focus on defense in 2012, and how it led to a big year on offense for the Southern League MVP.
In the minors:
- Pitcher Nick Bucci was added to Canada's roster for the 2013 World Baseball Classic last week, but is now back off the roster. It's unclear exactly what happened.
- Todd Sommerfeldt of the La Crosse Tribune has a hometown profile of pitcher R.J. Seidel. (h/t @Mass_Haas)
- 2012 second round pick Tyrone Taylor is back on Twitter with a new account after forgetting the password for his previous one.
If you'd like more Brewer coverage but you're sick of reading, Friday's edition of The Home Stretch Hangout features Jack Moore of CBSSports.com, FanGraphs and Disciples of Uecker and I talking Ryan Braun (in an interview recorded before Friday's news). The Hangout will be back again later today, when Justin Hull and I are scheduled to discuss Corey Hart.
Marlins: Signed first baseman Casey Kotchman to a minor league deal.
Nationals: Avoided arbitration with pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (one year, $5.35 million).
Orioles: Signed pitcher Jair Jurrjens to a minor league deal.
Padres: Avoided arbitration with third baseman Clayton Richard (one year, $5.24 million).
Rays: Signed DH Jack Cust to a minor league deal.
Reds: Avoided arbitration with pitcher Homer Bailey (one year, $5.35 million).
With Bailey, Richard and Zimmermann off the board, there will not be an arbitration hearing this spring for the first time since MLB introduced the current salary arbitration procedure. There had never been less than three cases in a season before.
One of those arbitration-eligible players, by the way, was Padres 1B/OF Kyle Blanks. Blanks has run up three-plus seasons of major league service time despite playing just 146 career games, including four in 2012. He's missed 320 games over that time due to injuries and has made 79 minor league rehab appearances.
Today in former Brewers:
- Francisco Rodriguez is still a free agent, but will pitch for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic.
- Zack Greinke talked to reporters in Dodger camp over the weekend and Eric Stephen of True Blue LA has a story on his past anxiety issues and how he's gotten past them.
- Hardball Talk has a story on Rays spring training invitee Juan Sandoval, who is blind in one eye. I did not know that when Sandoval was a Brewer minor leaguer in 2008 and 2009.
- Jorge Castillo of the Newark Star Ledger talked to LaTroy Hawkins about pitching to Michael Jordan in the minors.
- Roch Kubatko of MASN talked to Orioles spring training invitee Travis Ishikawa about his only previous visit to Camden Yards as a fan in 1997.
- Nick Michalski of The Brewers Bar found a 1982 AL Championship ring on Ebay.
Today's sabermetric note comes via Mark Smith of FanGraphs, who looks at the changing profile of a major league corner outfielder. Brewer fans are likely well acquainted with the change after watching Norichika Aoki patrol right field.
Today's baseball economics notes are Cub-centric:
- The city of Chicago currently limits the Cubs to 30 night games per season at Wrigley Field, and that number will not go up this season.
- The Cubs' current TV deal with WGN expires following the 2014 season, and the team appears to be strongly considering not renewing it.
My favorite spring training stories from the weekend are as follows:
- Orioles outfielder Adam Jones filled teammate Kevin Gausman's locker with donut holes.
- New Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera, who missed the Giants' stretch run in 2012 due to suspension, is apparently angry because his old team has not yet scheduled delivery of his World Series ring.
Sometimes over the course of a long offseason we forget things. In the unlikely event that you've forgotten why we don't like the Cardinals, the second edition of Cubie Rue at Ron Roenicke Stole My Baseball has you covered.
This is relevant to absolutely nothing, but it made me laugh so I'll share it: Nationals Enquirer has a photo of new Presidents Race participant William Howard Taft on a snowmobile.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to clean up.