Some things to read while making a new sign.
We're just one day away from the Brewers' first official full squad workout of the spring. Position players are required to report today, and be in uniform tomorrow.
As of Friday, only three Brewer position players had yet to make an appearance in Maryvale: Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder and Mark Kotsay. Fielder and Braun reported over the weekend, so Kotsay is now the only Brewer waiting until today's deadline to report. Clearly, packing all that "veteran presence" into a suitcase took longer than he expected.
Ryan Braun talked to Tom Haudricourt yesterday about the 2011 season. He said he's bigger and stronger this spring after spending the winter working out with Gabe Kapler, and is excited to play for Ron Roenicke.
Mat Gamel, who has been one of the last to arrive to camp in previous years, reported early this season and will reportedly get work in both outfield corners and at first and third base this spring. Gamel has expressed disinterest in playing first base in the past, but Howie Magner noted this Ron Roenicke quote which sums up the situation nicely:
"If I were in his shoes, I'd be open to anything."
Meanwhile, Roenicke has also started to offer a look at the potential Opening Day lineup. He seems to be leaning towards batting Yuniesky Betancourt sixth to use his power to help protect the heart of the Brewer order. If you're going to keep Betancourt in the lineup, that would seem to be the best way to use him.
It's not quite a "best shape of his life" story, but it could be: Jerry Crasnick of ESPN noted that Rickie Weeks "keeps getting bigger and bigger" and "is built like an NFL strong safety." Beyond the Box Score has a link to this interesting graph comparing Weeks and Kelly Johnson.
Other notes from camp:
- Adam McCalvy has profiles of new "eye in the sky" John Shelby, reliever Zack Segovia and catchers Mike Rivera and Jonathan Lucroy.
- McCalvy also talked to Prince Fielder about playing in high school showcases with Zack Greinke, who was a third baseman at the time.
- Tom Haudricourt has profiles of reliever Robert Hinton and outfielders Jeremy Reed and Caleb Gindl. He also says Carlos Gomez is "a good kid."
- Brian Anderson was in Madison last night for the Badger basketball game against Penn State, and will report to camp next week.
- Michael Hunt has full coverage of Prince Fielder's hair.
The Brewers made a few minor transactions over the weekend, signing Zach Braddock, Chris Dickerson, Brandon Kintzler and Jonathan Lucroy to 2011 contracts. All five players were pre-arbitration. The Brewers now have 35 members of their 40 man roster signed.
In the minors:
- Former first round pick Mike Jones has decided to retire. Jones was the 12th overall pick in the 2001 draft but injuries limited him to just 623.1 innings in the ten minor league seasons since. He split last year between Huntsville and Nashville but was only able to make 19 appearances.
- Prospect Madness continues at Bernie's Crew: The last matchup I've seen features Hunter Morris and Brock Kjeldgaard.
- Brewersprospects.com has profiles of Zelous Wheeler and Cody Hawn.
- A warm spell last week melted most of the snow off of Wisconsin's Time Warner Cable Field, but it's snowed about a foot since then.
When you think about it, spring training is a pretty interesting logistical endeavor: While preparing Miller Park for the regular season, the Brewers are also managing a training facility and stadium operations thousands of miles away from home. If you've ever wondered how they do it, then Caitlin Moyer's interview with Brewer VP-Controller and Spring Training Director Joe Zidanic might have your answers.
Of course, a big part of spring training is also finding ways to kill time, which might be why LaTroy Hawkins is back on Twitter. (h/t Adam McCalvy)
In predictions/projections/power rankings: Vegas Watch notes that the 2011 Brewers have an over/under of 84.5 wins. That's third in the division behind the Cardinals and Reds.
Today in shameless self promotion: Brian Carriveau of Pocket Doppler made an appearance this weekend on Appleton's AM-1570 The Score to promote the Maple Street Press Brewer Annual, which he edited and I contributed to. You can click here to order your copy, or look for it on newsstands March 1.
Astros: Lost their arbitration hearing with Hunter Pence, who will make $6.9 million in 2011.
Athletics: Infielder Adam Rosales is unlikely to play until May after undergoing offseason foot surgery.
Mets: Signed outfielder Jesus Feliciano and first baseman Chris Shelton to minor league deals.
Rays: Signed Joe Inglett to a minor league deal (FanShot).
Today in former Brewers:
- Jim Edmonds has decided to retire instead of trying to push a sore Achilles through one last run for the Cardinals. Big League Stew has 15 photos of Edmonds' dramatic catches, Larry Granillo of Baseball Prospectus has a look at his final home run trot, and Jason Rosenberg and Chad Dotson of SweetSpot and Landon Evanson of Bugs & Cranks make the case for him to make the Hall of Fame.
- Hank Aaron's last major league game in the field took place on August 1, 1976. In a strange coincidence, Frank Robinson also played in that game in his last game in the field. The B-Ref Blog remembers the occasion.
- More recently, on July 6, 2006 the Brewers and Cubs combined to finish a game without either team breaking 100 pitches. It's only been done twice since.
Here are my favorite spring training stories from today:
- Omar Vizquel continues to approach 3000 hits at a glacial pace, but he knows exactly how many hits he needs.
- Speaking of unlikely events, Royals closer Joakim Soria needs to pitch 334 innings this season to trigger a vesting option for 2012.
- The Orioles somehow managed to sign pitcher Justin Duchscherer without learning how to spell his last name.
- Adam Dunn didn't swing a bat all winter.
Need a Sporcle quiz to get your brain going on a Monday morning? Lone Star Ball directed my attention to this one, asking you to name the 24 pitchers who have recorded 2000 or more strikeouts with one team. I got 19 of them.
With help from the B-Ref Play Index and Brewerfan.net, happy birthday to:
- Helena Brewer Kenny Allison, who turns 21 today.
- Huntsville Star Chris Nowak, who turns 28 today.
- 1991 Brewer Jim Olander, who turns 48 today.
- 1970-71 Brewer Ted Savage, who turns 74 today.
- 2003 Brewer Leo Estrella, who turned 36 on Sunday.
- 1953-54 Milwaukee Brave Jim Wilson, who would have turned 89 on Sunday.
- 1974 Brewer Clyde Wright, who turned 70 on Sunday.
- 1963-65 Milwaukee Brave Bob Sadowski, who turned 73 on Saturday.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to add a line to Mayor McCheese's scouting report.