Some things to read while bringing headphones.
Schedules have been shuffled around a bit today after yesterday's relatively rare Cactus League rainout. As you read this, the Brewers and Reds are likely preparing for a B game in Goodyear, where Adam McCalvy reports that Eric Arnett, Zach Braddock, Tim Dillard, Scott Schoeneweis and Chris Smith are scheduled to pitch. John Fay has the starting lineup and scheduled pitchers for the Reds. With that said, Tom H. was already worried about the weather last night.
Doug Davis, who was scheduled to pitch yesterday, pitched a simulated game instead to stay on schedule. Adam McCalvy has a profile of the returning Brewer, who turned his career around by rejecting an outright assignment from the Blue Jays.
Yesterday's Phoenix-wide rainout left a lot of people with some time on their hands. Some notes on the day:
- John Fay noted that the Reds, who just moved from Florida, weren't rained out a single time last spring, and only twice in the last six years.
- Keith Law said it's his first spring training rainout since coming to work for ESPN.
- Jane Lee reported that the A's used the day off to race go karts.
- Personally, I took advantage of the free time and wrote some stuff about the Badgers, reviewed a cheese grater and documented Tucson getting the last laugh.
Of course, these rainouts wouldn't happen if all the spring training parks had retractable roofs, like Miller Park. Maury Brown of The Biz of Baseball has a look at the rules governing the opening and closing of roofs and side panels (FanShot).
Through all the dark clouds, Ken Rosenthal was a rare ray of sunshine this weekend, with notes on why Prince Fielder should consider staying in Milwaukee and reasons why the Cardinals aren't a lock to win the NL Central.
Speaking of Fielder, reaction continues to trickle in from his HBP last week:
- Mike Golic and Buster Olney came to Fielder's defense over the weekend.
- Brewed Sports takes down last week's Cliff Saunders column in excellent fashion.
- Perhaps most disappointingly, former Brewer Bob Scanlan weighs in in favor of baseball traditionalism, and wishes the Giants had sent someone who throws harder than Zito to exact revenge.
Once this morning's B game is concluded (or rained out) all attention will shift back to Maryvale, where the Brewers will host the Mariners this afternoon. Manny Parra won the coin toss and will start today's game, with Dave Bush scheduled to follow him in the spring's first FSWisconsin telecast. Doug Fister will pitch for the Mariners.
Sometime in the next day or two we'll probably see Trent Oeltjen return to action: an x-ray revealed there are no fractures in his wrist, and he should be back swinging a bat today. The news isn't quite as good for Josh Butler, who underwent a cortisone shot to relieve some inflammation in his elbow and will remain shut down for most of this week (FanShot)
With Ryan Braun, Carlos Gomez and Corey Hart somewhat settled into starting roles, Jody Gerut most likely profiles as the team's fourth outfielder, but that doesn't mean he has to be happy about it. With uncertain expected production from Gomez and Hart, Gerut might get a fair number of opportunities to play this season.
Elsewhere in camp minutiae:
- LaTroy Hawkins recently sat down with USA Today's Bob Nightengale and a handful of figures from around baseball to tackle some of the issues facing the game. Part 1 of the discussion focused on instant replay, the strike zone and pace of play. (h/t In-Between Hops)
- Luis Cruz got married a few weeks ago and is expecting his first child in May.
- George Kottaras talked to Tom Haudricourt about his experiences catching the knuckleball.
- Cory Provus talked to Mark DiFelice, absent from the major league side of camp this spring as he works to rehab his surgically repaired shoulder.
- Michael Hunt looks at the possibility the Brewers would leave Maryvale when their current lease expires, and doesn't think they should do it.
I think we've all got pretty high hopes for Ryan Braun this season. And That Happened has him on their CHONE All Star Team as the NL's third outfielder. Braun, projected to be worth 4.6 wins this season, joins Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran. (h/t Beyond the Box Score)
Meanwhile, a lot of us are also pretty excited about Yovani Gallardo. Gallardo was profiled as part of Baseball Musings' Players A to Z series over the weekend, with David Pinto saying he could join Tim Lincecum and Adam Wainwright as a perennial Cy Young contender.
In the minors:
- Jeff Zimmerman of Beyond the Box Score used a series of combined prospect rankings to establish another set of Farm System Rankings, and has the Brewers 22nd. Because this system only used top prospects, though, it likely underrated some of the depth in the low levels of the organization.
Bus Leagues Baseball has an organization-by-organization look at the best names in minor league baseball, and selected Maverick Lasker to represent the Brewers. (h/t Baseball Zealot)
Are you a Brewer fan that never finished eighth grade? If so, here's a reason to go back: Members of the Brewers will visit Milwaukee area middle schools on May 28 as part of the "S.C.O.R.E." program.
At the very least, it'd be a good excuse to take the day off from ticket scalping: The ticket resale bill has stalled in the state assembly, under concerns that the bill would make it harder for average fans to sell their tickets. Here's a quote from State Rep. Mary Hubler:
"The reality is that mom and pop from the family come with an extra ticket and they want to get rid of it. Why do we want to create lawbreakers?"
First off: mom and pop from the family? Where else would mom and pop come from? Secondly, though, if mom and pop are really that eager to unload the ticket, they'd be perfectly welcome to go sell in the resale zone (or on Craigslist or Ebay) with everyone else, instead of harassing passersby.
Dodgers: Russell Martin is out 4-6 weeks with a groin strain and will most likely not be ready for Opening Day.
Giants: Emmanuel Burriss has a fractured foot and will be in a walking boot for at least four weeks.
Twins: Signed Nick Blackburn to a four year deal worth $14 million, buying out his arbitration years.
Another day, more bad news for Braden Looper. Brandon Webb's injury relapse may force the Diamondbacks to open the season with him on the DL, but Jerry Crasnick reports they'll fill the vacancy from within, and aren't interested in Looper or Jarrod Washburn. I'm guessing Looper is probably wishing he'd taken the Nationals' offer a month ago.
Even former Brewer Jim Gantner is more active than Looper at this point. Gantner spent the weekend at a health and sport expo in Park Falls.
Here are a couple of "slice of life" spring training stories from the weekend:
- Joe Frisaro of MLB.com has a look at Marlins prospect Ozvaldo Martinez's spring: Martinez is lucky to be alive and healthy after being shot multiple times in Puerto Rico over the winter.
- Corey Hart wasn't the only player to learn he needs a vision adjustment this spring: Braves outfielder Nate McLouth will be wearing contacts for the first time this season, and has a strong indictment of the Pirates' vision tests in the story.
I'm pretty sure the game would have been over a week ago, but if you're looking for an entertaining way to chronicle spring training cliches you could do worse than Lookout Landing's Spring Training Media Bingo.
Of course, we should pity beat writers for the miserable lives they lead being paid to tell others about baseball. As Craig Calcaterra noted on Twitter, one beat writer was overheard this weekend saying he'd rather work in a factory. I'm guessing he's never actually worked in a factory, and after a few days I'm guessing he'd be more than happy to go back to covering baseball.
Speaking of spring training cliches, Baseball Reference looks into the theory that switch hitters take longer to get going, since they have two swings to work on. They don't find much evidence.
And speaking of Twitter, John Fay has a look at how quickly it allows rumors to spread, citing a recent example involving the Reds, Gary Matthews Jr. and Buster Olney.
Looking to do something sabermetric today? Dave Allen of The Baseball Analysts details how you can acquire Pitchf/x data.
Happy birthday today to former Seattle Pilot and best-selling author Jim Bouton, who turns 71
That's all I've got for you today, unless you wanted Brewer Twitter FanFic.