Friday's Frosty Mug: WGN debut today

USA TODAY Sports

The Brewers haven't been playing all that well this spring, but at least they're on TV today. We're talking about that and more in today's daily news roundup.

Some things to read while finding your place.

Spring training day #39 has to be a better one for Mike Fiers, who was roughed up yesterday in an 8-3 loss to the White Sox. Morineko has the recap, if you missed it. Fiers allowed seven runs on eight hits over just three innings and only recorded one strikeout. Fiers told Todd Rosiak he's still looking for consistency this spring.

Meanwhile, one of yesterday's offensive highlights was an inside-the-park home run for Ryan Braun, his first home run since the first day of Cactus League play.

Taylor Green was not in the lineup and hasn't played since Tuesday: He suffered a hip injury during BP before the game that day and is day-to-day. With Green and Bianchi hurt the door is open for Donnie Murphy to make an impression and maybe win a spot on the bench, and he went 2-for-2 with a double and a home run yesterday.

Other notes from camp:

Cactus League play continues today as the Brewers play the Cubs at 3, with Yovani Gallardo taking on former Brewer Carlos Villanueva. That game can be heard on WTMJ. Today's game will also be televised on WGN, giving us a chance to check out the Crew's "YOUniform" contest winners. If you can't wait until then to see them, Mike Vassallo has a picture.

Looking ahead, the Brewers play a split-squad doubleheader on Sunday and it'll be a big day for Mark Rogers, who is expected to start one of those games. His performance could go a long way towards determining the Opening Day bullpen.

John Axford is having something of a rough spring, but at least some of us aren't worried. Kevin Nielsen of Fake Teams predicts Axford will lead the NL in saves again in 2013 and pass 100 strikeouts for the first time. Axford struck out 86 opposing batters in 2011 and 93 last year.

Axford has yet to appear on this list, meaning he's either in the top 300 or outside entirely. ESPN unveiled players #301-400 on their list of baseball's top players for 2013 yesterday and Mike Fiers (#360) and Marco Estrada (#375) were the Brewer representatives.

Alex Gonzalez started at first base yesterday, went 1-for-3 and is now hitting .242/.229/.394 in 13 games this spring. He's still likely to be the Opening Day starter at first base, and he's also the latest subject of The Brewer Nation's "Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers" series.

I'm reluctant to even bring him up, but Kyle Lohse's name keeps surfacing in connection with the Brewers. Jim Bowden of ESPN repeated what we've heard before: The Brewers don't want to give up their first round draft pick, so a deal is unlikely. Meanwhile, Rob Neyer wonders if teams' refusal to give Lohse $45 million shows they're getting smarter with their money.

In the minors:

Around baseball:

Dodgers: Shortstop Hanley Ramirez underwent thumb surgery and will open the season on the DL.
Rangers: Released pitcher Yoshinori Tateyama.

Today in former Brewers:

This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks what would have been Milwaukee Braves catcher Gene Oliver's 78th birthday. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also been 2000 days since the final major league games of Jeff Cirillo, Bob Wickman, Damian Miller and Royce Clayton and 5000 days since the Miller Park crane collapse. Today is also 1999-2000 Brewer Sean Berry's 47th birthday, and Plunk Everyone notes that his 32 career HBP are the second most ever for a player born on March 22.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I see the signal.

Drink up.

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