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Monday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while building a longer Chunnel.

Thanks go out this morning to Rubie, who filled in admirably for me on Friday, and Noah, who handled this weekend. It's always great to be able to step away for a few days and know that the Mug is taken care of. If you missed either of their Mugs over the weekend, click the links and take a look: there's a lot of good stuff in there.

The Brewer front office staff and coaches from throughout the organization are meeting in Maryvale this week for a pitching symposium, with Gord Ash saying pitching coaches and trainers have submitted "some 100 topics for discussion." Rick Peterson will be the key note speaker for the gathering. Gerry Fraley of USA Today says Peterson could be the Brewers' biggest offseason move.

In the first link in the previous paragraph, Tom Haudricourt also has a note on Chris Capuano, who plans to report to spring training with no restrictions and hopes to compete for a job in the majors. Capuano says he's back to throwing 86-87, down only slightly from the 88-89 he was throwing pre-injury. In-Between Hops has a look at pitchers who have come back from a second Tommy John surgery. The list isn't very encouraging, but it's worth noting that Capuano was significantly better pre-injury than many of the pitchers on that list.

If you've ever been harassed by scalpers "ticket brokers" at Miller Park, then I may have some good news for you. The Brewers are pushing legislation that would allow them to restrict ticket brokers to specific areas of the parking lot, and close some of the loopholes that brokers have been using to escape previous regulations. If the bill passes, the Badgers, Packers, Bucks and Marquette would all also be able to enact similar rules.

I've been following the winter leagues from afar and posting on them each morning for some time now, but somehow I missed this story the first time around: Casey McGehee was banned from competing in the Caribbean this winter and each of the next two after leaving his Mexican team without notice in 2008. The Mexican Winter League season came to an end yesterday for Luis Cruz (the last active Brewer) and his Culiacan teammates, as noted in this morning's Winter League Update.

In the minors:

  • Deep Leagues unveiled their MLB Farm System rankings over the weekend, and they have the Brewers at 15th, a step behind the Nationals and one ahead of the White Sox.
  • The guitar scoreboard, the most prominent feature of Greer Stadium in Nashville, was BBTF's Baseball Picture of the Day.
  • We've got a tight race in the voting for #5 in our BCB Community Prospect Rankings. As of this writing, Eric Arnett leads Zach Braddock by two votes. If you haven't yet, you have until 4 pm today to cast your ballot. At 4, voting for #6 will open with an expanded field of candidates.

Around baseball:

A's: Designated first baseman Tommy Everidge for assignment.
Blue Jays:
Acquired Zach Jackson from the Indians for a PTBNL.
Dodgers: Avoided arbitration with outfielder Jason Repko, who will earn $500,000 in 2010, and signed outfielder Michael Restovich to a minor league deal.
Giants: Signed Aubrey Huff to a one year deal.
Claimed pitcher Jay Marshall off waivers from the A's.
Padres: Signed pitcher Mark Worrell to a minor league deal.

Unless you're an economics nerd, it's possible you don't care. With that said, I'm an economics nerd so I'm intrigued by the math used by the MLBPA to assess Matt Holliday's contract as having $113,580,723 in present day value. The total amount paid will come out to $120 million, but with payments stretched out over 20 years it seems unlikely that it will only experience a 5% devaluation.

Statheads rejoice: has a story on the rise of defensive metrics in major league front offices (h/t BBTF). If you're falling behind, Big League Stew has everything you always wanted to know about UZR.

If that's not enough statistical analysis for you today, Baseball Reference has a two-parter on the length of starting pitching outings and a note on the increasing volume of one inning relief outings.

Or, if you're looking for a slice of baseball history, has a look at the birth and expansion of the Cactus League, which will have 15 major league teams for the first time in 2010.

I've got three former Brewer notes of note today:

  • CC Sabathia made our BCB All Decade Team despite playing just half a season as a Brewer. Was his performance the best ever by a pitcher acquired mid-season? He's currently leading voting over at The Book Blog.
  • Tyler Maas of Bugs & Cranks teamed up with Dan Tobin for a post on what to expect from Bill Hall in Boston.
  • Baseball Musings' Players A to Z series reached Jesus Colome over the weekend.

Randy Johnson announced his retirement last week, and more than a few major leaguers will be happy to see him go: Kevin Dame of The Hardball Times has a frequency cloud of Randy Johnson's strikeout victims, and Plunk Everyone (who else?) has everything you ever wanted to know about batters Johnson hit with a pitch.

On this day in 1999, the Brewers signed outfielder Rich Becker. Becker hit .252/.395/.424 in 89 games as a Brewer before being traded to the A's for pitcher Carl Dale. Dale made four appearances as a Brewer, posting a 20.25 ERA in four innings.

Happy birthday today to:

Oh, and if you follow BCB on Facebook, I promise not to become one of these 18 annoying facebook people (h/t Drew Olson). I did a quick scan of the list and discovered I'm friends with #1, 2, 4, 6, 7 (dozens), 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18,

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've finally found a use for my cast iron skillet.

Drink up.