Some things to read from your doomed planet.
We are 39 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Maryvale, and this morning I'd like to welcome back those of you who haven't been around since the first day of football season. If you've fallen behind, here's a quick primer on the winter's Brewers news:
- Norichika Aoki is with the Royals now.
And that's about it. The Brewers still haven't addressed concerns at first base or in the bullpen, and they're still the only MLB team that hasn't signed a major league free agent this winter. Despite all of that, though, hope springs eternal for some: Kristin Zenz of PocketDoppler.com has reasons for optimism for the 2014 team.
Curt Hogg of Disciples of Uecker says having depth on the roster will be a key to contending for the 2014 team. The bench is more or less established with Logan Schafer, Caleb Gindl, Jeff Bianchi and Martin Maldonado on the roster at this point, but it remains to be seen how much they'll contribute.
A full, healthy, productive season from Ryan Braun may be a bigger key, though. Tim Brown of Yahoo listed Braun as one of ten compelling figures to watch in 2014.
Conventional wisdom would suggest the Brewers would also benefit from longer outings from their starting pitchers, but how much of that argument actually holds water? Bryan Cole of Beyond the Box Score looks at the tangible merits of "saving the bullpen," or lack thereof.
Today on the hot stove:
- Earlier this winter we mentioned reports that the Brewers had inquired about former Cubs closer Carlos Marmol. Bill Baer of Hardball Talk reports that Marmol has discussed major league deals with three teams.
- The first rumor of the offseason dealt with the Mets, who reportedly talked to the Brewers regarding Ike Davis. New York still hasn't found a home for their extra first baseman, though, and now they're saying they plan to bring him to spring training.
Any bullpen help the Brewers bring in this winter may serve as competition for Jim Henderson, who enters the spring as the team's likely closer for the first time. As of this writing 44% of voters in this Reviewing the Brew poll think Henderson will save between 21 and 30 games in 2014.
Tom Gorzelanny is unlikely to move into the closer role, but at the moment he projects to be the most experienced member of the bullpen. Justin Schultz of Reviewing the Brew says the Brewers should keep the lefty in a relief role going forward.
In the minors:
- Jason Arndt of Brewers Farm Report has a story on 2013 Huntsville pitcher Brooks Hall, one of the Brewers' latest additions to the 40-man roster.
- Brewers AAA manager Mike Guerrero stepped down from his job as manager of Licey in the Dominican Republic to deal with an ongoing health issue, but @Haudricourt reports it was just the flu.
- Maybe Guerrero was also in charge of the DWL website. As of this writing the Dominican Winter League scoreboard hasn't been updated, but Licey entered play Sunday at 4-4 in the league's round robin postseason, good for second place. They were scheduled to play first place Escogido last night.
- He's since come back home, but Sean Halton's hot start in the Dominican was a key part of Licey's success. Justin Schultz of Reviewing the Brew has Halton and Elian Herrera as the two Brewers who shined in the DWL this winter.
- Meanwhile in Puerto Rico, Irving Falu had three hits in Mayaguez's 3-2 win over Carolina (box score). Martin Maldonado went 0-for-5 in the game.
- Mayaguez is now 3-0 in round robin play, with nine games remaining in the round.
- You can read more about the Brewers' performance in the winter league postseason in morineko's weekly recap.
If you weren't around the site this weekend then you might have missed JP's weekly look at what we learned over the previous seven days. With that roundup wrapped up, we can more or less close the book on 2013.
Blue Jays: Reassigned former bullpen coach Pat Hentgen and hired former minor league coach Bob Stanley to fill the job.
Orioles: Signed outfielder Quentin Berry to a minor league deal.
Pirates: Signed outfielder Chris Dickerson (terms undisclosed).
Meanwhile, the biggest news around baseball yesterday was the passing of longtime Padres broadcaster Jerry Coleman, who was 90 years old. Coleman served in combat missions in World War II and the Korean War, played in the majors with the Yankees from 1949-57, managed the Padres in 1980 and had been in broadcasting since 1960. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005.
In former Brewers:
- Nyjer Morgan is looking to return to the US following a season in Japan where he hit .294/.361/.434. He's unlikely to be a fit with the Brewers.
- I've already mentioned Chris Dickerson signing with the Padres, but two 2012 Brewers also found new homes over the weekend as Eric Farris and Brooks Conrad signed minor league deals with the Twins and Padres, respectively. Neither player will be invited to major league camp.
- Joseph Warner of It's Pronounced "Lajaway" asks if the Shaun Marcum signing was the Indians' best offseason move.
- The LA Times has a look at Chris Capuano's 2013 season with the Dodgers.
- Will Leitch of Sports on Earth has a story on Jeff Suppan and getting 17 years out of what he calls "average talent."
- AZ Snakepit notes that Suppan was the last active member of the 1998 expansion Diamondbacks.
Today's sabermetric note comes from John Autin of High Heat Stats, who has a look at the average proportion of wins above replacement teams get from pitchers and position players. Across the board, the numbers suggest most teams will get 60% of their value from position players. The 2013 Brewers got 75%.
Today is also the eighth anniversary of the Brewers acquiring third baseman Corey Koskie from the Blue Jays and releasing third baseman Russell Branyan. We covered those events separately in Today In Brewer History two years ago and last year, respectively.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I don't have much time.