Monday's Frosty Mug: Busy Weekend of Baseball

Rob Tringali

We're taking a look at all the weekend's Brewer action and more in today's roundup of all things Brewers.

Some things to read while figuring out if we really need this type of technology to tell us how good Carlos Gomez is in center field.

This weekend featured a lot of action for the Brewers as they played four times since the last Mug was published on Friday morning.  On Friday afternoon, the Brewers lost a close one to the Giants, which Fred recapped.  On Saturday, Derek had the recap on the Brewers' split squad action against the Dodgers and Diamondbacks.  Finally, on Sunday, Jordan recapped the Brewers' one run victory over the Rockies.

The Brewers have yet to use Jim Henderson in the spring and Ron Roenicke assured Adam McCalvy over the weekend that fans should not worry.  Henderson is not missing time due to any sort of arm trouble, but rather because he is working on a new pitch this spring.  Along with a brand new pitch, Henderson is attempting to refine his slider as well.

While McCalvy would only hint at the identity of Henderson's new pitch on Twitter, Ryan Connor at Reviewing the Brew investigated why the cutter is likely the pitch Henderson is attempting to master.  Connor believes that a new pitch could help even out his platoon splits as lefties tend to hit Henderson a bit better at this point.  Connor points out that cutters, along with changeups and curveballs, can carry a "zero or backwards platoon split", but ultimately the cutter is Henderson's most likely addition because of his arm slot and the difficult learning curve of each of the other two pitches.

While Henderson has everyone's attention off the field, Elian Herrera was turning some heads on the field with some slick fielding at shortstop on Saturday.  Todd Rosiak writes that the switch-hitting Herrera may have a chance to make the Brewers opening-day roster if he can prove to be a competent shortstop.  Herrera, claimed off waivers from the Dodgers, can play second and third base along with multiple outfield positions.

Another player showing off great versatility in the spring has been newly acquired Will Smith.  Lou Olsen at Reviewing the Brew thinks so much of his versatility that he tabbed Smith as the pitching staff's missing link over the weekend.  Olsen writes that Smith's ability to give the Brewers a solid spot start as a lefty and productive innings from the bullpen gives the pitching staff a depth that they haven't had in the past few seasons.

Other notes from Milwaukee:

Back in Arizona, Adam McCalvy writes that Francisco Rodriguez was eager to join the rest of the squad as he was finally able to escape the political unrest in his home country of Venezuela.  Apparently, Rodriguez was trapped at his home for all of last week as he was in the heart of opposition-controlled territory and roads were closed around him.  Rodriguez's security team, composed of former policemen, devised a strategy to get him out of trouble and Rodriguez found himself lucky to apply for and receive a visa on the same day to get his family out of the country.

With Rodriguez in Arizona now, the Brewers will have to see what he can do, but Nick Michalski of the Brewers Bar believes his performance might not matter.  Not because of anything in particular about Rodriguez, but rather his belief that it is necessary to disregard most of what happens in spring training.  So, before spring training took hold and attempted to convince us of some new answers, Michalski decided to give his take on a few of the offseason's most important topics including what to do at second base, the young members of the Brewers pitching staff and the situation at first base.

Speaking of first base, apparently the Brewers are unhappy with their options there as Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe revealed over the weekend that the Brewers are already watching the Red Sox to get a closer look at Mike Carp.  The Brewers are not the only NL Central team already watching him as Pirates scouts have also been seen keeping a watchful eye on Carp.  As Kyle noted on Saturday, the left-handed Carp has been used almost exclusively against right handers and also played left field, which means he could also been seen as a possible pairing with Khris Davis if Davis needs a day off.

In the minors:
Around baseball:

Indians: Acquired Justin Sellers from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for cash considerations.  Designated first baseman David Cooper for assignment.

In former Brewers news, Guillermo Mota, a non-roster invitee for the Kansas City Royals, is retiring after 14 seasons in the major leagues.  Mota did not pitch last season, but was trying to make a return at age 40.

Over the weekend, the Baltimore Orioles public relations director Monica Barlow passed away.  Barlow, 36, was beloved by the team and battled cancer before passing away.

The eighth annual Sloan Sports Analytics Conference took place in Boston over the weekend and Bob Bowman, CEO of MLB Advanced Media, made a pretty significant announcement as he unveiled an entirely new model to capture data at the major league level.  The new model will allow teams to track a player's quickness, acceleration, first step, positioning, and route efficiency as a fielder and base runner.  This next level information should be invaluable to front offices as they evaluate their teams.  Miller Park will be one of three stadiums to have the technology in place this season.

Scott Lindholm at Beyond the Box Score takes a look at what the true cost of a Mike Trout extension might be by looking at FanGraphs Dollar Values and discounted future cash flows.  Eventually coming to the conclusion that even the Angels probably can't screw up a Mike Trout extension.

With the help of Brewerfan.net, we'd like to wish a happy birthday to minor leaguer Jose Pena celebrating his 21st birthday today.


Drink up.

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