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The Brewers play their first game of the 2013 season today...but it's just a split-squad contest against themselves. We're talking about that and more in today's daily roundup of all things Brewers.
Some things to read while sticking out.
It's day eleven of spring training 2013 and we're ready for games...kind of. The Brewers hold an intrasquad game today, although it's scheduled to be just three innings long and the last inning will focus on bunt defense. The most notable thing to come from today will likely be the first game action of the spring for Yovani Gallardo and Marco Estrada, scheduled to pitch for opposing teams.
We won't be seeing the spring debut of catcher Rafael Neda today, as he's been returned to minor league camp. It's still likely Neda will see some action in spring training games while Jonathan Lucroy and Martin Maldonado are away at the World Baseball Classic.
We may see Ryan Braun, though. Adam McCalvy has a story about Braun and how the Brewer clubhouse is handling his latest round of controversy.
Looking ahead, the Brewers start to play actual nine inning Cactus League games on Saturday when they host the A's in Maryvale. That game and most of the others from the first week of action will only be broadcast online, as the first Brewer radio broadcast isn't scheduled until March 1. Nick Michalski of The Brewers Bar also has the list of the Brewer games scheduled to be televised this spring, but they don't start until March 11.
We already knew that Mike Fiers was scheduled to pitch tomorrow, but yesterday Mike Vassallo announced that Mark Rogers will take the mound against Carlos Carrasco and the Indians in Maryvale on Sunday.
With Gallardo, Estrada, Fiers and Rogers' first spring training action scheduled, it's probably safe to assume Wily Peralta will start one of the games early next week. Ron Roenicke raised the bar for Peralta a bit yesterday by suggesting he has a chance to be as good as Gallardo, CC Sabathia or Zack Greinke.
Other notes from camp:
- Reliever Jairo Asencio still has not reported to Brewer camp as he deals with a visa issue.
- Saturday's game between the Brewers and A's, the two Cactus League teams based in the city of Phoenix, is also a fundraiser for the city's swimming pools.
- The Brewers are taking things slow with Kelvim Escobar, who threw his first bullpen session yesterday. He's scheduled to pitch in the pen at least once more before facing live hitters.
- ASU student Carrie Adams of the JS has a video story on Aramis Ramirez and his second spring training as a Brewer.
- It's also Norichika Aoki's second spring with the Brewers, along with his second spring in the US. Tom Haudricourt has a look at how things are different for the Brewer right fielder in his second time around.
- ASU student Jason Galvin of the JS has a profile of bullpen catcher Marcus Hanel.
Here's today's daily first base update: Yesterday we mentioned that Corey Hart told Tim Kurkijian of ESPN he's planning on being back by April 20, but Ron Roenicke backed away from that suggestion and said the team is still planning on him being out into May.
Meanwhile, Mat Gamel is left to rehab and wait. Justin Schultz of Reviewing the Brew wonders if Gamel's latest injury will lead to the end of his time with the Brewers.
We're about a week away from the first games of the World Baseball Classic, with Pool B opening play in Taiwan on March 1. Brewer farmhand Hainley Statia is on the Netherlands' roster in that pool, and Mike Oz of Big League Stew has a look at his team.
Carlos Gomez was also originally scheduled to leave the team to go play for the Dominican Republic, but has since removed himself from their WBC roster. Curt Hogg of Reviewing the Brew has a look at his 2013 season outlook.
The Brewers and Cubs meet for the first time this spring a week from Sunday in Mesa. Nicholas Zettel of Disciples of Uecker has a preview of their regular season meetings.
In the minors:
- Tom Haudricourt has a story on Jed Bradley and the lessons he learned during a difficult professional debut season.
- Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com combined his, Keith Law of ESPN and Baseball America's top 100 prospect lists to produce a conglomerate ranking, and has Wily Peralta at 68.67.
- Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio has the first video update in a while from the renovation project at Time Warner Cable Field. Despite the snow outside, they're getting a lot done inside.
- Baseball America has a note on the Brewers' international activity in 2012, but it's subscriber-only.
Today in predictions, projections, power rankings and whatnot: David Schoenfield of ESPN has a reminder that he gave the Brewers a B- on their offseason report cards. That puts them in a tie for 16th among all MLB teams.
If you'd like more Brewer coverage today but you're sick of reading, we've got some options for you:
- @Mass_Haas has links to audio from Doug Melvin's Thursday appearance on MLB Network Radio and Ed Sedar and Hunter Morris' appearances on WTMJ.
- My Thursday appearance on The Watercooler with Jimmie Kaska on Sports Radio 1400 in Eau Claire has been archived.
- Finally, Thursday's edition of The Home Stretch Hangout with Justin Hull of 95.3 FM WSCO in Appleton features a conversation on Mike Fiers and Marco Estrada. We'll be back this afternoon and our likely topic is Jean Segura.
Nationals: Signed pitcher Chris Young to a minor league deal.
- David Schoenfield of ESPN crunched the numbers and says that in 1993 Greg Vaughn had the greatest Brewer defensive season of all time.
- Jose Veras has decided to pitch for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic.
And in baseball economics: Nationals owner Mark Lerner reports the team has already sold nearly 20,000 season tickets for the 2013 season. That would be 1.62 million tickets before single-game seats go on sale, a pretty remarkable feat considering the team sold less than 2 million tickets for the whole season in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
I have a pair of favorite spring training stories from Thursday:
- Rays Index has video of David Price's French bulldog Astro meeting his 2013 bobblehead.
Nationals Enquirer has a picture of five Nationals players piled onto a golf cart.
That's all I've got for you today, unless you wanted comic book reviews.