Some things to read while learning to open doors.
Today is the 31st day of spring training and the slow march towards Opening Day continued on Sunday as the Brewers suffered a walkoff loss at Salt River Fields against the Australia-bound Diamondbacks. We've got the recap, if you missed it.
Meanwhile, this weekend's biggest news was another round of roster cuts as the Brewers continue to trim down towards a 25-man Opening Day roster. Seven players were sent out on Friday, as Sean Halton, Hiram Burgos and Mike Fiers were optioned to Nashville and non-roster invitees Kevin Mattison, Matt Pagnozzi, Eugenio Velez and Dustin Molleken were returned to minor league camp. One more player was cut yesterday, as Michael Blazek was optioned. I had previously mentioned that this is Blazek's final option, but he actually has one more (h/t @Mass_Haas).
While pitchers continue to trickle out of Brewers camp, Rule 5 pick Wei-Chung Wang is having an impressive spring and seems to have a solid chance to win a job. Ron Roenicke talked to Adam McCalvy about the challenges of evaluating a player with a small sample size and a language barrier
Wang is one of 16 pitchers remaining in MLB camp, and 12 will likely make the Opening Day roster. @Haudricourt speculates that Zach Duke, Alfredo Figaro, Donovan Hand, Tyler Thornburg and Rob Wooten are competing for the final two spots in the bullpen.
Other notes from camp:
- Ron Roenicke was ejected in the ninth inning of Sunday's game for arguing that the runner who scored the game-tying run was out of the baseline.
- Sunday's game had a brief delay in the second inning due to a swarm of bees in the outfield and Diamondbacks bullpen. (h/t @Todd_Rosiak)
- Despite the bees, 12,871 fans paid to see Sunday's game at Salt River Fields. That's a new ballpark record.
- Looking back another day, Francisco Rodriguez made his spring debut on Saturday but said his sore foot is still painful.
- Chris Gabel of MLB.com has stories on Lyle Overbay's effort to make the team and Jim Henderson's new changeup.
- Michael Anderson of AztecPressOnline recommended Maryvale Baseball Park as a stop for local (to Arizona) college students on their spring break.
- If they hurry they might get to see Robin Yount: He's making his annual appearance in camp as a special instructor.
- Those spring breakers will miss Hank, though. He made his first trip to Milwaukee on Sunday to settle into his new home, and a welcoming committee was at the airport to meet him. Jess Lemont of The Brewers Bar has a cartoon depicting what it might have looked like if the Brewers had let Hank fly the plane.
- Before his departure, the Brewers put a camera on Hank so we could see spring training from his perspective.
- All this excitement over Hank has Red Reporter talking about getting a dog...or a cat.
The Brewers return home to host the White Sox today, but another member of the Opening Day rotation will be across the parking lot. Kyle Lohse will get the start in the Cactus League game, while Matt Garza will also pitch in a minor league game. You may recall that Lohse and Garza also pitched on the same day last week.
Speaking of Garza, he recently talked to Gordon Wittenmeyer of the Chicago Sun Times about his departure from the Cubs. Here's the money quote:
"And I wish them the best," he said. "But I like where I'm at, and I'm going to try to kick their teeth in every time I get a chance."
Carlos Gomez will also likely be back in action today after sitting out on Sunday. Over at Cream City Cables, Nate has a preview of the reigning Gold Glove Award winner's 2014 season.
Jean Segura was also off on Sunday but is still tied for second on the team with ten hits this spring. He talked to Todd Rosiak about looking for a rhythm after taking the winter off. Meanwhile, discussions about a possible contract extension still appear to be in the "something we might talk about" stage.
Khris Davis' bat is starting to heat up, as he homered Sunday and now has an extra base hit in three consecutive games. He's also back on Twitter as @khrisdavis2.
Davis was also one of five Brewers profiled as The Brewer Nation caught up on their "Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers" series. Caleb Gindl, Aramis Ramirez, Jonathan Lucroy and Juan Francisco were the others.
Ramirez stole a career-high nine bases in his first season as a Brewer in 2012, but was caught in his only attempt in 2013. Nick Ashbourne of Beyond the Box Score has a look at how stolen base totals from third basemen have diminished in recent years.
In the minors:
- There was a report over the weekend that the Brewers had traded infielder Hector Gomez to the Angels, but it turned out to be false. Gomez was in uniform and played in a minor league game yesterday.
- Brad Krause of Miller Park Prospects has pictures from Sunday's minor league action.
- Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio has a look at efforts to clear snow off the field in Wisconsin with Opening Day less than three weeks away.
- Meanwhile, Nashville is a year away from opening their new stadium, but the Brewers may get bumped out by their AAA affiliate if another organization makes a better offer. NJ.com has the latest look at the Mets' rocky relationship with their affiliate in Las Vegas.
If you weren't around the site this weekend, you might have missed JP's weekly look at what we've learned over the last seven days. The Opening Day roster is starting to take shape as we approach the home stretch of spring training.
Dodgers: Designated reliever Javy Guerra for assignment.
Nationals: Acquired infielder Brandon Laird from the Royals for a PTBNL or cash.
Tigers: Shortstop Jose Iglesias will open the season the DL and could miss much of the season with a shin injury.
Twins: Signed reliever Glen Perkins to a four-year, $22.175 million contract extension with a club option for 2018.
Meanwhile, a handful of teams may be holding their collective breath this morning. Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish has the latest on six young pitchers that may require Tommy John surgery. Jaymes Langrehr is preparing precautionary measures in our Tweet of the Day:
We're one more young pitcher elbow injury away from me demanding Wily Peralta be placed in a bubble.— Jaymes Langrehr (@JaymesL) March 16, 2014
Today in former Brewers:
- Roch Kubatko of MASN has a story on Alex Gonzalez's efforts to make the Orioles.
- Pinstripe Alley has a Sporcle Quiz dealing with the unlikely length of Yuniesky Betancourt's MLB career.
Today's quintessential spring training story comes from White Sox camp, where pitcher Jose Quintana almost missed his start on Friday because he was stuck in traffic.
Quintana still had a better weekend than the Yankees, who went all the way to Panama to get no-hit by the Marlins.
Today is also the fourth anniversary of Derrick Turnbow being released by the Marlins in 2010, effectively ending his playing career. We noted that event in Today In Brewer History two years ago.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to find that CD.