In which your link collator wonders why she gets incredibly sick whenever she takes a day off work on purpose....
The Brewers have had a busy weekend. A bunch of players returned from injury, while one isn't recovering as fast as we'd like and the other just needs to recover before a long relief crisis may start.
John Axford is back pitching. He was waiting to regain all the weight he lost when he was sick. In more Axford news, it's nice to see him getting some national recognition for his great season last year. He was profiled in the New York Times this week.
Takashi Saito is also pitching again.
Rule 5 pick Pat Egan exists, really, and he's supposed to pitch today.
As seen yesterday on this very blog, Corey Hart has suffered a setback and will be out longer than two weeks. Oh, well, it's not a Brewers spring training if a major component isn't ready to go for the team by Opening Day.
Manny Parra's back problem, even after an MRI, is still a mysterious mystery. (Also, it appears that Chris Narveson is the media's go-to guy for insights on the pitching staff for 2011.)
Various MLB.com Brewers notebooks of the weekend, including injury updates: In the first, Shawn Marcum's throwing cutters all over the place; Ron Roenicke is not worried about the 6th starter, as there are enough options in the minors; and Takashi Saito is pitching again. In the second, Mark Rogers will throw live batting practice on Tuesday and Roenicke wants Jonathan Lucroy to handle most of Randy Wolf's bullpen sessions this spring.
Roenicke actually wants all the catchers to catch all the pitchers. It looks like the days of personal catchers on this club are over.
Oh, yes, Zack Greinke started against the Rangers yesterday. He didn't do particularly well, but it is still spring training and he's not panicking. He's working on a new grip for his curveball that Royals pitching coach Bob McClure started to teach him last season and won't throw his slider until he has command of the new curve. He's also disappointed with his hitting.
More points of interest out of the JS intern blog: a look into the Brewers player nutrition program (they're working with players' partners on home menu planning, which is interesting;) Mike Rivera's back, trying to make the team; meet new first base coach Garth Iorg, and the best news of all: Bob Uecker is back broadcasting.
MLB.com profiles Ron Roenicke.
Mark DiFelice won't give up as he tries to return from a shoulder injury that caused him to miss the 2010 season.
If you want to follow the Brewers minors in the media this season, Brewerfan.net has your guide.
Interesting baseball notes
The MIT-Sloan Sports Analytics Conference was held over the weekend in Boston and a lot of interesting things in a variety of sports have been slowly diffusing over the 'nets. This video of Greg Rubin discussing his poster presentation on using paired pitchers to pitch four innings each in one game was really interesting to me. It's a good idea but teams, for an immmense variety of reasons, are unwilling to experiment this much with their pitching.
There's pro baseball in Taiwan. Learn more about it and don't forget to read the comments, as they're actually valuable this time.
Jack Moore at FanGraphs asks why GMs hold on to albatrosses. The costs may be sunk, but the replacements are worse. This is why the Brewers could cut Suppan last year (Narveeson was more than an adequate replacement) but the Giants can't cut Zito (Suppan IS his replacement.)
Tangotiger presents a case for allowing contract buyouts in MLB.
The weekend in former Brewers
This has also been a busy week with former Brewers, what with two of them retiring and all.
Frank Catalanotto is done with playing, although not officially retired. He's been coaching the Italian national baseball team.
Winks at The Bucky Channel is wondering why Jeff Suppan is dominating the Brewers during spring training. We always joked that Soup was signed because he was a Brewers killer during the regular season despite being generally mediocre against everyone else. Perhaps we're on to something.
Braden Looper pitched for the first time since 2009. Balls were surprisingly contained within the confines of the field.
Mike Cameron hopes to play in a World Series in 2011. He says this is his first legitimate shot at a WS appearance since 2001. I knew the '08 team had its problems, but wow.
Jason Kendall wants to be ready by Opening Day. I didn't think it was possible to feel more bad for the Royals and their fans than I already do. In more Royals news, Alcides Escobar is missing time due to a bug bite. He shouldn't have grabbed that bottle of On. (yes, that's a recycled joke, sorry)
Today in Brewers birthdays: 1978 Brewer Randy Stein turns 58.
Drink your cold tea and get ready for the game. Me, I'm wondering why such a beautiful man has such a horrible haircut.