Some things to read while cutting your losses.
Clear your schedule, because we've got a lot to discuss this morning. First, despite saying he wasn't interested roughly 48 hours earlier, Doug Melvin pulled the trigger and acquired outfielder Nyjer Morgan from the Nationals yesterday in exchange for minor leaguer Cutter Dykstra and $50,000 (FanShot).I reacted to the deal here.
Doug Melvin talked to reporters after the deal was announced about Morgan's reputation as a troublemaker. Wil Nieves is a former teammate of Morgan's in Washington, and downplayed concerns about his attitude (FanShot).
With that said, the team he's leaving behind seems pretty excited to see him go. Capitol Punishment and The Nationals Enquirer have lists of their favorite memories of "Tony Plush."
Morgan had expressed frustration with a likely reserve role in Washington, but that's the role he'll likely fill with the Brewers. Ron Roenicke and Doug Melvin met with Carlos Gomez yesterday and told him that he'll still start in center.
Part of my frustration with this trade is based on what I see as a disappointing decision to give up on Cutter Dykstra, who won't turn 22 until June and posted a .312/.416/.411 line for Wisconsin in 2010. Not everyone is as high on Dykstra as I was, though: Keith Law called him an organizational player.
At this point, all that's left to say about Morgan is "I guess we'll see how it works out." R.J. Anderson of Baseball Prospectus summed it up nicely with this line:
Morgan's performance dictates whether folks view his eccentric personality as a delightful tension breaker or an immature nuisance.
Of course, that wasn't the only trade the Brewers made this weekend. They also traded Chris Dickerson to the Yankees for starter/reliever Sergio Mitre (FanShot, Reaction). By now you've probably heard about this deal, so I'll jump into the reaction:
- Jack Moore said "this trade is probably closer in value that people think, but the Brewers shouldn't have had to give up Dickerson to get Mitre."
- Jen Lada said she was "excited to watch (Dickerson) compete."
- Howie Magner said "That the Brewers parted with Dickerson to get Mitre tells me they really think Carlos Gomez has turned the corner."
- Jim Breen noted that B-Ref lists Anthony Reyes, Matt Kinney and Jeff Karstens as pitchers similar to Mitre.
For what it's worth, Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt he sees Mitre as more of a reliever, so it's not a given that he'll get the start on the 6th.
FanSided said they're "kind of confused about the deal from both sides." I think that seems about right. Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker said "the Brewers creative use of their assets should pay dividends this summer." The two players the Brewers acquired are scheduled to earn a combined $1.35 million this season, so there still should be money available for more moves later if necessary. For more on both trades, check out Jordan's post from last night.
Elsewhere in roster moves:
- Justin James and Mike McClendon have been optioned to Nashville.
- Martin Maldonado (who will be the primary catcher in Nashville) and Wily Peralta have been optioned out, and Zack Segovia has been returned to minor league camp.
- Luis Cruz has cleared waivers and been outrighted to AAA.
- Zack Greinke, Manny Parra and LaTroy Hawkins have been placed on the DL, with Jonathan Lucroy and Corey Hart presumably soon to follow. That link also notes that Edwin Maysonet, Mark DiFelice and Mike Rivera have been told they won't make the team.
So, given those roster moves, the Brewer bullpen appears set: John Axford, Takashi Saito, Kameron Loe, Zach Braddock, Mitch Stetter, Sean Green, Sergio Mitre and Brandon Kintzler will be the eight. If Mitre doesn't make the start on April 6, then one of these guys will likely need to go down to make room for Marco Estrada.
Mitch Stetter might be the most unlikely member of the Opening Day bullpen. Tom Haudricourt has a story on how Stetter pitched his way back into the organization's plans.
He's certainly not an appealing option, but former Cub Carlos Silva could be another candidate to pitch on the 6th. Doug Melvin told Adam McCalvy he's not interested in acquiring Silva. Given this weekend's events, that probably either means he's not interested or he's 48 hours away from announcing a deal.
The bench also appears set, as Erick Almonte and Jeremy Reed have been informed they'll make the roster (FanShot). Tom Haudricourt has a look at the hot spring that earned Almonte a spot.
Reed may only be a career .253/.311/.356 hitter in the majors, but Baseball America reports that he's the career active leader with a .315 average in the minors. Sergio Mitre is also sixth all-time with a 3.125 ERA. (h/t Matt Eddy)
On the field, Marco Estrada looked good again in his final audition for the #5 spot yesterday. He pitched six innings and allowed two runs on seven hits, walking one and striking out four.
Other notes from the field:
- The Brewers lease for their facility to Maryvale runs through next spring, and it's possible they could leave the park once it expires. Tyler Emerick of the JS has a look at the Brewers' attendance decline this spring, and what it might mean for the future.
- Grant Martin of the JS reports that the Brewers raised about $4600 for aid efforts in Japan before Sunday's game.
- Zach Braddock's recent absence from camp was due to a scorpion sting, and he should be fine in time for Opening Day.
- Andrew Gruman of the JS has a profile of Ed Sedar.
- Harper Babin of the JS has a profile of Kosuke Inaji, Takashi Saito's translator.
- Here's video of a near collision between Prince Fielder and the Italian Sausage during Friday's Sausage Race.
Now that the roster is set, let the jokes begin: Miller Park Drunk has a guide to
awesomely bad jokes about the 2011 Brewers.
I mentioned above that Zack Greinke was officially placed on the DL to open the season, but he is making strides towards an eventual return: Greinke started throwing again over the weekend (FanShot).
Thursday will be John Axford's first Opening Day as closer. Adam McCalvy has a look at the Ax's spring.
Could this be the year for Carlos Gomez and George Kottaras to break out? Rich Lederer of The Baseball Analysts used spring stats to suggest it.
In the minors:
- Marc Hulet of FanGraphs ranked Mark Rogers as baseball's 98th best prospect. He was the only Brewer to crack the top 100.
- Chris Mehring saw Eric Arnett pitch over the weekend, and said he's not sure if the former #1 pick will open 2011 with Wisconsin or Brevard County.
- Pitcher Darren Byrd hasn't drawn much attention this spring, but Adam Foster of Project Prospect reports the lefty was hitting 93 on the gun recently.
- Chris Mehring has a recap of his second and third day in minor league camp.
If you're going to a Brewer game at Miller Park this season, you're more likely to come home with a bobblehead than any other NL fan. Baseball Daily Digest has a list of 2011 promotional schedules and notes that the Brewers lead the league with seven bobblehead days in 2011.
Unfortunately, it looks like one ballpark improvement is on hold: The smart phone concession plan the team announced last week has been delayed while the Brewers work out some details.
Today in predictions and whatnot:
- ESK of Brewed Sports is picking the Brewers to win 89 games and the NL Central.
- The Tacoma News Tribune has the Brewers finishing second, behind the Reds.
- Scott Carson of sportsnet.ca picked the Brewers to finish third.
- Ten writers for ESPN's SweetSpot network voted and six think the Brewers will win more than 85.5 games.
- Bodog has the Brewers at 16-1 odds to win the World Series. That's the fifth lowest in baseball.
- Austin's Astros 290 Blog picked Casey McGehee, Ryan Braun, Corey Hart and Zack Greinke for his NL Central All Star team.
By the way, I had previously mentioned that BCB's 2011 prediction contest would open today. I've got a lot to fit in, though, so I'm going to bump it back to tomorrow.
Astros: Acquired Joe Inglett from the Rays for a PTBNL or cash and returned Rule 5 pick Lance Pendleton to the Yankees. Also, shortstop Clint Barmes is out 4-6 weeks with a broken hand.
Athletics: Closer Andrew Bailey will open the season on the DL with a forearm strain.
Braves: Released reliever Scott Proctor.
Cubs: Released pitcher Carlos Silva.
Diamondbacks: Announced the retirement of pitcher Mike Hampton.
Dodgers: Released reliever Ron Mahay. Also, catcher Dioner Navarro is expected to open the season on the DL with an oblique strain.
Mariners: Returned Rule 5 pick Jose Flores to the Indians and released outfielder Gabe Gross.
Padres: Released infielder Kevin Frandsen.
Pirates: Catcher Chris Snyder is expected to open the season on the DL with back soreness.
Rangers: Pitcher Tommy Hunter will open the season on the DL with a groin injury.
Reds: Placed pitcher Homer Bailey on the DL with a right shoulder impingement.
Royals: Released infielder Pedro Feliz.
Yankees: Reliever Pedro Feliciano is expected to open the season on the DL with a triceps strain.
With Bailey on the DL, the Reds' rotation will have to be shuffled once again before they open the season against the Brewers on Thursday. And once Bailey's spot is filled, it may have to be altered again: Bronson Arroyo, who is scheduled to pitch on Sunday, has mono but says he's going to try to work through it.
Today in former Brewers:
- Lorenzo Cain will open 2011 in AAA with the Royals.
- Dave Bush is going to stick with the Rangers as a long reliever.
- David Riske has been cut from the Orioles. The organization isn't sure if he'll report to AAA.
- Braden Looper was informed he's not going to make the Cubs, and decided to retire.
- Hernan Iribarren, who was in camp with the Rockies, will miss the 2011 season with a torn ACL.
- David Schoenfield of ESPN crunched the numbers and discovered that, when sorted by career WAR, Jason Kendall is the best player who has never appeared on an MVP ballot.
- In yesterday's post on Nyjer Morgan, I speculated that Corey Patterson was probably available for less. It turns out that might not have been true: Patterson is going to make the Blue Jays.
- Jeffrey Leonard is campaigning to get on Dancing With The Stars.
With Opening Day coming up, we're only a few days removed from the first Tater Trot Tracker of 2011. To help you get ready, Larry Granillo of Baseball Prospectus has a look at 2010's most notable home run trots.
With help from the B-Ref Play Index and Brewerfan.net, happy birthday today to:
- 2002 Brewer Ryan Christenson, who turns 37 today.
- 1989-94 and 2000 Brewer Jaime Navarro, who turned 44 on Sunday.
- 1980 Brewer Vic Harris, who turned 61 on Sunday.
- 1956-61 Milwaukee Brave Wes Covington, who turned 79 on Sunday.
- 1992-96 Brewer Kevin Seitzer, who turned 49 on Saturday.
- Helena Brewer Chad Stang, who turned 22 on Saturday.
Somehow I wrote almost 1900 words today but forgot to include a closing joke. Oops.