Some things to read while trying not to imagine Delmon Young "bathed in a heavy sweat".
Spring training rolled on yesterday as the Brewers fell 4-2 to the Cubs. The game was even in the seventh inning when Mike Fiers entered the game. Fiers struck out two, but also gave up two singles before a two-out double from Walter Ibarra that scored two runs and eventually won the game for the Cubs. For more details, check out Derek's recap.
Before Fiers entered the game, Wei-Chung Wang made his Cactus League debut for the Brewers yesterday and took only 11 pitches to take care of his inning in order. Todd Rosiak of the Journal Sentinel writes that Wang, a Rule 5 selection from the Pirates in December, will need some more outings like yesterday to secure his spot on the 25 man roster. In his single inning though, the 21-year old Wang threw eight of his 11 pitches for strikes and struck out two batters while hitting 94 on the radar gun.
Major League Baseball's expanded video replay system also made its debut in the Cactus League yesterday as the Brewers were given their first of three looks at the system this spring. Adam McCalvy writes that the Brewers will have to do some tinkering, but as of now they plan on using John Shelby as their employee allowed to look at the video and communicate with the manager. While the Brewers figure out how to use the system, Lyle Overbay mentioned his fear that some teams may use the video replay system as a strategic advantage by challenging a call just to give a reliever extra time to warm up in a tough spot.
Overbay, 37, will be looking to make the roster as the oldest player currently in camp and a non-roster invitee. Overbay explained to Rosiak that he understands the situation, but hopes to make the best of it while making the squad and passing on some of his knowledge to the young guys at first base. Roenicke mentioned that it would make a big difference if Overbay is able to play some high quality defense at first, which is something he has done in the past. For the first time in years, Overbay says that he has been able to avoid the spring training soreness that typically plagues him and credits some changes in his offseason diet and training regimen for his physical improvements.
ESPN's Jerry Crasnick stopped by Phoenix to check on Ryan Braun's transition to a new position in right field. Crasnick writes that Braun has a lot to learn and Braun admitted to "trying to squeeze a semester's worth of work into one month". Braun will need to adjust to the ball coming off the bat differently, backing up bunts and pick off throws and learning when to eat the ball in right field. Crasnick believes that Braun will not struggle as Braun has supreme confidence, so much so that he occasionally lobbies Roenicke to let him play shortstop fully believing he could do a serviceable job.
Other notes from camp:
- Adam McCalvy writes that Damian Miller is in the midst of a weeklong stint as an instructor for the Brewers. He was brought to the squad in part because of a suggestion from former teammate Craig Counsell.
- Tyler Dunne spent some time with Scooter Gennett to ask him about some of the interesting parts of his rumored genealogy, especially the rumors of his great grandfather being a champion professional boxer. (The rumors are true. Sounded like a gritty fighter.)
- The Brewers announced that tickets for the Brewers two home exhibitions will go on sale on Wednesday at 9 a.m. The Brewers will take on Ned Yost and the Kansas City Royals at Miller Park on Friday, March 28 and Saturday, March 29.
- Hank found himself a new chew toy. No surprise here. It's adorable.
Benjamin Orr at Reviewing the Brew is getting frustrated by the growing sentiment that the Brewers success this season hinges entirely on Ryan Braun. He writes that though the offense did struggle at times last season, the pitching staff was the real reason for any of their serious problems. So, he believes anyone putting the following season on Ryan Braun's shoulders is seriously misguided and just not paying attention.
In the minors:
- Yesterday, outfielder Michael Reed edged out the competition for the #13 spot in the BCB Community Prospect Rankings. As of writing, Tucker Neuhaus and Jason Rogers are very close in the polls for the #14 spot. Voting closes at noon.
- Rattler Radio dropped a few quick notes on some Rattler Alumni in spring training for the Brewers highlighting home runs from Mitch Haniger and Khris Davis and wins from Chris Tillman and Kevin Shackelford.
Earlier in the winter, the Brewers announced that Bob Uecker would not be broadcasting all of the Brewers games this season as he will stay in Milwaukee for select Brewers road trips. In some of the day's biggest news, WTMJ announced that Craig Counsell, Daryl Hamilton and Jerry Augustine will fill in for Uecker alongside Joe Block for those select road games. Augustine and Counsell are no strangers to the organization, but Hamilton is a bit of a surprise addition as he does some color commentary work for MLB Network broadcasts.
Around the league:
Russell Wilson made his first appearance with the Rangers at spring training on Monday. He did some drills and took some ground balls, but that isn't what was interesting about his experience. The Rangers souvenir store sold out of $30 Wilson t-shirts in 10 minutes and only had a few $125 Wilson jerseys left by the end of the day. There isn't much money in merchandise sales, but if your team is looking for a boost, get a Super Bowl winning quarterback to come to spring training.
With the help of Brewerfan.net, we'd like to wish happy 25th birthday to right hander Taylor Mangum, who spent some time with the Timber Rattlers and Manatees last season.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a face to stuff with pancakes.