Some things to read while considering the alternatives.
Day 44 of spring training 2013 starts with my excitement for the season ahead at an all-time low. In a move I would not have believed was possible, yesterday the Brewers signed Yuniesky Betancourt to a major league deal that could pay him up to $1.4 million this season with incentives. Betancourt is expected in Maryvale today for a physical.
The news of Yuni's return isn't good for most of us but it's especially bad for Donnie Murphy, who was informed yesterday that he's not going to make the roster and may request his release. Murphy appeared in 24 Cactus League games this spring and hit .239/.314/.457 over 46 plate appearances.
This move was met with all of the anger you might expect from the return of one of the least popular recent Brewers, perhaps highlighted by Jaymes Langrehr of Disciples of Uecker's collection of reaction gifs and Dayn Perry of NotGraphs' collection of Yuni memes. Adam McCalvy said "all of the Yuni vitriol is sort of tired" and referred to Yuni as "a useful player" and "definite upgrade," although fellow MLB.com scribe Matthew Leach called him out for that. Ron Roenicke Stole My Baseball also takes on the notion that Yuni is better than the Brewers' internal options.
I could try to explain why so many of us are displeased to see Yuni back in a Brewer uniform, but I think Nathan Aderhold of MLB Daily Dish hit it on the head with this quote:
"I don't have any sort of personal thing against Yuni, I just don't really understand how he provides something for you beyond what any other no-hit, no-field guy kicking around in the minors could do for less money."
If you want to try to paint a happy face on this, Tom Haudricourt notes that Yuni was hitting .447/.451/.574 in 18 Grapefruit League games for the Phillies this spring. Miller Park Drunk took on that notion in our Tweet of the Day:
Did you see that guys? Yuni had a GREAT spring. Ignore those two straight seasons of .650ish OPS— Miller Park Drunk (@millerparkdrunk) March 26, 2013
I will admit, having a day to stew about Yuni's return did make me back-burner my frustration over Monday's Kyle Lohse deal, although the fact that the Brewers took out a full page ad in the JS to promote it certainly brought it back to my attention. Mike Vassallo has a picture of Lohse's bullpen session from Tuesday.
Speaking of Lohse, David Schoenfield of ESPN has a look at what the Brewers are giving up in the #17 overall pick, and says they "lose maybe a 1-in-10 chance of drafting a star." Minor League Ball now shows the Brewers top three picks in the 2013 draft as being #54, #72 (their competitive balance pick) and #90.
Lohse is scheduled to pitch in tomorrow's Cactus League game and, if it goes well, he could pitch in the Brewers' second game of the season on April 2. That would coincide with Singles Night on the Dew Deck.
The Betancourt signing wasn't the Brewers' only transaction yesterday: They also announced that Taylor Green (hip) and Mark Rogers (shoulder instability) will open the season on the DL. Green's stint will be backdated to March 22, while Rogers' technically started on March 25.
It was greatly overshadowed by some of the day's other news, but the Brewers also announced yesterday that longtime Milwaukee Braves shortstop Johnny Logan will be inducted into the Miller Park Walk of Fame on June 6 before the game against the Phillies. I'm still not sure why they're doing it then instead of waiting two weeks to do it during the 6/21-23 series against the Braves.
Today in predictions, projections, power rankings and stuff:
- Four of the eight writers at The Pinstriped Bible have the Brewers finishing third in the NL Central, while the other four all have them finishing worse.
- Jonathan Bernhardt of Sports on Earth has the Brewers finishing last.
- Lee Trocinski of Beyond the Box Score has a preview for the 2013 Brewers and is predicting a long year for Aramis Ramirez.
Astros: Released infielder Tyler Greene.
Athletics: Placed infielder Adam Rosales on the DL with an intercostal strain.
Indians: Re-signed pitchers Daisuke Matsuzaka and Matt Capps to minor league deals.
Padres: Infielder Logan Forsythe is likely to open the season on the DL with plantar fasciitis in his right foot.
Phillies: Released pitcher Aaron Cook.
Red Sox: Released first baseman Lyle Overbay.
Tigers: Placed outfielder Avisail Garcia onto the DL with a heel contusion.
White Sox: Placed pitcher John Danks on the disabled list as he continues to recover from shoulder surgery.
Yankees: Released infielder David Adams, signed first baseman Lyle Overbay and claimed pitcher Dan Otero off waivers from the Giants.
If any team had a worse day than the Brewers yesterday, it might have been the Diamondbacks. Three likely members of their Opening Day roster (second baseman Aaron Hill, outfielder Jason Kubel and infielder Willie Bloomquist) all left last night's game with injuries.
Looking back, Frank Jackson of The Hardball Times has a great post on a frequently forgotten part of baseball history in Milwaukee: The White Sox home games played at County Stadium in 1968 and 1969.
Elsewhere in historic ballparks, a longtime minor league stadium in Indianapolis that had recently been used as a salvage lot for cars is now being renovated for use as loft apartments. That might be the coolest news I've heard today.
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks longtime Brewer pitcher Jaime Navarro's 46th birthday. Today also would have been Milwaukee Brave Wes Covington's 81st birthday, and Plunk Everyone notes that his 24 career HBP are the fourth most ever for a player born on March 27.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to rehydrate.