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Monday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while platooning your toothpaste.

If ever there was a must-win spring training game, today's is it: Kevin Kaduk reports that posession of Bob Uecker is on the line when the Brewers and Indians meet in Maryvale this afternoon. They'll send Yovani Gallardo to the mound against lefty David Huff.

Mitch Stetter had another rough outing yesterday, allowing four earned runs on four hits and two walks while lasting just two-thirds of an inning. This was his third spring training appearance, and he's now allowed eleven batters to reach (nine hits, two walks) while retiring just seven en route to a 30.86 Cactus League ERA. Ken Macha said not to worry about yesterday's performance, though, citing "a lot of bloopers and jam shots." Stetter is still probably a near-lock to open the season on the roster, but his performance this spring combined with the fact that he has an option remaining have allowed some doubt to creep in.

Meanwhile, you can't really call it a "rough outing" for Jeff Suppan when he does what we've all come to expect from him. Suppan gave up a bunch of long fly balls (including four solo home runs) in his four innings of work yesterday. In what might be the most recommended Sunday post in BCB history, Roguejim made the case for the Brewers to cut ties with Suppan as soon as possible. Tom Haudricourt still thinks the veteran's contract will buy him a spot on the roster.

Joe Inglett, on the other hand, likely took another step towards making the team. He played the full nine innings at shortstop yesterday, proving that he can adequately handle the position in an emergency situation. He's also drawn six walks in his first 24 Cactus League plate appearances en route to a .222/.400/.444 line.

With Inglett and Jim Edmonds performing well enough to be penciled into spots, Adam McCalvy has a look at the team's remaining roster battles. We're down to three topics of conversation with three weeks of camp remaining: backup catcher, end of the rotation and the final bullpen spot. The Brewers will probably take one step closer to resolving those dilemmas today, as they're expected to announce more roster cuts. Most of the "token invite" prospect pitchers are expected to be gone tomorrow, and don't be surprised if the cut list also includes Zach Braddock and Martin Maldonado.

Elsewhere in camp minutiae:

I'm sure we'll all have plenty of time this season and in years to come to evaluate the decisions to sign Randy Wolf and LaTroy Hawkins to long term deals this offseason. David Golebiewski of The Hardball Times doesn't want to wait, though, and used THT Forecasts to evaluate the value of this offseason's multi-year free agent deals. Wolf comes out as one of the worst deals for starting pitchers, at $3.97 million per win above replacement. Hawkins, meanwhile, was one of the best deals for relievers, at $3.57 million per win.

In the minors:

  • FanGraphs unveiled their Top 50 NL Prospects last week, and now they've combined that ranking with their Top 50 from the AL to form an overall Top 100. They have Alcides Escobar 15th, Brett Lawrie 59th and Mat Gamel at 97.
  • Speaking of Lawrie, he was recently interviewed on WSSP, and Rattler Radio has a link to the audio.
  • If you're a fan of minor league baseball, John Sickels would like to know how often you attend games and why.

Here's some other stuff I didn't know what else to do with:

Around baseball:

Rangers: Pitcher Eric Hurley is recovering from shoulder surgery and also has a broken bone in his wrist. He was placed on the 60-day DL to make room for Hernan Iribarren.

As has become tradition, here's a compendium of notes on former Brewers that have moved on to become notable curiosities in other camps:

The Indians, today's Brewer opponent, were the last team to lose a game this spring: They were 5-0 before losing to the Rangers on Saturday (and again to the Padres yesterday). On the flip side, though, one streak is still alive: The Nationals are 0-10 this spring.

Other slices of life from spring training:

  • The Dodgers traveled halfway around the world to play an exhibition series in Taiwan over the weekend, only to be rained out on Saturday.
  • Once they finally did get on the field yesterday, outfielder Xavier Paul had to be removed from the game after sneezing his way to a bloody nose.

If you're a fan of the romanticized version of baseball, where players play for the love of the game and the city they're being paid millions to represent, you may not want to read this quote from soon-to-be former Padre Adrian Gonzalez.

On this day in 1983, defending AL Cy Young Award winner Pete Vuckovich was diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff. He remained out until late August, when he returned to make three starts down the stretch. He was only 30 at the time, but Vuckovich pitched just 31 games in his career after the injury, going 8-16 with a 4.96 ERA.

On yesterday's date in 2003, Bob Uecker was announced as the winner of that year's Ford C. Frick Award, and ticketed for induction into the broadcasters' wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Happy birthday today to:

  • Seattle Pilot and 1970 Brewer Bob Locker, who turns 72.
  • 1984-85 Brewer Jim Kern, who turns 61.

Thanks to FtJ for spotting both of those for me. Also, happy belated birthday to former Brewer hitting coach Butch Wynegar, who turned 54 yesterday.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go fill out some brackets.

Actually, that reminds me: If you haven't yet, you should join the BCB Bracket Challenge.

Drink up.