Some things to read while overplaying it.
We're onto day 15 of spring training 2013 and it's still very early, but so far Carlos Gomez has been the story of the Brewers' camp. He went 2-for-2 and drew another walk yesterday, prompting Adam McCalvy to write a story about his spring plate discipline. Apparently Gomez paid a former minor leaguer to throw him 50 pitches per day this winter, and waited until December to start swinging at them. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN says Gomez has "that 'wow' factor," and has some great comments from Ryan Braun about his skills.
Unfortunately, Gomez's big day wasn't enough to guide the Brewers to a win yesterday as they lost to the Padres in Maryvale and the Reds in Goodyear in split-squad action. We've got both recaps, if you missed them.
Hiram Burgos looked pretty good in his spring debut in Maryvale for two innings yesterday before getting knocked around a bit in the third. Adam McCalvy talked to Burgos about his rise through the minors in 2012 and his role on the Puerto Rican WBC team.
Having 17 innings to fill meant a lot of pitchers got to make their spring debut yesterday, including Jimmy Nelson (two scoreless), Johnny Hellweg (two scoreless), Ariel Pena (a run on two hits in an inning) and Jed Bradley (three runs, two earned in 1.2 innings). Tom Haudricourt says Bradley pitched better than his numbers would indicate.
The most ignominious debut belonged to Kyle Heckathorn, though, who was called in to clean up the ninth in Maryvale and gave up a homer to the first batter he faced. His reaction is our Tweet of the Day:
Well spring training starting off with a bomb... I mean bang— Kyle Heckathorn (@KyleHeckathorn) February 26, 2013
Many, if not most of the Brewers had better first weekend spring experiences. Dave Radcliffe of Yahoo has a look at five positive things to take away from the opening weekend of Cactus League play.
Donnie Murphy started at shortstop yesterday for the HomeBrews and went 0-for-1 with a walk, but did make a nice defensive play. Noted leisured gentleman Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs noted that Murphy's Steamer projections put him near the top of a list of players who don't have starting roles at this point.
Hunter Morris has had a somewhat disappointing start to Cactus League play: He played all nine innings at first base yesterday and went 0-for-4 to drop to 0-for-9 this spring. Tom Haudricourt talked to Ron Roenicke, though, who sounds like he's far from ready to give up on the 2012 Southern League MVP.
Other notes from camp:
- Kyle Heckathorn wasn't the only Brewer to give up a home run yesterday. John Fay of Cincinnati.com has video of Joey Votto taking Rob Wooten deep.
- Reds outfielder Jay Bruce sat out yesterday's game with a sore right heel.
- Michael Olmsted pitched his way out of a bases loaded, one out jam yesterday in his second scoreless outing of the spring.
- Taylor Green started at third base for the RoadBrews yesterday and has now already started games at first, second and third this spring.
- Josh Prince started in center field in the road game, and Adam McCalvy is on it.
- Minor league pitcher Greg Holle didn't get to appear in a game yesterday, but he did get to wear #100.
- 1720 fans paid to see the Reds and Brewers in Goodyear, while just 1191 paid to see the Padres and Brewers in Maryvale.
- The Hot Dog blew out the field in Monday's Sausage Race.
- ASU student Edmund Hubbard of the JS talked baseball and hockey with the Brewer representatives on the Canadian WBC team.
- ASU student Justin Marshall of the JS has pictures of various Brewers making defensive plays Tuesday.
Cactus League play continues today in Maryvale, where the Brewers will already be playing their fourth home game of the spring when they host the Mariners at 2 pm Central time. Yovani Gallardo will pitch today for the Brewers and is scheduled to face Hisashi Iwakuma. Jeff Sullivan of Lookout Landing stopped by last night to help us preview the Mariners.
Looking ahead, we're only a few days away from players beginning to depart for their national teams in the World Baseball Classic. The Brewers have players on all four teams in Pool D (USA, Mexico, Canada, Italy), and Jon Morosi of Fox Sports has a video preview of the group.
Norichika Aoki won't be playing in the WBC, but he will be a Brewer for a long time: Adam McCalvy clarified Aoki's contract situation and points out that the Brewers actually own his contractual rights for a full six seasons, like they do with other debuting major leaguers.
Aoki may have replaced Corey Hart in right field, but Hart's bat is still a key part of the Brewer lineup. Justin Schultz of Reviewing the Brew notes that Hart led all 2012 Brewers in Bill James' "Clutch Factor."
We're probably going to continue to have daily conversations on Kyle Lohse until someone bites the bullet and signs the former Cardinals pitcher. J.P. Breen of Disciples of Uecker has a look at the kind of value the Brewers would have to get out of a Lohse contract to justify losing their 2013 first round pick.
If you're one of the fans wondering why the Brewers are reluctant to sacrifice a first round draft pick to sign Lohse, here you go: Doug Wachter of The Hardball Times notes that nine of baseball's eleven best starting pitchers are former first round selections.
- Baseball Prospectus has released their list of the game's top 101 prospects and has two Brewers featured: Wily Peralta at #68 and Tyler Thornburg at #100.
Nashville broadcaster Jeff Hem has a look at the 2013 homes of the Opening Day roster from the 2012 Sounds.
Back in Milwaukee, the Brewers announced yesterday that tickets will go on sale on Friday for the final exhibition games at Miller Park on March 29 and 30.
If you'd like more Brewer coverage today but you're sick of reading, I've got a couple of options for you:
- Monday's edition of The Home Stretch Hangout is archived, and Justin Hull of 95.3 FM WSCO in Appleton and I spent around seven minutes talking about the 2013 Brewer catchers. We'll be back later today, and the likely topic will be Carlos Gomez.
- I'll also be making my weekly appearance today on The Sports Den with Downtown Ollie Burrows on SportsFan 100.5 in Wausau at 5:45.
Blue Jays: Claimed 1B Lars Anderson off waivers from the White Sox.
- I want to send out best wishes this morning to 1996 Brewer Mike Potts, now a state trooper in North Carolina, who is expected to be ok after being shot four times in the line of duty on February 18. (h/t Brewerfan.net)
- Carlos Villanueva was unable to complete the first inning in his Monday start for the Cubs.
- Old Time Family Baseball remembers and has pictures of a 1957 Hank Aaron cardboard cutout standup from Swift Meats.
My favorite spring training story of the day is this one: Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez made his first appearance of the spring with a scar on his forehead, and later told reporters it was rugburn from wrestling with his dog.
Just when you thought MLB couldn't release any more ridiculous caps...Metsblog has a photo of the Mets' "post game cap."
These aren't the retirements many were probably hoping for, but they're worth noting. Yesterday Major League Baseball announced the retirements of three veteran umpires and crew chiefs: Ed Rapuano, Tim Tschida and Derryl Cousins. Cousins is 66 and had worked 4496 major league games, the seventh most all-time. They'll be replaced as crew chiefs by Jim Joyce, Ted Barrett and Fieldin Culbreth.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to figure out what happened to the rest of my cheese.