Some things to read while coming back.
We're about 24 hours away from Opening Day at Miller Park, and the Brewers wrapped up exhibition play yesterday with a 5-4 win over the White Sox. Noah has the recap, if you missed it. Rickie Weeks homered in the game and the Brewers came from behind with a three-run eighth largely powered by likely members of the 2013 Nashville Sounds.
The Brewers also announced their final two roster decisions before and after yesterday's game, naming Khris Davis to the team in the morning and Alfredo Figaro in the evening. Reliever Donovan Hand is one of the odd men out despite pitching a perfect ninth for the save yesterday. Jim Owczarski of OnMilwaukee.com has your introduction to the 2013 roster.
While two new Brewers made the roster over the weekend, one 2012 Brewer moved on: Josh Stinson was claimed off waivers by the A's on Friday, almost a year to the day after the Brewers claimed him from the Mets.
Meanwhile, Chris Narveson is still on the roster but he'll be moving to a new role: He's going to open the season in the bullpen and Ron Roenicke said he's likely to pitch in relief of Kyle Lohse when the newest Brewer makes his first start on Wednesday or Friday. Narveson compared his situation to that of 2012 Braves phenom Kris Medlen, who opened the season with a limited workload in order to finish strong.
Other notes from the field:
- With Blake Lalli falling just short in his effort to make the team, Logan Schafer will serve as the emergency catcher this season.
- The Brewers drew 16,975 fans to yesterday's second exhibition contest with $10 tickets.
The Brewers are off today before opening the 2013 season against the Rockies tomorrow. Yovani Gallardo will face Jhoulys Chacin at 1:10, and Tracy Ringolsby has the MLB.com preview. If you're heading out to Opening Day or the first series, you may also want to check out John Steinmiller's homestand notes.
By the way, if you're going to tailgate before tomorrow's game you're no longer allowed to bring your own portable restrooms. The Brewers have banned them to protect their contract with Waste Management, the team's exclusive handler of fecal matter.
When Yovani Gallardo takes the mound tomorrow he'll be just the second pitcher in Brewers franchise history to make four consecutive Opening Day starts, joining Ben Sheets. He told Adam McCalvy his goal for this season is 20 wins.
When Alfredo Figaro won the final roster spot yesterday, it left the Brewers in an interesting spot statistically: @Mass_Haas notes that 13 of the 25 players on the Opening Day roster were born outside the US. By my count, 19 of the 46 players the Brewers used in 2012 were born outside the country. Figaro, by the way, will wear #45 while Khris Davis will get #18.
The Brewers will also open the 2013 season with five players here: Bless You Boys has a list of the 125 highest-paid players for the season ahead and Kyle Lohse and Rickie Weeks are the first Brewers mentioned (tied for 79th). Corey Hart (90th), Aramis Ramirez (tied for 95th) and Ryan Braun (tied for 107th) are also featured. Lohse's 2013 salary is actually $4 million, but this list includes salary he's deferred to 2016-18.
Hart, by the way, was the subject of the final 2013 installment of The Brewer Nation's "Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers" series.
Sadly, the 2013 season also appears destined to open with Yuniesky Betancourt on the roster. Alex Poterack of Disciples of Uecker has a look at what having Yuni on the roster means for the fan experience.
If you haven't been around the site since Friday, make sure you go back and check out Part One of Nathan Petrashek's two-part interview with Jeff Passan of Yahoo. We've been critical of Passan and his work in this space at times, but I think the interview to this point has provided much more insight on where he's coming from. I'm looking forward to seeing Part Two later this week.
In the minors:
- Minor league rosters were tentatively announced yesterday, and the 2013 Nashville Sounds will be headlined by Tyler Thornburg, Johnny Hellweg, Hiram Burgos, Hunter Morris and Scooter Gennett.
- AA Huntsville's roster includes pitchers Taylor Jungmann, Jimmy Nelson, Ariel Pena and outfielder Kentrail Davis.
- High-A Brevard County will have pitchers Jed Bradley, Drew Gagnon, David Goforth and shortstop Yadiel Rivera to open the season.
- Finally, Wisconsin has a top pick-laden roster with Clint Coulter, Tyrone Taylor, Mitch Haniger, Orlando Arcia and Jorge Lopez all getting their first shot at full-season ball.
- Rattler Radio has much more on the 24 players opening the season with Wisconsin, including Twitter handles for 20 of them.
- Brewerfan.net has a look at which players are missing from Opening Day rosters, with the most notable probably being Nick Bucci.
- Meanwhile, the news isn't as good for these four: The Brewers have released 2008 fifth round pick Maverick Lasker, 2010 seventh round pick Joel Pierce, 2008 33rd round pick Michael White and 2008 46th round pick Carlos George. All but Pierce played for Wisconsin in 2012.
With the season upon us, the season preview posts have been cranked up to full blast:
- All seven predictors at the Journal Sentinel have the Brewers missing the playoffs, with win projections ranging from 76 on the low end (Bob Wolfley) to 85 (Tom Haudricourt).
- David Schoenfield was the only one of 43 baseball experts at ESPN to predict the Brewers will make the playoffs, while three writers (Marty Bernoski, Jim Bowden and Dan Szymborski) picked Ryan Braun to be NL MVP.
- Aside from Schoenfield, the only other place I've seen anyone predict the Brewers will make the playoffs is at Bless You Boys, where three of the eight writers have them winning a Wild Card.
- Meanwhile, the Brewers went 0-for-31 in playoff appearances in FanGraphs' staff predictions.
- They also went 0-for-13 in the MLB.com staff predictions. (h/t BBTF)
- Grant Brisbee and Rob Neyer of Baseball Nation previewed the NL Central, with Grant saying "I'd put them in that Diamondbacks tier, where they might not be the favorites in the division, but they will probably be annoying the teams at the top for most of the year." Neyer classified the Brewers as "one of those tweener teams; you're not crazy for liking them, but if you're objective you can't really pick them."
- Three of the six voting writers at Hardball Talk have the Brewers finishing third in the Central, while the other three have them finishing fourth.
- Lew Freedman of Call to the Pen also has them fourth.
Elsewhere in predictions and power rankings: Tim Brown of Yahoo has the Brewers opening the season at #21, and You Can't Predict Baseball predicts that Norichika Aoki will have more triples than home runs.
Elsewhere in non-optimism: On Friday Bovada released updated odds for the 2013 season and the Brewers are a longer shot to win both the NL and World Series than they were in February. Their win total over/under has also been downgraded from 81.5 to 80.5.
If you'd like more Brewer coverage this morning but you're sick of reading, the latest View From Bernie's Chalet Podcast is up and features conversations on Kyle Lohse, league previews and the NL Central.
Astros: Placed outfielder Fernando Martinez on the DL with a strained back.
Athletics: Claimed pitcher Dan Otero off waivers from the Yankees and designated first baseman Daric Barton and pitcher Travis Blackley for assignment.
Blue Jays: Claimed pitcher Alex Burnett and first baseman Clint Robinson off waivers from the Twins and Pirates, respectively, and designated first baseman Lars Anderson for assignment.
Cubs: Released pitcher Dontrelle Willis.
Diamondbacks: Signed first baseman Paul Goldschmidt to a five-year, $32 million contract extension with a club option for 2019 and announced outfielder Cody Ross will open the season on the DL with a calf strain.
Giants: Signed catcher Buster Posey to a nine-year, $167 million contract extension with a club option for 2022.
Mets: Designated infielder Reese Havens and pitcher Darin Gorski for assignment.
Orioles: Acquired reliever Scott Proctor from the Giants for cash and signed pitcher Freddy Garcia to a minor league deal.
Rays: Placed DH Luke Scott on the DL with a calf strain.
Red Sox: Released outfielder Ryan Sweeney.
Tigers: Signed pitcher Justin Verlander to a five-year, $140 million contract extension for 2015-19 with a vesting option for 2020.
Yankees: Designated pitcher David Aardsma for assignment.
Today in former Brewers:
- The Catlantis has a photo of Nyjer Morgan batting in Japan.
- George Kottaras has made the Royals as a backup catcher.
- Jamey Wright has made the Rays and will pitch for his 18th major league season.
While the Brewers and White Sox were two of several MLB teams to play exhibitions against each other this weekend, several other teams played their annual game against their own minor leaguers. These games mean nothing, of course, but the downside to playing them is that you might lose to your own AA team like the Pirates did.
Are you ready for our Opening Day game thread? If you're uncertain, you may want to sharpen your meme skills with Yar Nivek's Sporcle quiz on our commenter inside jokes.
Now, if you'll excuse me, it's time to sing again.