Some things to read while flying your tiny blimp.
We're 18 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training and the Brewers are using what will likely be a slow news week to announce their 2012 bobbleheads, one at a time. Yesterday they announced that Jonathan Lucroy will be the first player featured on April 22. Follow @Bernie_Brewer to see today's announcement.
Meanwhile, the Brewers have released the final version of their 2012 schedule. Tom Haudricourt has the changes (which mostly involve Saturday game times being adjusted to accommodate national TV) behind the JS paywall.
Given our current lack of other developments, it's possible we'll have wall-to-wall coverage of this for the rest of the week: Nyjer Morgan is going to work out with the NHL's San Jose Sharks tomorrow.
Yesterday I mentioned that the Brewers reported progress in their negotiations with Shaun Marcum, and suggested a one year deal is probably still the most likely outcome. Reviewing the Brew has a counter proposal: They want the team to sign him for four years.
Most of yesterday's news centered around quotes gathered at On Deck this weekend. The Janesville Gazette's Peace and Glove blog was there and shared some pictures from the festivities.
The Brewers made a minor transaction yesterday, leading to some minor irritation: They signed outfielder Corey Patterson to a minor league deal (FanShot). He won't be invited to big league spring training, but is invited to early minor league camp and is expected to play left field for Nashville. Patterson is a career .252/.290/.400 hitter in 1230 major league games over 12 seasons, and was a Brewer briefly in 2009.
With that said, maybe a deep breath is in order. Bill Petti of Beyond the Box Score has a chart showing the Brewers are the best team in baseball at keeping below replacement level players off the field, and just 6% of their players since 2002 have had sub-zero wins above replacement totals. That blew my mind a little.
In the minors:
- Tom Haudricourt has lists of non-roster invitees to spring training and minor leaguers invited to early camp. The former list is all names we've seen before, but this is the first time I'd seen the latter.
- Carlos Gomez's winter league season is over, as he went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts in Aguilas' 6-5 loss to Escogido, who won the Dominican final series 5-4. You can read more about that in today's Winter League Notes.
- The Caribbean Series opens Thursday and Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs has a list of the major leaguers involed, including Martin Maldonado of Mayaguez.
- Wisconsin Sports Tap has a list of the top outfielders in the Brewer organization, led by Logan Schafer.
- Brewer Nation's "Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers" series continues today with a profile of Brock Kjeldgaard.
- The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers have the first of many videos to promote their Opening Day bobblehead giveaway.
Meanwhile, Caleb Gindl leads Cody Scarpetta by about 35 votes for the #10 spot in our Community Prospect Rankings. We'll close that poll at 1 today and open the voting for #11 at 2.
If you're easily angered or discouraged you might want to skip today's projections and power rankings:
- The Replacement Level Yankees Weblog used Marcel projections to predict 81 wins and a third place finish for the Brewers.
- The Hardball Times has them winning 79 games, which turned my stomach a bit. (h/t Lookout Landing)
- The Outside Corner has the Brewers 13th.
- Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune has the Brewers 17th and uses some epic hindsight to blast Doug Melvin for Ryan Braun's contract extension.
Angels: Signed pitcher Francisco Rodriguez (the other one) to a minor league deal.
Braves: Signed pitcher Buddy Carlyle to a minor league deal.
Cubs: Signed pitcher Trever Miller.
Indians: Acquired infielder/outfielder Russ Canzler from the Rays for cash.
Orioles: Signed pitchers Armando Galarraga and Pat Neshek and catcher Ronny Paulino to minor league deals.
Rangers: Signed manager Ron Washington to a two year contract extension through 2014.
Rays: Outfielder Justin Ruggiano is expected to refuse an outright assignment to the minors and become a free agent.
Yankees: Signed pitcher Manny Delcarmen to a minor league deal.
In former Brewers:
- Dennis Sarfate is remaining in Japan with the Hiroshima Carp in 2012.
Outdoor hockey is a pretty big sporting fad lately, but it's worth noting that it comes at a significant cost: Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia is having all of its turf replaced before Opening Day after the old surface was ruined by the ice rink.
The Angels have spent a lot of money on the free agent market this winter, but it's also worth noting that they're taking a significant hit in the draft: They lost their 2012 first and second round picks when they signed Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson and won't pick for the first time until the second half of the third round.
The Brevard County Manatees (@BCManatees) note that it's a pretty big day for baseball birthdays, as Nolan Ryan, Ernie Banks and Jackie Robinson were all born on January 31. Today In Brewer History has a fourth name to add to that list: Yuniesky Betancourt turns 30 today.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going back to drawing pineapples.