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Tuesday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while heckling a cake.

We're 45 days away from Opening Day and Carlos Gomez has joined the team in Maryvale a few days ahead of the deadline for position players to report to camp. John Steinmiller has a slide show from yesterday's first official workout, and Adam McCalvy filed his first "official" blog from spring training.

Brewer relievers are expected to throw their first bullpen session of the spring today. Yesterday Todd Rosiak talked to Jose Veras (behind the JS paywall) and Tom Haudricourt heard from Zach Braddock (likewise). Both are ready to take the mound. Adam McCalvy has a preview of the Brewer relievers.

Knock on wood, everyone in camp appears to be healthy at this point. Todd Rosiak says Cody Scarpetta, who is apparently having problems with his teeth, is the only pitcher currently limited.

Here's another reminder that this is a pretty big spring for Shaun Marcum: Aaron Wilberding says he's the Brewer pitcher with the most to prove in 2012 after his late season fade last year.

Meanwhile, we've got what appears to be bad news for anyone hoping for a Zack Greinke contract extension: Greinke told reporters yesterday he still doesn't have an agent, and "there's no reason to have one for the moment."

Another day, another reminder that we still don't know anything about Ryan Braun. Howie Magner has a suggestion that might speed things up a bit. Braun is expected to be in attendance for the team's first full squad workout on Saturday whether this mess has wrapped up or not.

The team made another series of minor transactions yesterday, signing Tim Dillard, Marco Estrada, Mike McClendon, Mark Rogers and Martin Maldonado to 2012 contracts. All five will likely receive at or near the league minimum for any time spent in the majors this season. Todd Rosiak notes that six Brewers remain unsigned: John Axford, Zach Braddock, Michael Fiers, Brandon Kintzler, Chris Narveson and Jonathan Lucroy.

Elsewhere in minor transactions, one more familiar face will be back in camp this spring: Kosuke Inaji, who spent 2011 with the team translating for Takashi Saito, will fill the same role for Norichika Aoki in 2012.

You can add "Las Vegas" to the list predictors expecting the Brewers to fall off dramatically this season: They've set the over/under on Brewer wins in 2012 at 81.5, which seems ridiculously low to me. On the other side of the coin, David Pinto of Baseball Musings is still treating them as contenders.

In the minors:

Earlier this winter I mentioned that Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs was working on a crowdsourcing project to rate MLB TV broadcasters. This morning he has a reminder that you have until the end of this week to submit your thoughts on the Brewer TV team, or any others you see frequently.

Around baseball:

Athletics: Signed outfielder Manny Ramirez to a minor league deal.
Marlins: Reliever Juan Carlos Oviedo (formerly Leo Nunez) is still in the Dominican Republic working on visa issues and is not expected to be ready for Opening Day.
Red Sox: Pitcher Bobby Jenks won't be ready for Opening Day and may miss the first half of the season with a spinal issue.
Rockies: Extended manager Jim Tracy's contract indefinitely.

Ramirez will have to serve a 50 game suspension before he's eligible to play in the minors or majors for the A's.

Yesterday's scariest moment came in Braves camp, where starting pitcher Tommy Hanson had to leave workouts and go see a doctor after hitting his head in a car accident. He's missing workouts for the second straight day today, but is believed to only have a minor concussion and should be ready for Opening Day.

Meanwhile, my favorite story of the spring so far came in Mets camp yesterday, where pitcher Jonathan Niese reported to camp with a new nose. Former teammate Carlos Beltran is supposed to pick up the bill for it.

Today in former Brewers:

  • Nearly a decade after leaving Milwaukee, 2000-02 Brewer Jamey Wright is still pitching in the majors. True Blue LA has a profile of Wright, who is entering his first season with the Dodgers.
  • Yankees GM Brian Cashman used Bob Wickman as an example of a player who had a weight clause in his contract and didn't handle it well. He accuses Wickman of going to some relatively extreme measures to make weight and hampering his performance as a result.
  • The Baseball Codes remembers the time Mike Cameron, with an opportunity to hit his fifth home run of the game, took a 3-0 fastball in the ninth inning of a 15-4 blowout.

This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History notes 1970-71 Brewer Ted Savage's 75th birthday. Savage was hit by pitches eleven times in his career, and Plunk Everyone notes that it's the fifth highest total for a player born on February 21.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm running out of guesses.

Drink up.