Hey, in case you didn't notice, I'm not Kyle. He's taking a week off in Arizona, so he asked me to pinch hit for him today. I normally write for The Brewers Bar, but I also contribute snarky comments here and on Twitter. You can follow me @BrewersBar, especially if you're a Zealot For Zelous. I was nervous about putting this together until Kyle reminded me I don't have to be the best Guest Mugger ever -- I just have to be better than the worst. Setting the bar high today!
On to the important stuff...
Zack Greinke took the mound for the first time as a member of the Brewers yesterday, but wasn't nearly as sharp as Shaun Marcum was in his debut (Game Recap). Greinke was only able to record four outs, walking three and striking out two before being pulled for pitch count reasons. He seemed to be in good spirits, though, saying this was normal for his first start. On the subject of Opening Day, Greinke told reporters that he wants the start, but "it's not like anyone's going to cry if they don't get it." I love Zack Greinke. MLB.com has (free) video of his postgame comments.
If that isn't enough Greinke news for you, Sam Mellinger has an excellent piece on him in the Kansas City Star. It's a bit long, but it's definitely worth the time.
Brandon Boggs was the star on offense yesterday, driving in two runs in the 8th inning. Rickie Weeks continued his hot start to the spring, driving in Wil Nieves for the game's first run in the 3rd inning.
The ink is still drying on Weeks' new contract, but it looks like Doug Melvin isn't done trying to lock up the team's core players -- Tom Haudricourt is reporting that the Brewers are talking to Casey McGehee about a longterm extension. You can read my reaction over on my blog. I'm not sure I get it.
Thankfully, no Brewers were hurt yesterday, but two that already are -- Corey Hart and Jonathan Lucroy -- are mentioned in Will Carroll's Team Health Report over at SI.com. Carroll does this annually, and this year, the Brewers actually grade out pretty well. All five projected starting pitchers are listed under the "green light" section (29% chance or less of injury), which is rare. As far as the "red light" section goes, I bet you can name two of the three mentioned without looking.
Other Brewers news:
Over at FanGraphs, Jack Moore has a team preview for the Brewers.
Colin Fly of the Associated Press talked with Ryan Braun about his expanded leadership role. One of the more interesting tidbits: he admits to only giving PC answers because "there's no reason to create controversy."
Matt Eddy says the team has signed catcher James Skelton, a left-handed hitter who was in Pittsburgh's system last year. He has a career minor league OBP of .396 in 7 seasons.
Takashi Saito says he has tightness in his hamstring and hip, and he's going to be taking it easy for awhile. He's on pace for 9 innings of work this spring.
LaTroy Hawkins tweets that he'll be throwing off a mound for the first time in awhile today.
Ken Davidoff of New York's Newsday updated his annual "Most Reliably Excellent Players" list, which tracks players who finished Top 30 in VORP over an extended period of time. Ryan Braun gets a mention for making it every year since 2007.
In the Bernie's Crew Prospect Madness tournament, Cutter Dykstra vs. Andre Lamontagne is too close to call. Voting for that pairing ends at 12:30 PM today. I feel like everybody forgot about Dre. (You can also vote on Kentrail Davis vs. Greg Hopkins)
Pocket Doppler is dubbing 2011 Year of the Narv Dog.
In podcasts, View From Bernie's Chalet has Episode 2 up. They discuss the catching situation with Lucroy out, Zack Greinke interviews, Adam Wainwright's injury impacting the NL Central race, and how the rotation should be lined up.
WSSP 1250 has an audio interview with Rickie Weeks talking about Spring Training and Prince Fielder, and also debuted Adam McCalvy as their new "Brewers Insider" yesterday morning. I thought he killed it. He should be a big improvement over Anthony Witrado in that role.
McCalvy wasn't the only Brewers reporter doing radio spots yesterday -- you can listen to Tom Haudricourt's latest appearance on ESPN Milwaukee's D-List, too.
As far as themed bars go, this is a new one to me -- there's a Jim Gantner-themed place in Bay View (h/t Andy Tarnoff).
General/random baseball notes:
Ever wonder about the accuracy of the TBS PitchTrax or Fox Sports' FoxTrax graphics? Mike Fast of Baseball Prospectus has a really interesting read on the subject. Fast notes that Miller Park was especially inaccurate with FoxTrax last season.
Miguel Cabrera wasn't the only player from the AL Central to be arrested for drunk driving in the past month. Cleveland's Austin Kearns was arrested on February 12, and allegedly asked the officer to cut him a break because he was a baseball player.
Garret Anderson officially retired.
Mark Teixeira fired Scott Boras. I don't suppose it's possible Prince does the same before the end of the year?
In other Yankee news, they tried to offer Ivan Nova and Ramiro Pena for Francisco Liriano, according to Ken Rosenthal. Hey, remember the time Brian Cashman offered Kei Igawa and Melky Cabrera for Mike Cameron?
Add Nats reliever Cla Meridith to the list of players undergoing Tommy John surgery this spring.
Speaking of Tommy John victims, with Adam Wainwright out for the year, I'm sure St. Louis fans' hearts skipped a beat when Chris Carpenter was pulled from his spring start yesterday and escorted off the field by the trainer. Turns out it was just a hamstring strain, though.
For those with ESPN Insider, Keith Law lists six prospects who could "pull a Mike Trout" and become a Top 10 prospect after starting the year outside the Top 25.
If you want more prospect talk, Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus was the latest guest on the Jonah Keri podcast.
That's all I have for you today. I want to give a big thanks to Kyle for giving me the chance to step in, and thanks to you all for putting up with me for a day. If you haven't already, be sure to check out the Maple Street Press Brewers Annual, which both Kyle and I both contributed to.
As a parting gift, have fun playing with the Charlie Sheen Soundboard.