Some things to read while posting bail.
Well folks, it's been a long winter but we've finally made it: The Brewers open spring training play in Scottsdale against the Giants at 2 pm today, with Jeff Suppan taking the mound against Barry Zito. You can listen to the game on WTMJ and (presumably) across the Brewer Radio Network, and join us here for the game thread, which will open at 1.
There's still a chance that today's game could turn into a wild event: the Giants are still discussing the possibility of retaliation against Prince Fielder. I suppose it's possible something could happen, but I'd be surprised, for all of the following reasons:
- The Brewers play the Giants three more times this spring, and I doubt either team's management wants to have to worry about who's playing/not playing in those games.
- The Giants are starting Barry Zito today. After talking about it all week, hitting Fielder intentionally would most likely get him a regular season suspension, which could throw the Giants' opening day rotation out of whack.
- Fielder will likely bat near the top of the Brewer order today, so if Zito doesn't hit him, he could be lifted from the game before facing a reliever.
Buried at the bottom of Adam McCalvy's notes before yesterday's intrasquad game is this note: Ryan Braun is scheduled for a day off today and won't be in the lineup. The note doesn't say if he will or won't accompany the team, but if he doesn't start it's unlikely he'll play. Braun also crashed into the bullpen gate chasing a foul ball yesterday.
Also not making the trip: Alcides Escobar, who will be undergoing a root canal (FanShot).
Don't be surprised if you don't see Corey Hart today either. Hart left camp after yesterday's intrasquad game to meet with an optometrist to get fitted for prescription goggles. I'm assuming they'll accelerate the process for Hart, but anyone who wears glasses knows that getting new ones doesn't usually happen in under 24 hours, and it doesn't make a lot of sense for the Brewers to play Hart until he has them.
The Brewers have their fair share of elder statesmen in camp this season, with Trevor Hoffman, Jim Edmonds, Gregg Zaun, LaTroy Hawkins and Craig Counsell all likely to break camp with the team. Tom Haudricourt has a profile of Craig Counsell, who seems to have a crystal clear recognition of his role as a bench player on this team.
He's clearly one of the game's elite power hitters, but will Prince Fielder (or anyone else) hit 50 home runs this season? Alex Remington of Big League Stew lists Fielder as one of three players that have a shot, along with Albert Pujols and Ryan Howard. Adam McCalvy also has a profile of Fielder, and looks at how his family impacts his life.
Fielder showed off some of his power yesterday, hitting a home run off Chuck Lofgren in yesterday's intrasquad game. The regular-loaded "White" team lost to the reserve "Blue" team in yesterday's five inning scrimmage, when Eric Arnett walked the first four batters he faced en route to a two-run inning for the Blues. Adam McCalvy has a full recap.
In the minors:
- The Hardball Times unveiled their top 200 prospects yesterday, with Alcides Escobar (31), Brett Lawrie (32) and Caleb Gindl (73) in the top 100, and six more Brewers (Jonathan Lucroy, Eric Arnett, Zach Braddock, Angel Salome, Mark Rogers and Wily Peralta) in the second half.
- John Sickels of Minor League Ball compared and contrasted Escobar and Cubs prospect Starlin Castro in his All Questions Answered thread yesterday.
If you were holding your breath waiting for an official announcement, exhale: The final details have been ironed out, and Ryan Braun's Waterfront Grill is going to happen.
Today's least significant camp note comes from Joe Inglett, who met Phil Mickelson once.
If you're heading out to spring training you should remember to ask Inglett about that, and you might also want to take a glance at OnMilwaukee.com's spring training guide. They suggest you bring a glove. They don't have suggestions for ways to avoid being mocked for it.
If you haven't yet, take a moment to add your thoughts to the BCB Community Projections for right field. Just like with center field, there should be an interesting variety of projections for Corey Hart, both in terms of performance and playing time.
File these two spring training stories under "hope springs eternal:"
- Nolan Ryan predicted 92 wins for the Rangers this season.
- Ken Griffey challenged Ichiro Suzuki to collect 300 hits.
Actually, this story might fit under that heading too: Royals Authority wonders if the Royals signed Jason Kendall in the hope he'd be wearing a Kansas City uniform when he breaks the all time HBP record (thanks to Tristarscoop for the tip).
Happy birthday today to 2005 Brewer Tommy Phelps, who turns 36.
That's all I've got for you today, unless you're going through curling withdrawals.