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Thursday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while reverse engineering.

We're nine days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training, and we've officially reached Truck Day: Bernie Brewer has a picture of the Racing Sausages being loaded onto the truck headed for Maryvale, which Howie Magner says hit the road at 8:15 this morning.

Meanwhile, the Brewers unveiled their spring training broadcast schedule yesterday, featuring six televised games and 14 broadcasts on WTMJ (FanShot). As has been the case for a couple of years now, we'll have coverage via TV, radio or internet stream for nearly every spring game.

This could be a story to watch over the next few days: Doug Melvin told MLB Network Radio that he's had discussions with Zack Greinke about possibly working out a long term deal to remain in Milwaukee. Greinke is currently serving as his own agent, so if there's a deal to be made it'd probably need to be done before he reports to spring training. (h/t MLBTR)

Another day, another reminder that we still don't know what's happening regarding Ryan Braun. Miller Park Drunk has a two part post considering the potential reactions if Braun is found guilty or innocent. In theory we're supposed to have a final decision by Monday, but who knows if that's actually going to happen.

If Braun is suspended for Opening Day, then it could leave a roster spot open for someone like Brooks Conrad. Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker makes the case for Conrad as a potential impact player this season.

Got some cash burning a hole in your pocket this spring? Ron Roenicke Stole My Baseball has a look at various Baseball Reference pages available from sponsorship, ranging from Ryan Braun ($705) to Taylor Green ($50). RRSMB, by the way, is now the proud sponsor of Russell Branyan. If you still have money to spend but are looking for a more tangible investment, Baseball Nation found a Seattle Pilots ceramic coin bank on Ebay.

Of course, you should probably save some of your money for actual Brewer tickets. Single game tickets will go on sale February 25.

The Opening Day bullpen doesn't appear to have a spot for Mike McClendon at this point, but anything could happen. The Brewer Nation has a look at McClendon as part of their "Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers" series.

In the minors:

  • We're coming down to the wire in the voting for the 17th and final spot in our Community Prospect Rankings: As of this writing Hunter Morris leads D' Vontrey Richardson by one vote and Jimmy Nelson by two. You have until 1 pm today to help us decide this.
  • It's still much too early to seriously think about things like this, but Minor League Rundown has the Brewers drafting California high school third baseman/pitcher Rio Ruiz and TCU catcher Josh Elander with the 27th and 28th overall picks in their 2012 mock draft.

Major League Baseball has narrowed the list of candidates down to 50 for the 2012 MLB Fan Cave, and is now asking for your help to select a winner. I won't tell you how to vote, but I will mention that two Brewer fans made the ballot.

If you'd like more from me today but you're sick of reading, my appearance on The Home Stretch with Justin Hull from yesterday is archived online. We spent most of an hour discussing all things Brewers, and it looks like I'll be back making weekly appearances on the show again this season.

Finally, thanks again to Nicole for filling in for me yesterday while I was at the dentist. Go back and check out yesterday's Frozen Margarita, if you haven't already.

Around baseball:

Astros: Signed shortstop Jed Lowrie to a one year, $1.15 million deal to avoid arbitration.
: Signed pitcher Craig Breslow to a one year, $1.795 million deal to avoid arbitration.
Giants: Designated outfielder Justin Christian for assignment.
Marlins: Lost their arbitration case with outfielder Emilio Bonifacio, who will make $2.2 million in 2012.
Padres: Signed pitcher Jeff Suppan to a minor league deal.
Rangers: Signed shortstop Elvis Andrus to a three year, $14.4 million contract extension.
Reds: Designated pitcher Carlos Fisher for assignment.
Yankees: Signed infielders Bill Hall and Russell Branyan to minor league deals.

In former Brewers:

  • High Heat Stats has a look at how hitters' walk rates change as they approach both the end of their career and 3000 hits, but finds little conclusive evidence to suggest hitters become more swing-happy as they near the milestone. Robin Yount's walk rate actually went up during his last three years.
  • High Heat Stats also lists Bob Hamelin and Tom Brunansky among 27 major leaguers who posted an OPS+ above 125 in their first or second major league season, but finished their career below 110.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I've reached my limit.

Drink up.