Some things to read while not getting it.
We are eleven days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Maryvale and, yes, I've had to alter the countdown again. We had previously been told players were reporting for spring training on Feburary 14, but now I'm seeing February 15 on SB Nation's list of Cactus League report dates. As part of their preparations to open the season in Australia, the Diamondbacks will be the first team to report when they arrive on Thursday.
Yovani Gallardo will be one of the Brewers reporting on or before the 15th, as he looks to bounce back from his worst MLB season. Gallardo has thrown at least 3000 pitches in each of the last five seasons, and Anthony Joshi-Pawlowic of Beyond the Box Score wonders if that number should replace 200 innings as the mark of a pitcher who's thrown a full season.
Matt Garza will also be coming to Maryvale this spring for the first time as a Brewer. If he could replay the offseason he might be an Angel, though: They reportedly offered him a similar contract around the Winter Meetings but took it off the table when he didn't immediately accept it.
Position players aren't required to arrive in camp until February 21, but most of the Brewers' non-roster invitees will likely be there early as they look to make a good impression. David Schoenfield of ESPN has a look at NRI's around the NL and in his note on the Brewers he suggests the team could find a way to keep all three of Juan Francisco, Lyle Overbay and Mark Reynolds.
Ariel Pena will be appearing in Brewers camp for the second time this spring, while Zach Duke will have a locker in Maryvale for the first time after signing a minor league contract this winter. The Brewer Nation profiled Pena and Duke in the latest installments in their "Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers" series.
It's also possible the Brewers still have a locker open for another reliever or two. Tyler Drenon of SBNation.com has a look at the bullpen candidates that are still available, including former Brewers Francisco Rodriguez and Michael Gonzalez.
In the minors:
- Brewers Farm Report has unveiled their list of the Brewers' top 25 prospects for 2014, with Tyrone Taylor and Jimmy Nelson #1 and 2.
- Behind the paywall at ESPN, Keith Law has his rankings of the top ten Brewers prospects. His list has Taylor first, Devin Williams second and Nelson sixth.
- Meanwhile in Venezuela, Sunday was the second day of the 2014 Caribbean Series and Martin Maldonado's Mayaguez team picked up their first loss, falling 6-3 to Hermosillo, Mexico (box score). Maldonado had a hit and drove in a run in the ninth inning but it wasn't enough to overcome former Brewer minor leaguer Zelous Wheeler's two home runs.
- Mayaguez did pick up a win on Saturday, though, beating Licey, Dominican Republic in the tournament's first game. Irving Falu homered in the win.
- Juan Francisco's Licey team was off on Sunday but returns to action today, playing the team representing Cuba this afternoon. Cuba returned to the Caribbean Series for the first time this year after being absent for several seasons, and their involvement in the tournament has drawn protests in Venezuela.
- Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio has photos of a snow-covered Neuroscience Group Field.
Back in Milwaukee, it's been a rough winter for pavement all over the city but especially on the ring road surrounding Miller Park, which has seen more traffic than expected and some major frost heaves. The team is currently hoping the road will level back off when temperatures rise again but recognizes the possibility that they may have to work with the stadium district for repairs if it doesn't.
If you weren't around the site over the weekend you might have missed JP's weekly look at what we learned over the previous seven days. This week's top stories involved Matt Garza, Bob Uecker and prospect rankings.
Angels: Avoided arbitration with third baseman David Freese ($5 million) and reliever Kevin Jepsen ($1.4 million) and signed catcher Yorvit Torrealba to a minor league deal.
Cubs: Signed pitcher Jason Hammel to a one-year, $6 million contract and James McDonald to a minor league deal.
Dodgers: Avoided arbitration with catcher A.J. Ellis (one year, $3.55 million).
Marlins: Signed outfielder Reed Johnson to a minor league deal.
Mets: Signed infielder/outfielder Matt Clark to a minor league deal.
Nationals: Avoided arbitration with pitcher Doug Fister (one year, $7.2 million).
Orioles: Signed infielder Alex Gonzalez to a minor league deal.
Padres: Signed reliever Tony Sipp to a minor league deal.
Rangers: Signed reliever Daniel Bard to a minor league deal.
Rays: Signed infielder Wilson Betemit to a minor league deal.
Red Sox: Signed pitcher Rich Hill to a minor league deal.
Reds: Signed outfielder Roger Bernadina to a minor league deal.
Rockies: Re-signed reliever Manny Corpas to a minor league deal.
Royals: Designated infielder Emilio Bonifacio for assignment and avoided arbitration with reliever Aaron Crow (one year, $1.475 million).
Tigers: Avoided arbitration with catcher Alex Avila (one year, $4.15 million).
Today in former Brewers:
- On Friday we compared ten relievers likely to pitch for the 2014 Brewers to the top ten active former Brewers relievers across baseball, and gave the advantage to the former Brewers.
- Chris Capuano remains a free agent as spring training approaches, and he's apparently now willing to consider one-year deals. Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs explained why he expects Capuano to be a bargain for a team this winter. Halos Daily considered Capuano as a possible fit for the Angels.
- @wezen_ball noticed a massive mustache on Carlos Villanueva's new baseball card.
- Let's Go Tribe notes that Tyler Houston is one of 12 former big leaguers who were born on a Super Bowl Sunday. Houston was born on January 17, 1971, the same day the Colts beat the Cowboys 16-13 in Super Bowl V.
Today in baseball economics:
- Citing "unprecedented demand," the Dodgers are raising ticket prices by as much as 40% for 2014.
- The Orioles are expected to spend over $100 million on payroll this season, a mark they haven't reached since Cot's Contracts began tracking such things in 2000.
This isn't exactly an economics note, but it's close: The Astrodome has been added to the National Register of Historic Places, which could qualify it for state and federal tax credits if an effort to renovate the former home of the Astros comes through. All previous attempts to do so have failed.
Finally, with help from the B-Ref Play Index, we'd like to wish a happy birthday today to:
- 1998 Brewer Eric Owens, who turns 43.
- Seattle Pilot and 1970 Brewer Wayne Comer, who turns 70. We covered his birthday in Today In Brewer History last year.
Today is also the fourth anniversary of the Brewers claiming Marco Estrada off waivers from the Nationals in 2010. We covered that event in Today In Brewer History two years ago.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to keep trying.