Week one of spring training is done.
We are through the first week of spring training. All Brewers are in camp now, with a few exceptions. Pitchers & catchers have started official workouts, and the position players will be starting in the next day or two. The first spring training games start on Thursday, and the first TV broadcasts are a week from today. We are getting plenty of reports from camp now, from the first reports of player progress to the off-field story of Hank, the fluffy new dog friend of the team. While we don't have much to analyze right now, the start of the season is in sight.
Discussion about a Jean Segura extension has started.
Every year, we typically hear rumors about at least one player getting an extension. Some of the rumors are fake, some are true but go nowhere, and some become real extensions. A new rumor has popped up this week about a possible extension for Jean Segura. A report came out last weekend that the Brewers are expected to discuss an extension with Segura during the spring. Doug Melvin came out and denied this report, but as usual, you should take that with a grain of salt. One of the key details to this is how much Segura would make in this deal. Kyle laid out what his offer would be, a five year deal with $16.75 million guaranteed. Readers chimed in with a poll, and 70% of them said they would offer that deal, and another 24% said that deal wasn't high enough. With a year of mixed (but mostly positive) results from Segura, some say it's too early to extend him. An extension now could save the Brewers money if he performs well, or cost them money if he collapses.
One of the key parts of offering an extension is knowing what you have to offer. With several contracts to consider and years of deferred money to account for, it can be easy to overspend if you don't know what you have. Derek went through the payroll earlier this week to account for all of the money that the Brewers have committed. There are a few years coming up where the Brewers have a lot committed to deferred payments, and payroll could become a bit tight in those years. They will have to be smart about spending, but it isn't a bad situation yet.
Projections keep coming out, though not all are about stats.
As the season gets closer, more projections come out to predict how different players will perform in 2014. The most recent projection for the Brewers is about the back end of the rotation and the bullpen. Jordan looked at both earlier this week, predicting how they will perform in 2014. We will start to get a better sense of how players will perform as spring training progresses, but for now, all we can do is make predictions.
Of course, there are more projections coming out, and not all are about the stats. Some projections are about how teams will adjust to new rules, and if it will help or hurt them. One of the big changes for 2014 is the expansion of the instant replay system, which includes a challenge system for managers to ask for certain plays to be reviewed. How will Ron Roenicke use this? That's what Nate addressed on Thursday, looking at how Ron Roenicke could use his challenge flag. The first weeks will be filled with experimenting, but there is a structure in place to hopefully improve the game.
One other type of projection comes from ranking players. We've been seeing these rankings come out for several weeks, and another one came out in the past week. Baseball America came out with their rankings of the top 100 MLB prospects, and only one Brewers prospect (Jimmy Nelson) made the list. It's tough to hear about the rough state of the Brewers system, but it's not the end of the world. It just means the team has to work with what they have.
The injury bug is starting to hit.
It doesn't take long before the reports of injuries start coming out. While the first one didn't happen in camp, it is still a setback for the team. Aramis Ramirez will miss the first few days of workouts after having surgery to remove a polyp from his colon. It's not the worst way to start, but more injuries will come. Of course, not all injuries happen to the players. Hank Aaron also was injured when he slipped on some ice in Atlanta, and had a partial hip replacement because of it. Thankfully, he will only need six to eight weeks to recover and will eventually be back to full strength.
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