Some things to read while being blessed.
Good morning and welcome to "invited to spring training" season. The Brewers announced their first two non-roster invitees to big league camp yesterday: Reliever Darren Byrd and catcher Dayton Buller.
Byrd is probably a fringe candidate at best to make the 2013 Brewers, but he's an interesting one: He's 25 years old, posted a 2.59 ERA and struck out 8.8 batters per nine innings (while walking 4.4) in 50 relief appearances for AA Huntsville last season. 2012 was his eighth professional campaign and his third in the Brewer organization.
Buller, meanwhile, is a 31-year-old longtime minor leaguer who hit .248/.315/.416 in 37 games for Nashville last season. He's unlikely to make the team, but you can never have too many catchers in camp.
While two Brewers have received their invite to spring training, one other is unlikely to be there when the Brewers report to Maryvale in February. Nick Michalski of The Brewers Bar makes the case for the Crew to save some money by non-tendering Nyjer Morgan this winter.
Barring a trade or something unforeseen Martin Maldonado will also be back in Maryvale when pitchers and catchers report. Adam McCalvy has a story on Maldonado and the influence other Puerto Rican catchers have had on his life.
We're still over a month away from the NL MVP being announced, but we'll likely spend much of that time hearing cases made for Ryan Braun to win it. Ryan Kartje of FS Wisconsin says Braun's numbers are deserving of the award.
The Brewers didn't win as many games as most of us would have liked this season, but they still won back-to-back contests on 26 occasions. Fisher Nuts is celebrating that accomplishment by giving $13,000 ($500 for each instance) to the Brewers Community Foundation.
In the minors:
- Baseball America has a story on new Brewer Latin America scouting director Manny Batista, who (surprise!) previously worked as a scout for the Rangers during Doug Melvin's time there.
- Speaking of BA, they also published their list of the top 20 prospects in the Southern League this season, and have Tyler Thornburg 16th. Conspicuous by his absence is 2012 SL MVP and minor league Gold Glove Award winner Hunter Morris.
- Morris is, however, one of John Sickels of Minor League Ball's players to watch in the Arizona Fall League.
- Morris and four other Brewers, by the way, made their debut as the AFL opened play yesterday afternoon. You can read about Morris' first game and strong outings from Kyle Heckathorn and Johnny Hellweg in today's AFL Recap.
- Hellweg recorded the save in Phoenix's win yesterday by pitching a scoreless ninth. He threw eight pitches, all strikes.
- Space Coast Stadium, home of the Brevard County Manatees and the Nationals spring training facility, will receive $325,000 in repairs this winter.
The Brewers may have been eliminated from contention, but we're still planning on holding a BCB meetup to watch Game One of the World Series at The Tracks Tavern and Grill in Milwaukee on October 24. Make plans to join us and RSVP today, if you haven't already.
Blue Jays: Removed pitcher Robert Coello from the 40-man roster. He'll be a minor league free agent.
Cardinals: Removed pitcher Jaime Garcia from the NLDS roster with a rotator cuff strain and replaced him with pitcher Shelby Miller.
Reds: Removed pitcher Johnny Cueto from the NLDS roster with an oblique strain and replaced him with Mike Leake.
In former Brewers: 1993-96 Brewer Graeme Lloyd is spending this winter as the pitching coach for the Perth Heat of the Australian Baseball League.
Today in baseball economics: Wendy Thurm of FanGraphs has a pretty comprehensive look at who gets what from playoff ticket revenue.
Speaking of playoff ticket revenue, the A's are missing an opportunity to make some by refusing to take the tarps off many upper deck seats at the O.Co Coliseum. Apparently it takes two days to remove the tarps, meaning they couldn't be done in time for tonight's Game 4.
Meanwhile, there will also be at least one more LDS game in Cincinnati, where the Giants beat the Reds last night to avoid elimination and further embarrass the owner of the lamest broom you've ever seen.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to...stay right here, I guess.