Some things to read while ducking the bill collectors.
Speculation season is officially underway: Tom Haudricourt has a position-by-position look at the decisions the Brewers will have to make over the coming days and months. Here's more of what's out there this morning:
- Charlie Marlow has a first look at the Brewers' projected 2012 payroll.
- Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar has a look at some of the candidates available to replace Prince Fielder at first base.
- Brad of View From Bernie's Chalet has a Christmas Wish List.
- C. Trent Rosecrans of CBS has a preview of the offseason.
Meanwhile, the JS had an extended look back this weekend, and issued team and individual grades for the 2011 Brewers.
Despite having a pretty good season, Randy Wolf only received a B- from the JS staff. He did, however, edge out Jerry Hairston Jr in our Brewer of the NLCS voting.
This has been a favorite topic for many of you in the comments for months now, so here's some more fodder for the conversation: Lee Panas of Tiger Tales took a look at the numbers from 2011 and concludes that the Brewers may have been lucky, winning seven more games than their run totals would suggest they should have.
Here's an interesting note on Jonathan Lucroy's plate discipline: Jacob Peterson of Beyond the Box Score says that Lucroy takes 24.2% of pitches in the strike zone, and swings at 13.8% outside. That combination makes him the eighth most "passive-aggressive" hitter in all of baseball. Corey Hart, meanwhile, the the eleventh least passive-aggressive.
In the minors:
- The AFL is off on Sundays but Caleb Gindl had a big day in Venezuela, going 2-for-3 with a double, home run and two walks in Caracas' 10-5 win over Lara. You can read about that and more in today's Winter League Notes.
- Taylor Green was an honorable mention on Project Prospect's list of 2011's top ten position players in AAA.
- Brewersprospects.com has reviews of Wily Peralta and Tyler Thornburg's 2011 seasons.
Apparently if you're a rehabbing pitcher, social media is a good way to kill some time. Manny Parra became the latest Brewer to jump onto Twitter over the weekend (FanShot).
Athletics: Hired former Red Sox pitching coach Curt Young as their new pitching coach.
Blue Jays: Claimed pitcher Jesse Chavez off waivers from the Royals and announced that pitcher Rommie Lewis, infielder Chris Woodward and outfielder DeWayne Wise have all elected to become free agents.
Padres: Pitcher Jeff Fulchino has elected to become a free agent.
Pirates: Are expected to decline club options for catchers Chris Snyder and Ryan Doumit.
You may have noticed that the World Series is still going on, and will continue for at least a few more days. Tauntr has a guide to help you assess Tony LaRussa's managerial skills. (h/t @jh_moore) By the way, if you still haven't choisen a team to root for, this t-shirt might help you decide.
I thought this number was pretty interesting: Baseball Musings notes that, now that we're assured the World Series will go six games, baseball will miss at most four possible playoff games in 2011: 19 of 20 possible LDS games were played along with 12 of 14 possible LCS games.
I'm not sure it's something I'd do, but I can see the logic: If you're only going to one World Series game in your life, you might as well do it while wearing matching hot dog costumes.
Today in former Brewers:
- Brett Lawrie made Baseball America's All-Rookie Team.
- 1992 Brewer Scott Fletcher is the Braves' new assistant hitting coach.
I remember this day pretty clearly, because the Astros were in Milwaukee when it happened. With that said, getting to see it from this angle is pretty cool: Businessweek has an inside look at the conversations that led to the Astros' decision to trade outfielder Michael Bourn to the Braves this summer. (h/t BBTF)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this might be one of the most notable stadium dimension overhauls in recent memory: The Mets are bringing in the fences at Citi Field this winter, and the most notable shift will be a 25 foot reduction in right-center.
Here's something you probably already knew: Sometimes producing unique daily winter content for a baseball site can be a bit of a challenge. With that said, we're doing our best to get all the way through to spring training without having to discuss new Pop Tart flavors.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to explain it again.