Some things to read while looking for trouble.
Dave Bush and Manny Parra wrote the next chapter in their rotation spot battle yesterday, with Bush allowing a run on three hits, a walk and a strikeout over five innings in yesterday afternoon's "B" game, and Parra allowing five earned runs on six hits with five strikeouts and no walks in five innings in last night's "A" game. Yesterday will probably be the last time both competitors pitch on the same day: The Brewers are working to schedule a game for their off day next week which would allow them to split up.
After playing their only Cactus League night game last night, the Brewers return home this afternoon to face the Angels. Jeff Suppan is today's scheduled starter, and Trevor Hoffman is scheduled to pitch the sixth inning, making his first Cactus League appearance. Tom Krasovic of MLB FanHouse has a great profile of Hoffman and his adjustment to life in Milwaukee.
This spring continues to go back and forth between "bad news" and "no news at all" for Mat Gamel, who was diagnosed with a slight tear of the latissimus dorsi muscle behind his right shoulder and will be out at least six weeks (FanShot). Anthony Witrado offered his thoughts on the situation last night, and they're about what you'd expect from AW. I was trying to decide if I wanted to post a reaction when I discovered that In-Between Hops did it for me.
Several months ago, when our own Brewer All Decade Team project had recently finished, Adam McCalvy contacted me to participate in MLB.com's version. The results were posted yesterday, and I'm pretty happy with how the story turned out. Our own FtJ even makes a cameo appearance.
Keith Law chatted with fans yesterday, and told them that he thinks Rickie Weeks' chances of reaching his potential are higher than Manny Parra's.
In the minors: Baseball America has a story on Zach Braddock, but it's subscriber only so I haven't read it.
In previews/projections, etc:
- Walkoff Walk predicts the Brewers will win 76 games and finish fifth in the Central, behind everyone but the Astros.
- MLB Trade Rumors has a review of the Brewer offseason.
Blue Jays: Released pitcher Casey Fien and returned Rule 5 pick Zech Zinicola to the Nationals.
Cardinals: Returned Rule 5 pick Ben Jukich to the Reds.
Red Sox: Acquired minor league pitcher Miguel Celestino as the PTBNL in the Casey Kotchman-Bill Hall trade.
Rockies: Infielder Omar Quintanilla will likely open the season on the DL after being diagnosed with a sprained MCL in his knee.
If you're scoring at home, you'll note the latest transaction in a crazy spring for Casey Fien, who started the spring with the Tigers, was claimed off waivers by the Red Sox, claimed again by the Blue Jays, finally cleared waivers and was outrighted to AAA, and has now been released.
The Dodgers had a scary moment yesterday, as legendary broadcaster Vin Scully had to be admitted to the hospital for observation after falling in his home and hitting his head. Thankfully, Scully is expected to be fine and is still planning on making a trip to spring training this weekend.
We've talked a fair amount about Derrick Turnbow this week, as he faced another setback that could mean the end of his major league career. If this is the end, though, he'll always have this: Beyond the Box Score says Turnbow was the most effective pitcher ever to issue more than six walks per nine innings.
Hardball Talk has a note on the Padres today, and their new practice of teaching team employees to speak Spanish. I'm surprised this isn't happening a lot more: With the minor and major leagues largely populated by players from Latin America, you'd think teams would be very interested in making sure as many people as possible can speak their language.
Maybe his career isn't over after all: Jayson Stark notes that Dontrelle Willis pitched three shutout innings in Tigers camp yesterday, and is now in position to be the team's fifth starter on Opening Day. Willis has pitched just 15 games as a Tiger over the last two seasons, posting a 8.27 ERA.
Each spring about this time we need a quick refresher on the roster rules of the season. R.J. Anderson of FanGraphs has a quick look at "options," what they are and how they're used. He doesn't, however, cover one of the most important aspects of the conversation: What happens when a player runs out of options.
Happy birthday today to 1999 and 2001 Brewer Rocky Coppinger, who turns 36.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to find the perfect parking space.