Some things to read while making a stop on the way.
Today is the 32nd day of spring training and the Brewers didn't have much luck on St. Patrick's Day yesterday, losing 9-0 to the White Sox. We've got the recap, if you missed it.
A rough inning doomed Kyle Lohse yesterday, as he issued two walks, two hits and a hit batsman while failing to complete the fourth. Meanwhile, Matt Garza had his best outing of the spring in a minor league game. Pitching for AAA Nashville he completed six innings and allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits, striking out five and walking none.
Back in the big league game, Francisco Rodriguez worked a scoreless sixth with a pair of strikeouts in his second outing of the spring. He's still pulling spines out of his foot nearly a week after stepping on a cactus.
The Brewers were shut out and held nearly hitless for five innings yesterday by veteran journeyman pitcher Felipe Paulino. Joey Nowak of MLB.com reports that Paulino, who hasn't pitched in the majors since suffering an elbow injury in 2012, is working on adding a cut fastball to his repertoire and threw the pitch eight times yesterday.
Other notes from the field:
- The Brat, clad in green for St. Patrick's Day, won the sausage race.
- Hank has only been gone for a couple of days, but @AdamMcCalvy reports that a cat has already been spotted in the Brewers dugout.
The Brewers are back in Maryvale at 3:05 today to host the Rangers. This contest could have been a fun reunion with new Ranger Prince Fielder, but apparently he's staying back in Surprise with the other half of the split squad. We will see Marco Estrada, though, pitching against Martin Perez.
While Fielder has secured a job with Texas, the Brewers' first base competition may be entering its final week. Yesterday Adam McCalvy reported that Lyle Overbay can opt out of his minor league contract if he's not added to the 40-man roster by Saturday, and Mark Reynolds has a similar clause for Monday. Meanwhile, Juan Francisco is out of options.
Elsewhere in roster battles, the bullpen is starting to take shape. Wei-Chung Wang pitched another scoreless inning yesterday and is likely to make the roster as a Rule 5 pick, and Ron Roenicke told Adam McCalvy the team is strongly considering keeping Tyler Thornburg as a reliever. Assuming Jim Henderson, Brandon Kintzler, Francisco Rodriguez and Will Smith are also in, that would leave one available spot.
Aramis Ramirez was back in the Brewers lineup yesterday and had one of the team's four hits. MLB.com scout Bernie Pleskoff was in attendance and offered this insight:
After off season surgery, #Brewers Ramirez looks very fit. Short swing with some backspin on the ball. Nice, easy approach. Compact. Strong.— Bernie Pleskoff (@BerniePleskoff) March 17, 2014
Jeff Bianchi had the last of four Brewers hits on Monday, a pinch-hit infield single in the eighth inning. He's also the subject of the latest edition of The Brewer Nation's "Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers" series.
Khris Davis was off yesterday, and might have been the only likely Opening Day starter that wasn't in the lineup. Adam Wieser of Disciples of Uecker has a positional preview for Davis and the Brewers' other left fielders.
Davis has certainly shown enough at the plate to merit a spot on the Opening Day roster, but in the field he's still a bit of a question mark. He's one of the players featured in Ron Roenicke Stole My Baseball's "Major League" themed preview of the 2014 season.
With the Brewers at home today, a few more fans may get a chance at their first Maryvale Baseball Park experience. Jeff Hatton, a guest poster for OnMilwaukee.com, visited the Brewers' facility for the first time this spring and offered some thoughts on the experience.
In the minors:
- Brewerfan.net has the details on three international players who have officially joined the Brewers organization: 17-year-old Panamanian pitcher Carlos Luna, 17-year-old Dominican pitcher Ken Paredes and 19-year-old Dominican catcher Dilson Fernandez.
- While three new players check in, one is headed out: The Brewers have released catcher and 2009 tenth round pick Tyler Roberts. (h/t @Mass_Haas) Roberts is still only 23 but appeared in just 33 games for Wisconsin last season.
- Brad Krause of Miller Park Prospects was in minor league camp again yesterday, talked to infielder Alfredo Rodriguez and took a bunch of pictures.
Looking ahead, get out your calendar this morning or you may wish you had in August: The Brewers' Wednesday, August 27 game against the Padres has been moved from 9:10 to 8:10 pm Central time (h/t @AdamMcCalvy). In the middle of a west coast road trip we'll probably all need that extra hour of sleep.
If you haven't yet, please take a moment today to vote in our BCB Tracking Poll. It will remain open through the day today and results will be posted tomorrow.
Athletics: Pitcher Jarrod Parker will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the 2014 season.
Braves: Pitcher Kris Medlen will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the 2014 season.
Phillies: Acquired catcher Koyie Hill from the Nationals for a PTBNL or cash.
The Dodgers and Diamondbacks are already in Australia this morning (where I believe it's Wednesday by now) getting ready to open the 2014 season on Saturday. They're playing at the Sydney Cricket Ground, and SBNation.com has a time-lapse video of the work that's been done to transform the facility into a baseball park.
Once the Dodgers and Diamondbacks return from down under, though, it's all Yankees and Red Sox all the time for the national media. Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk notes that between ESPN, MLB Network and Fox Sports 1 the Yankees will make 17 national TV appearances in April alone, and the Red Sox will get 15 more.
Today in former Brewers:
- Jeff Passan of Yahoo has a story on Prince Fielder's adjustment to his new team in Texas.
- nullacct profiled Cal Eldred as the Face of the 1992 Brewers.
While we're continuing to focus on baseball here, by the end of the week nearly everyone's attention will be on their brackets as the NCAA men's basketball tournament tips off. If you're looking for one more bracket pool to join before then, GoldenFrank has set up the BCB competition. If you enter, you're almost certain to beat me.
Finally, with help from the B-Ref Play Index, we'd like to wish a happy birthday today to:
- 2005-06 Brewer Tomo Ohka, who turns 38. We covered his birthday in Today In Brewer History last year.
- 2003-04 Brewer Scott Podsednik, who also turns 38. We covered his birthday in Today In Brewer History two years ago.
- 1980-81 Brewer Rickey Keeton, who turns 57.
- 1961 and 1964-65 Milwaukee Brave Chi-Chi Olivo, who would have turned 86.
Plunk Everyone notes that Ohka's 34 career hit batsmen are the second most ever for a pitcher born on March 18, and Podsednik's 25 plunkings are the third most ever for a position player born on this date.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to apply another coat.