Some things to read while looking for distinctive markings.
The Brewers may get down to business on the tenth day of spring training 2014, but before that could happen they had to get through photo day yesterday. John Steinmiller and Caitlin Moyer have the highlights, and the @Brewers Twitter feed has all kinds of player selfies from the "Twitter mirror." Here's Rickie Weeks photobombing Kyle Lohse, for example:
Aramis Ramirez took a much more serious selfie, befitting a player working to overcome offseason colon surgery. He talked to reporters over the weekend about how a family history of colon cancer led him to get an early colonoscopy that led to the issue being diagnosed early. Ron Roenicke told @Adam McCalvy that Ramirez got through his first workout with no issues.
Matt Garza has about 50 million reasons to be excited to be in Brewers camp this spring, and apparently he hasn't been shy about making his presence known in the clubhouse. This morning Twinkie Town noted that Garza is believed to have turned down a three-year, $42 million offer from the Twins before signing with Milwaukee.
Garza's signing changes the situation a bit for Yovani Gallardo, and Pete Goodchild of Reviewing the Brew has a look at his new position in the Brewers rotation. Nick Michalski of The Brewers Bar says it's still a pivotal year for the longtime Brewers ace, though, saying "for the Brewers to gain any traction in a formidable National League, the team will have to rely on Gallardo to channel his talents into quality starts."
Other notes from camp:
- In addition to being photo day, Sunday was also the Brewers' annual medical meeting. (h/t @AdamMcCalvy)
- Andrew Gruman of FS Wisconsin has a story on three special instructors spending the spring with the Crew: Robin Yount, Geoff Jenkins and, for the first time, Damian Miller. As part of the piece, Gruman also has notes on the Brewers intrasquad game (it'll be played tomorrow instead of Wednesday) and wins the award for being the first reporter to ask Ron Roenicke about the contact play.
- Damian Miller may get a chance to work with Jonathan Lucroy this spring. Adam McCalvy's preview of the Brewers catchers focuses on how he's working to become an all-around player. He also has a preview of the Brewer first basemen.
- Francisco Rodriguez is still in Venezuela waiting to get his work visa, but @AdamMcCalvy reports he has an appointment on Wednesday and could be in camp by the end of the week.
- Michael Blazek is in camp, meanwhile, and is drawing praise for his early work.
- McCalvy also has a photo gallery from the first full squad workout.
Maybe the Brewers were waiting until position players arrived in camp to start work on a long term deal for Jean Segura? @ChrisCotillo reports that the two sides don't appear to have made any progress. Elsewhere in things we're talking about every day this spring: Hank the Dog is now on Twitter as @BrewersHank.
With the first media circus of the spring behind him for now, Ryan Braun is back to business in camp working to bounce back from his worst MLB season and make the transition across the outfield. David Schoenfield of ESPN is setting the over/under at 32.5 home runs in 2014 for the 2011 NL MVP. Geoff Jenkins told Adam McCalvy he doesn't think Braun will have a hard time moving to right field.
While Braun looks to bounce back from a rough year, Carlos Gomez is trying to maintain the momentum from the best season of his career. He's all over the web this morning:
- Adam Wieser of Disciples of Uecker has a look at various outlets' projections for the Gold Glove center fielder in 2014.
- Bryan Robinson of Beyond the Box Score's new tool to evaluate plate discipline shows Gomez among baseball's worst (and former Brewer Norichika Aoki among the best).
- Lyle Spencer of MLB.com has a look at how getting the green light changed Gomez's game for the better.
Gomez is also one of several candidates to bat leadoff for the Brewers on Opening Day. Ron Roenicke mentioned him, Jean Segura and Scooter Gennett while telling reporters that they're keeping their options open at this point.
Braun and Gomez may draw more attention, but the back of the Brewer rotation could be just as important if the Crew is going to contend this season. Ryan Topp of Disciples of Uecker listed Marco Estrada and Mike Fiers among four players that could have unexpected impacts on the 2014 season, and The Brewer Nation profiled Wily Peralta in the latest entry in their "Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers" series.
Meanwhile, Sean Halton is just hoping to get a chance to make any impact on this team. Tom Haudricourt talked to him about trying to win a job and reports he'll play "quite a bit" in the outfield this spring.
Lyle Overbay is also competing for time at first base this spring, but this may be part of the reason he's never played another position: Nick Ashbourne of Beyond the Box Score used double plays started and throwing errors to list Overbay as having one of the game's worst throwing arms.
In the minors:
- As of this writing Clint Coulter leads by one vote in the balloting for the #9 spot in our BCB Community Prospect Rankings. You have until noon today to cast a vote if you haven't yet, then check back after 1 as we wrap up the top ten.
- Beyond the Box Score has an effort to compile top 100 prospect lists from across baseball into one consensus list, and Jimmy Nelson is the top Brewer on it at #115. Tyrone Taylor also makes an appearance.
- Brad Krause of Miller Park Prospects has a profile of 2013 Wisconsin infielder Chris McFarland.
- Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio has pictures from around Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium, where some snow melted last week when the temperature peaked above 40 for a couple of days.
- There's less snow on the field in Huntsville, where Benjamin Hill of MiLB.com is planning on making a road trip to see a game in the Stars' final season.
If you'd like more Brewers coverage today but you're sick of reading, my Friday appearance on The Home Stretch with Justin Hull on 95.3 FM WSCO in Appleton has been archived. We spent about half an hour in studio talking all things Brewers as position players reported to camp.
If you weren't around the site this weekend you might have missed JP's weekly look at what we learned over the previous seven days. With spring training games starting this week, now is no time to be falling behind.
Angels: Are expected to sign outfielder Mike Trout to a six-year, $150 million contract extension through 2020.
Blue Jays: Claimed pitcher Liam Hendriks off waivers from the Orioles and designated third baseman Brent Morel for assignment.
Cardinals: Pitcher Jaime Garcia has been shut down with shoulder discomfort and is unlikely to be ready for Opening Day.
Dodgers: Signed Cuban shortstop Erisbuel Arruebarrena to a five-year, $25 million contract and designated infielder Justin Sellers for assignment.
Giants: Signed outfielder Tyler Colvin to a minor league deal.
Orioles: Signed outfielder Nelson Cruz to a one-year, $8 million contract.
Yankees: Signed outfielder Brett Gardner to a four-year, $52 million contract extension and signed reliever Andrew Bailey to a minor league deal.
Today in former Brewers:
- Zack Greinke created some controversy over the weekend by saying there's "zero excitement" among players for the Dodgers' season-opening trip to Australia in a few weeks. Australian officials are none too happy about the remarks.
- The Boston Herald has a story on new Red Sox pitcher Chris Capuano, a Massachusetts native who has never pitched at Fenway Park.
- Jamey Wright is in camp with the Dodgers, and has an MLB contract in spring training for the first time since 2005.
- George Kottaras' dog, an eight-month-old yellow lab named Leo, is the hit of Cubs camp this spring.
After a full weekend of practice across baseball, we've got a pair of quintessential spring training stories today:
- The A's are using side-by-side batting cages and pitching machines to get extra work for their hitters this spring.
- Cubs shortstop Javier Baez broke a car window with a home run ball during batting practice.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm working on the drums.