Some things to read while embarking on a quest.
The Brewers' first official full squad workout of the spring is underway today, with hitters facing live BP for the first time after some remarks from Mark Attanasio and Ron Roenicke.
At least one Brewer will be glad not to be hearing from Ken Macha today: Ryan Braun has been relatively outspoken this week about the difference in approach between Macha and Roenicke when it comes to negativity, saying "the baseball experience last year was not positive," and "the whole environment and atmosphere, not necessarily with the players, was negative."
Hitters are facing off against the pitchers for the first time today, so you'll probably hear a fair amount about awkward swings. Of course, Zack Greinke is pretty good at getting awkward swings most of the time. At Royals Review, Jeff Zimmerman has lots of photos and charts showing how the Brewers' new ace pitched last season when working with catchers Jason Kendall and Brayan Pena.
About a year ago at this time, we learned that Corey Hart's spring training physical had revealed a need for minor vision correction. What we didn't know until now is that Hart threw away his contacts sometime during the spring and played all of last season without them. I'm not sure how to react to that.
Other notes from camp:
- Mark Kotsay checked into camp yesterday, so everyone is in on time.
- Thankfully the injury report is still minor at this point: John Axford is still recovering from a recent bout with food poisoning and Manny Parra is throwing again after taking a couple of days off with a stiff back.
- Adam McCalvy talked to Casey McGehee about his time with the Brewers and snapped a picture of workers mowing a pattern into the grass at Maryvale.
- Tom Haudricourt has profiles of George Kottaras and Dan Merklinger, and a video blog on this spring's optimism.
- Harper Babin of the Journal Sentinel has video of Randy Wolf giving some pitching advice.
- Kati Shearer of the Journal Sentinel talked to team nutritionist Leslie Bonci and home clubhouse assistant Matt Smith about the team's diet this spring.
- Caitlin Moyer has a profile of Brewer Clubhouse Director Tony Migliaccio.
Looking ahead, we're about eight months away from Prince Fielder's likely free agent departure. Keith Law said that hitting the market at the same time as Pujols probably hurts Fielder's value a bit, but shouldn't affect Pujols.
In the minors:
- Prospect Madness continues at Bernie's Crew: This morning's matchup features Khris Davis and Shea Vucinich.
- Brewersprospects.com has a profile of 2010 draft pick Yadiel Rivera.
It's time once again for some shameless self-promotion: Rob Neyer received his copies yesterday of a dozen Maple Street Press Baseball Annuals. Have you received your Brewer annual yet? If not, you can order it here or look for it on newsstands on March 1.
It's a relatively quiet day around baseball:
Braves: Signed GM Frank Wren to a two year contract extension.
Today in former Brewers:
- Jason Kendall sounded like a real piece of work as he butted into an interview with Royals prospect Mike Moustakas.
- Scott Podsednik, in camp with the Blue Jays, is starting spring training in a walking boot as he recovers from plantar fasciitis.
Bill of The Platoon Advantage is the latest to pile onto the "Jim Edmonds for Hall of Fame" bandwagon.
I have a couple of notes today that can be lumped together under the heading of "contract curiosities." First, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic has a look at non-guaranteed contracts and the points at which teams begin to owe money on them. Then, Dave Cameron of FanGraphs has a look at an unusual clause in Red Sox pitcher Andrew Miller's deal: There's a $3 million option for 2012 that only vests if Miller is claimed off waivers by another organization.
Here are some more spring training stories from today:
- "Not being a distraction" is this spring's new catch phrase.
- Hopefully Royals pitcher Everett Teaford won't be distracted by having his truck stolen.
R.A. Dickey's "pitch face" is in midseason form.
With help from the B-Ref Play Index, we have three posthumous birthdays today:
- Seattle Pilot Steve Barber would have turned 73.
- Cazenovia, WI native Ryne Duren would have turned 82. Duren spent ten major league seasons between 1954-65 as a member of the Yankees and six other teams.
- Portage, WI native and 1891 Milwaukee Brewer George Davies would have turned 143.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I think there's something in my coffee.