Surprisingly Southern Mike Hunt has the news:
Jenkins recently sent an e-mail to general manager Doug Melvin with the word that he is ready and eager to restart his career with the Brewers. Given Jenkins' revival once he got back in the lineup and the motivating factor of a contract year, it is not inconceivable that there will be some elasticity to his game.Elasticity? That's a polite euphemism. Hunt doesn't really have any answers to the outfield dilemma, but it does look like Jim and Jeff were right:
The Brewers have five outfield openings and six realistic candidates, including the unmovable Brady Clark and his $3.8 million contract. After failing to trade either Jenkins or Kevin Mench, the Brewers' best hope is that another team loses an outfielder to injury this spring.That pretty conclusively rules out Tony Gwynn breaking camp with the team, and it can't be a good sign that Gabe Gross wasn't even mentioned by name.
Moving on to the the hot corner, besides more speculation that Ryan Braun may end up an outfielder, there's this:
As for Corey Koskie, it still isn't clear if he will be able to resume his career anytime soon. If he cannot go, the Brewers will platoon "Graffasell" (or is it "Counsellnino"?) at third.Really? Why? Just because one bats left and one right, there's really no reason to platoon them, because Graffanino is simply a much better hitter. Yes, they both have platoon splits, but Graffanino is still slightly better than Counsell against RHP over his career (.269/.332/.381 vs. .260/.346/.356) and last year (.274/.351/.395 vs. .255/.321/.371). There's just nothing in Counsell's numbers that's screaming "Give me at-bats!"
After that, there's some handwringing about losing Ben Sheets to free agency in a couple years, closing with this tocsin:
This is the year when Hardy, Weeks and Sheets have to stay healthy, because there is no Plan B.Awooga! A little too alarmist for my taste. Yes, Sheets may leave via free agency (after 2008, not next year), but there most certainly is a Plan B. Plus, if a Sheets departure does appear imminent in July 2008, I'm sure he'll net a few shiny baubles in a trade.
Best part of the column? The first paragraph:
Four of the sweetest words of the winter - pitchers and catchers report - are just three weeks from happening.Awesome!