Some things to read while setting a better example.
The Brewers played their final split-squad game of the spring season on Sunday and it didn't go well, as they dropped road games against the Indians and Cubs. We've got the recap, if you missed it.
Yesterday also featured a relatively rare spring road appearance for Ryan Braun, who was booed at Cubs Park by many of the same Cubs fans that have cheered Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro, among others. Tim Brown of Yahoo was in Mesa and documented the experience.
Tyler Thornburg pitched four innings and got a no decision in the Cubs game, allowing two runs on three hits. He only allowed one home run in over 60 MLB innings last season, but has already surrendered three this spring. (h/t @Todd_Rosiak) Adam McCalvy talked to Thornburg about his uncertain role this spring.
Other notes from the field:
- The Brewers and Cubs set a new Cactus League single-game attendance record with 14,770 tickets sold on Sunday. (h/t @Todd_Rosiak)
- The Brewers got to see a couple of former teammates on Sunday, as John Axford pitched a scoreless seventh inning for the Indians and Jose Veras worked a perfect fifth for the Cubs. They also faced Norichika Aoki and the Royals on Saturday.
- The Brewers also had instant replay available during Saturday's game and used it three times in their 7-6 win.
- Getting back to Sunday, the Cubs game was three hours and 32 minutes long, including a 56-minute seventh inning. (h/t @jstein1981)
- @joe_block took a picture of the field at the new Cubs Park, while @Todd_Rosiak took one of the longest clubhouse hallway you'll ever see.
- Tyler Dunne of the JS talked to Wily Peralta about improving the mental aspect of his game in 2014.
- Jim Henderson unveiled his new pitch, a changeup. He talked to Todd Rosiak about it.
- Adam McCalvy talked to Jimmy Nelson about his lone start in 2013 and his efforts to improve in 2014.
- McCalvy also has a story on the Brewers collecting funds for the family of John Hobbs, a Phoenix police officer killed in a shootout last week.
The Brewers return home today to host the White Sox at 3:05 Central time. Yovani Gallardo is expected to face Chris Sale.
After today's game the Crew has a day off before heading to Tempe to face the Angels on Wednesday. Kyle Lohse is expected to pitch in that game, and Adam McCalvy has a story on how Lohse has been encouraging starting pitchers to watch each other's bullpen sessions.
Yesterday's Indians game featured the end of an extended slump for Hunter Morris, who picked up his first two hits of the spring. The cold streak confirmed the suspicions of Dave Radcliffe of Reviewing the Brew, though, who says Morris has shown why he can't be trusted. Curt Hogg of Disciples of Uecker listed Morris as one of three Brewers whose stock has fallen in the early spring training games.
Lyle Overbay reached base three times yesterday, drawing three walks against Cubs pitchers. Over the weekend The Brewer Nation profiled him, Rickie Weeks and Matt Garza as part of their "Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers" series.
This weekend also featured the spring debut of Aramis Ramirez, who had a pair of hits against the Royals on Saturday. Justin Schutlz of Reviewing the Brew has Ramirez third in his ranking of NL Central third basemen.
Jonathan Lucroy and Martin Maldonado were both in action on Sunday, with Lucroy catching the Indians game and Maldonado serving as Tyler Thornburg's backstop against the Cubs. Over at Cream City Cables, Nathan has a preview of the Brewers catchers.
Francisco Rodriguez is still a few days away from making his Cactus League debut, but is expected to pitch in a game on Wednesday or Thursday. Over the weekend MGL on Baseball identified K-Rod as one of the pitchers who consistently outperform their peripheral numbers. Here's an explanation of the stats used.
In the minors:
- The Brewers' signing of Dutch catcher Milan Post is now official, and the 20-year-old is expected to play in rookie ball this season.
- Our community effort to rank the top prospects in the Brewers organization took an unexpected turn on Friday when the vote for #16 ended in a tie between Tucker Neuhaus and Wei-Chung Wang. Since those two players claimed the #16 and 17 spots, our 2014 rankings are complete.
- Marcus Young of Miller Park Prospects has a look at the Canadian influence in the Brewers organization.
- It's much too early to put much weight in mock drafts, but Matt Garrioch of Minor League Ball has the Brewers selecting South Carolina high school pitcher Grant Holmes with the #12 overall pick in his first projection.
Back in Milwaukee, work began late last night on renovations at the TGI Fridays inside Miller Park. It closed at 10 pm and won't reopen until Sunday at the earliest.
The Miller Park grounds crew also took the tarp off the field over the weekend as part of preparations for Opening Day, which is three weeks from today.
Today in previews, projections, power rankings and the like:
- Jacob R. Misener of Call to the Pen is optimistic about the 2014 Brewers, asking if Ryan Braun can lead this team into playoff contention.
- The Crawfish Boxes is on the other end of the spectrum, as they make a case for comparing the Brewers to the pre-rebuild Astros.
- Tyler Killian of the Arizona Republic talked to Ron Roenicke as part of his preview.
- Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs used projected WAR to list the NL Central as baseball's second weakest division.
If you weren't around the site this weekend you might have missed JP's weekly look at what we've learned over the previous seven days. There's a lot out there this week, so try to keep up.
Cardinals: Signed infielder Matt Carpenter to a six-year, $52 million contract extension with a club option for 2020.
Diamondbacks: Signed pitcher Oliver Perez to a two-year, $4.25 million contract.
Mariners: Third base coach John Stearns has stepped down and been replaced by former minor league manager Rich Donnelly.
Padres: Claimed outfielder Alex Castellanos off waivers from the Rangers.
Royals: Released pitcher Brad Penny.
Donnelly, by the way, served as the Brewers' third base coach from 2003-05.
We've got a bunch of former Brewers stories today:
- It's possible the most interesting link in today's Mug comes from Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times, who talked to Corey Hart about his attempt to come back with the Mariners after missing all of 2013. In the story Hart admits to drinking too much and experimenting with drugs during his early years in the Brewers organization, and says he later "had to learn not to overindulge in stardom."
- Meanwhile, Randy Wolf's comeback attempt with the Mariners hit a rough patch on Friday when he allowed four runs in three innings. He has a 7.20 ERA this spring.
- Casey McGehee is faring a little better in his comeback attempt with the Marlins, as he homered against the Braves on Saturday.
- Jorge De La Rosa will be the Rockies' Opening Day starter.
- In the FanPosts, MrLeam revisited Rob Neyer's look at the all-time greatest Brewers lineup in 2003.
Elsewhere in spring training stories, you can add Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson to the list of people who have lost a windshield to a home run ball this spring.
Finally, with help from the B-Ref Play Index, we'd like to wish a happy birthday today to:
- 1998-99 Brewer Bobby Hughes, who turns 43.
- John Cangelosi, 2007 inductee into the Appleton Baseball Hall of Fame, who turns 51.
- 1986-89 Brewer Mike Birkbeck, who turns 53.
- 1970 Brewer Wayne Twitchell, who would have turned 66. We covered his birthday in Today In Brewer History last year.
- 1971-75 Brewer Johnny Briggs, who turns 70. We covered his birthday in Today In Brewer History two years ago.
Plunk Everyone notes that Cangelosi's 31 plunkings are the most ever for a position player born on March 10, and Twitchell's 40 career hit batsmen were the second most ever for a pitcher born on this day.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to find some water.