Some things to read while becoming a tastemaker.
Day 21 of spring training 2013 may be the quietest of the spring, as the Brewers are off today. Ron Roenicke told Tom Haudricourt the team doesn't even have any pitchers scheduled to throw today, so Maryvale will be vacant while several players and coaches participate in a golf tournament.
Some of the Brewers who aren't in the golf tournament will be off to the WBC: Ryan Braun was one of the notable players to leave Brewer camp over the weekend to join the US team. Braun was nursing a sore knee after fouling a pitch off his leg on Friday but appears to be fine.
Meanwhile, Yovani Gallardo's WBC plans are in doubt after he was scratched from his scheduled start on Sunday with a groin strain. He threw a bullpen over the weekend and reported no ill effects, so it's still possible he could join Team Mexico.
Even if the Brewers weren't off today, it'd be another day of rest for Aramis Ramirez: He left a game over the weekend with a knee sprain after an awkward slide into second base and will be out for a week or so. An MRI revealed no structural damage, though, so he should be fine once he's had some time to recover.
The Ramirez injury prompted Howie Magner to write our Tweet of the Day:
Stamps, coins, fungi... #Brewers should really find something to collect other than damaged knees.— Howie Magner (@howiemag) March 3, 2013
The timing on the Ramirez injury is, unfortunately, a little awkward. @Mass_Haas notes that this could have been a golden opportunity for Taylor Green and/or Jeff Bianchi to soak up some extra playing time as they try to win one of the final roster spots, but both are off with their WBC teams.
Speaking of Green, Tom Haudricourt has a great story on the adversity he and his family have overcome and his mother's fight to recover following a stroke. If you only click one link in this morning's Mug, you could certainly do worse than that one.
Elsewhere in players vying for a roster spot, Johnny Hellweg is quickly becoming March's breakout star. He pitched a pair of scoreless innings in Sunday's 4-3 win over the Cubs and has now worked six scoreless this spring.
Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that the Brewers are on a winning streak. Their 4-3 victory over the Cubs gave them back-to-back wins for the first time this spring. Jordan has the recap, if you missed it.
Other notes from camp:
- With Yovani Gallardo scratched, Marco Estrada started on Sunday and pitched four scoreless innings. He still has yet to allow a run this spring.
- Mark Rogers pitched in a B game against Italy on Friday morning and had to come out after two innings and four walks.
- ASU student Justin Marshall of the JS has photos from that game against Italy.
- Kelvim Escobar's spring debut on Sunday ended early when he left with a hand issue.
- Dave Radcliffe of Yahoo is making a case for Johnny Hellweg, Hiram Burgos and Logan Schafer to make the Opening Day roster.
- William Boor of MLB.com talked to Josh Prince about his first experience in major league camp.
- ASU student John De Groote of the JS talked to Brewers who don't play video games about MLB the Show, which comes out this week.
He's still only had about a dozen plate appearances, but Carlos Gomez continued his hot spring on Saturday with his first Cactus League home run. Tim Muma of Brewers Mix has a preview of Gomez's last pre-free agency season and says it's "officially his time."
Elsewhere in positional previews, over at Cream City Cables Nathan has a look at the Brewer catchers heading into the 2013 season.
Now seems like as good of a time as any to mention that Martin Maldonado is one of several players that have left camp for the WBC. David Brown of Yahoo has a preview of his Puerto Rican team.
In the minors:
- The Netherlands is off to a 1-1 start in the WBC but has done so without much help from Hainley Statia, who has made just one plate appearance in the team's first two games.
- We've got a new chapter in the Brevard County stadium saga, as a developer near Orlando is pitching an idea for a new facility for the Manatees. (h/t @Mass_Haas)
- 2012 Wisconsin Timber Rattler Nick Ramirez was one of the first players to start a trend of getting decals with their name/initials (instead of the usual jersey number) on the handles of their bats.
Back in Milwaukee, the Brewers announced a new sponsorship over the weekend: TravelWisconsin.com will now be the providing sponsor for postgame shows on the Brewer Radio Network. The Wisconsin Department of Tourism also awarded the Brewers a "Travel Green Wisconsin" certification.
If you'd like more Brewer coverage today but you're sick of reading, the latest edition of the View From Bernie's Chalet Podcast is up and features discussions on the first base situation, Kyle Lohse, the bullpen and more.
Also, the Home Stretch Hangout took the day off on Friday but should return today to talk about the Brewer news from the weekend.
Angels: Pitcher Bobby Cassevah declined an outright assignment to the minors and became a free agent.
Cubs: Pitcher Matt Garza is expected to open the season on the DL with a lat strain.
Mets: Reliever Frank Francisco is expected to open the season on the DL with elbow inflammation.
Rangers: Pitcher Martin Perez is unlikely to be ready for Opening Day after breaking his ulna when he was hit by a line drive.
Rockies: Signed pitcher Bobby Cassevah to a minor league deal.
Meanwhile, a few of baseball's young stars probably aren't too happy today. Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton ($537,000), Angels outfielder and near-2012 MVP Mike Trout ($510,000), Diamondbacks pitcher Wade Miley ($500,500) and Rays pitcher Jeremy Hellickson (terms unknown) all have less than three full seasons of major league service time and had their contracts renewed at or near the league minimum by their organizations over the weekend. Meanwhile, Royals reliever Aaron Crow was an All Star in 2011 and pitched in 72 games in relief in 2012 and was rewarded with a 20% pay cut.
Today in former Brewers:
- Shaun Marcum, who was pulled from the Mets rotation last week to strengthen his shoulder, is now scheduled to pitch in a B game tomorrow.
- Bill Hall, who suffered a leg injury over the weekend, is wearing #0 in Angels camp.
- Faith and Fear in Flushing compared his baseball fanhood to the spring training of LaTroy Hawkins.
- Let's Go Tribe listed Julio Franco as the 60th greatest Cleveland Indian of all time.
Across the Pacific, play continues in the opening round of the 2013 World Baseball Classic. If you've been following the games or are just starting to get interested, this massive infographic was designed with you in mind.
Let's talk about spring training stories:
- Nationals reliever Will Ohman was cut from big league camp during a game over the weekend.
- The Cubs are making infielder Logan Watkins try new foods this spring.
Today in baseball economics: The Giants and their territorial rights have long been a hurdle for the A's efforts to move to San Jose, but now the city is threatening to sue the Giants for standing in the way.