Some things to read while getting what you paid for.
Today is the 28th day of spring training 2014, and Opening Day is just around the corner. The Brewers will start the 2014 season at home against the Braves two weeks from Monday, and yesterday they announced that Yovani Gallardo will start their first game for the fifth consecutive season. He'll be the first Brewer ever to make five consecutive Opening Day starts.
Starting pitching was also the story on the field yesterday, as Marco Estrada worked 5.2 scoreless innings in the Brewers' 8-0 win over the Padres. We've got the recap, if you missed it. Estrada is the first Brewers pitcher to work more than four innings in a game this spring, and only the second to go past 3.1.
Will Smith continued his solid spring on Thursday, retiring four batters in order in relief of Marco Estrada. This week's BCB Tracking Poll showed, among other things, that a clear majority of fans think he should be in the Opening Day bullpen.
Other notes from camp:
- Francisco Rodriguez was scheduled to debut yesterday but remains sidelined after stepping on a cactus barefoot on Tuesday. He may not be available to pitch today, either.
- Tom Haudricourt has a story on Zach Duke making a positive impression in camp this spring.
- MLB.com has video of Bob Uecker falling for the "exploding golf ball" trick at his golf tournament on Tuesday. (h/t @AdamMcCalvy)
- Hank the dog made an appearance in People Magazine.
The Brewers are back in action and back on TV at 3:05 Central time today when they host the Diamondbacks in Maryvale. Wily Peralta is expected to face Randall Delgado, and Arizona has already posted their lineup.
Jean Segura got four at bats for the first time this spring yesterday, going 1-for-4 and dropping his spring batting line to .310/.375/.345. Vineet Barot of Disciples of Uecker has a preview of Segura and the Brewers' other shortstops.
It'll be interesting to see if we see these patterns re-emerge in 2014: Bryan Cole of Beyond the Box Score did some research on pitchers who are least likely to throw a first-pitch fastball and found three Brewers (Kyle Lohse, Yovani Gallardo and Marco Estrada) among the leaders. Juan Francisco is also one of the hitters least likely to face a first-pitch heater.
In the minors:
- Yesterday the Brewers announced they've released La Crosse native and longtime minor league pitcher R.J. Seidel. The former 2006 16th round pick had spent seven seasons in the minors, including splitting 2013 between Huntsville and Nashville, and has a 4.39 career ERA in 521 innings.
- Former Brewers front office employee Tony Blengino has a piece at FanGraphs ranking all 30 MLB farm systems based on "impact talent," and has the Brewers 29th.
- Brad Krause of Miller Park Prospects talked to infielder Jose Sermo about coming back from a knee injury that cost him most of 2013.
- The @BrewersPD Twitter feed has pictures of Josh Prince and Hector Gomez in the cage.
- Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio remembers the 2013 Mother's Day jerseys worn by top prospects Orlando Arcia, Tyrone Taylor, Michael Reed and others during their time with Wisconsin.
Back in Milwaukee, the Brewers have announced the date for Davey Nelson's sixth annual celebrity golf tournament. It'll be held on the Brewers' off day on Monday, June 30 and will benefit both the Open Arms Home for Children in South Africa and the Brewers Community Foundation.
Today in former Brewers:
- @ChrisCotillo reports that Todd Coffey continues to draw interest from teams and expects to sign around Opening Day.
- The (Attleboro, Massachusetts) Sun Chronicle has a story on Bill Travers being inducted into the Brewers' new "Wall of Honor" in 2014.
My favorite spring training story today comes from Diamondbacks camp, where a local newspaper in Sydney and some of his teammates are working together to set up a blind date for pitcher Josh Collmenter during the team's season-opening trip to Australia.
Elsewhere in silly spring moments, yesterday the Mariners released their 2014 TV commercials and, as usual, they're all pretty great.
Finally, with help from the B-Ref Play Index, we'd like to wish a happy birthday today to:
Plunk Everyone notes that Wynegar's 17 career HBP are the third most ever for a position player born on March 14, and Josh Stinson's one career plunking means he leads all active pitchers born on this day.
Today is also the 23rd anniversary of the Brewers trading DH Dave Parker to the Angels for Dante Bichette in 1991 and the eleventh anniversary of Bob Uecker being announced as the 2003 winner of the Ford C. Frick Award, earning him induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. We covered those events in Today In Brewer History last year and two years ago, respectively.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I just ceased to exist.