Wednesday's Frosty Mug: Intrasquad insinuations

Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

We're looking over results from the first game action of the spring and more in today's roundup of all things Brewers.

Some things to read without picking up the pen.

Day 12 of spring training 2014 is the calm before the storm, the final day before the Brewers' Cactus League opener against the A's tomorrow. The Brewers got ready for the occasion with a three-inning intrasquad game yesterday featuring some of the less experienced pitchers in camp. Here are some of the highlights:

Six rookie pitchers worked in the intrasquad game yesterday, but six with MLB experience are scheduled to pitch in the Cactus League opener tomorrow. Marco Estrada will start the first official game of the spring and is scheduled to be followed by Wily Peralta, Zach Duke, Will Smith, Rob Wooten and Donovan Hand.

Other notes from camp:

Actually, maybe "stuff about Hank" should just get its own section. This morning he welcomed Joe Block to camp, was pictured posing with Martin Maldonado and watching a team meeting, and the USA Today has a video story on him. Also, Wally from PocketDoppler.com is wondering if the positive distraction Hank has provided this spring wasn't a little too convenient.

While Hank's wagging tail is drawing lots of attention, Lyle Overbay's wagging tongue has flown somewhat under the radar. Justin Schultz of Reviewing the Brew noticed some comments he made to the New York Daily News about Ryan Braun, including a suggestion that he needs to "right the ship" with his teammates.

Meanwhile, the Brewers appear to be more interested in what you think about Braun. They sent out a survey yesterday asking fans for their opinion on how his situation has been handled. If you weren't on the survey list, @NicoleHaase has several screenshots of the questions.

My prediction: much of the concern about Braun will fade away locally if the Brewers put a winning team on the field and he contributes to it. To that end, here's some good news: Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs surveyed the projections and found the Brewers to be baseball's tenth most improved team. Individually, David S. Grant of Reviewing the Brew is predicting Braun will lead the Brewers in home runs and hit the team's longest home run this summer.

Speaking of outfield predictions, Jordan looked at projections for Braun and the rest of the Brewers outfielders yesterday as part of his ongoing series. If you've fallen behind, you can see all of his projections in their new StoryStream.

Overbay should probably spend less time worrying about Braun and more time trying to win a job. Jonah Keri of Grantland listed Mark Reynolds as the Brewers' most interesting non-roster invitee, and Ben Tannenbaum of  The Brewers Bar says he "offers enough power to merit regular playing time at first base for the Brewers.".

The Brewers are projecting the highest payroll in franchise history for the 2014 season, and it's unlikely they'll push it any higher by signing a protected free agent for the second consecutive year. MLB Trade Rumors has a look at the draft pick each team would forfeit for signing one of those players, and the Brewers' first round pick (#12 overall) is at the top of the board.

Speaking of payroll, Wendy Thurm of FanGraphs notes that the Brewers are spending 38.6% of their 2014 payroll on starting pitchers, the third highest percentage in the majors.

But what are they getting for their money? Jonathan Judge of Disciples of Uecker has a look at pitching talent levels around the division and concludes that "The Brewers' and Cubs' rotations consist entirely of mid-rotation talent."

In the minors:

Closer to home, the local sales tax to pay for Miller Park has been in place for 18 years now but some local legislators continue to fight it. The Racine Journal Times has a story on proposed legislation that would remove Racine County from the taxing district and quotes on why local legislators are concerned the agreement could be extended to build a new facility for the Bucks.

But what if they threw in a bratwurst? The Crawfish Boxes has a proposed food-themed alternate logo for every MLB team, and the Brat is on the Brewers' cap. This might give the Brewers a dozen alternates.

Today in previews, projections, power rankings and whatnot:

Additionally, here's a preview of a preview: The Brewers will be featured on MLB Network's "30 Clubs in 30 Days" on Friday, March 7.

No transactions today, so we're going back to They Might Be Giants for today's musical interlude:

Today in former Brewers:

Today's quintessential spring training story comes from the Giants, who announced Madison Bumgarner as their Opening Day starter despite not having played a Cactus League game yet.

Johan Santana has started several Opening Days in his career, but probably won't be on someone's roster this April. He held a workout for teams this week and could barely top 80 mph.

Finally, with help from the B-Ref Play Index, we'd like to wish a happy birthday today to:

Today is also the 35th anniversary of the Brewers selling reliever Eduardo Rodriguez to the Royals in 1979. We covered that event in Today In Brewer History last year.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to delete my history.

Drink up.

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