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Friday's Frosty Mug

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Things to read while hiding your ties to Syrian interests.

Ryan Braun was finally sent in for an MRI yesterday, with the scan showing no structural damage. At this point it appears there's no risk of further injury and it's up to Braun to determine when he returns to action.

Meanwhile, Braden Looper got knocked around a bit in his return to action yesterday, but that's probably to be expected from a guy who's season preparations are well behind most of the opposing batters. Looper admitted to being a little too excited for his Cactus League debut. He has two more starts to get straightened and stretched out before pitching in the home opener.

Robin Yount was in camp yesterday and expects to hang around for most of the Brewers' remaining Cactus League schedule. While he was there, Beyond the Box Score's Graph of the Day dealt with his position switch. Yount is also a key part of the answer to Sully Baseball's question: How did the Angels lose the 1982 ALCS?

Speaking of graphs, jhmoore has one on Rickie Weeks explaining why he feels Weeks is underrated.

On prospects: Heavy on D lists Mat Gamel as one of five players that will shape the future of the NL Central. Gamel is one of several reasons the Brewers rank tenth in Beyond the Box Score's Farm System Value Rankings.

On predictions/projections/rankings:

  • Capper's Picks ranks the Brewers 16th in their preseason power rankings, listing them at +2000 to win the pennant and +4500 to win the World Series.
  • SportsJudge is picking the Brewers to finish fifth.
  • Half Mental has the Brewers finishing second.
  • The Intellectual Thicket ranks the Brewers 18th in their power rankings.
  • lists the Brewers as one of their five teams that could surprise.
  • Heavy on D thinks the Brewers "stand a very fine chance of returning to October baseball."

Notes from other camps:

Astros: Aaron Boone's heart surgery was successful. He faces several months of recovery but could feasibly play again.
A's: Justin Duchsherer's elbow is not improving and he will start the season on the DL.
Cubs: Had to call off last night's game with the Giants after 6 1/2 innings due to heavy winds.
Indians: Claimed Jae Kuk Ryu off waivers from the Padres.
Nationals: Despite the fact that he hasn't been able to play all spring, the Nationals have added Dmitri Young to their 40-man roster to fulfill a handshake agreement he had with former GM Jim Bowden.
Rangers: Owner Tom Hicks is putting up to 49% of the team up for sale. The team also released Brendan Donnelly.

Here's a story you'll hear several times over the next few months: With the economy down and teams expecting a decrease in ticket sales, several teams could be looking to unload expensive talent much earlier than usual this season to avoid ending up in the red. Today's story is about the Tigers, but don't be surprised to see similar stories about the Indians, Rangers, Astros, D-Backs, Cardinals, and maybe even the Brewers, especially if any of those teams are 10 or more games out in May.

Of course, depending on where you live, you may not be able to watch any of those teams anyway. The Biz of Baseball has the latest update on baseball's efforts to fix their blackout policy, which could be summed up in one word: nothing.

Oh, and I've posted the pictures from Gorman's first birthday. They start at the bottom.

Drink up.