Good morning folks. Kyle's scheduled to be back tomorrow, so you've made it to the end of this stretch of Guest Muggers. Hopefully it wasn't too painful.
The Brewers take on the Cubs today at 3:05 Central Time.
The Brewers played two split-squad games yesterday and didn't fare too well in either. Check out JP's recap of both here.
The bright spot yesterday was definitely Zach Greinke, who continues to roll this Spring Training. It should also be noted that Aramis Ramirez broke the slump and got his first two hits of ST.
In the other game, however, the pitching struggled as Michael Fiers, Amaury Rivas, Frankie De La Cruz and Tim Dillard all gave up runs in their short appearances.
J-S (behind the paywall) highlighted Greinke's stellar start and said that normally at this point in ST he's usually only throwing fastballs and curveballs, but that this year's he's already worked in the slider and has gotten to the point with his new pitch, the cut fastball, that he's ready to use it in regular season play. Of course Joey Nowak of MLB.com says Greinke is focusing on the curveball earlier than he normally does. Do we care what order he's working on them, as long as he keeps pitching this well?
Nyjer Morgan was back in the lineup yesterday. He missed a few days after being hit in the head with by Barry Zito. He did say that Nyjer was always ok, since it was Tony Plush who was actually plunked.
Baseball Tonight was in Maryvale yesterday. You'll probably already have seen this video of Tim Dillard impersonating Tim Kurkijan. These videos are the "it" thing this ST, but Dillard's is one of the best.
Other than that, they didn't really provide anything you didn't already know - except maybe two possible references to BSOHL - Ramirez and Marcum.
Yovani Gallardo isn't on the docket to pitch today, so they won't match up, but Carrie Muskat and Adam McCalvy have a story on how he and Cubs reliever James Russell grew up together.
Brewer Nation continues the Opening Day countdown with #24 Mat Gamel.
Speaking of Opening Day, the Nashville Sounds would like you to know that they're a month away.
And in more minor league news, the Brevard County Manatees caught Ben Hill's attention with their cleverly named promotion "Rock Out with Your Cookout."
Reviewing the Brew continues their season outlooks with a focus on Carlos Gomez.
Fulfilling my girlie quotient for the day, I'll point out to you that the Brewers are now on Pinterest. I know that means nothing to a lot of you, but I did appreciate the "For the Record Books" board that has collected a lot of the graphics the club has created for different milestones. I'll be saving a few of those to my desktop.
Astros: Signed Catcher Landon Powell to a minor league contract
A's: Claimed Brandon Hicks off waivers
Today in former Brewers (and what might have been), Disciples of Uecker take a look at the career of Dan Haren and realize that he's showing us what the Brewers could have had if Ben Sheets had been able to stay healthy.
While this is news to no Brewer fan that paid any attention last season, it's always exciting to have your instincts validated by math. According to MLB's ClubHouseConfidential, Yuniesky Betancourt saw just 3.16 pitchers per plate appearance in 2011. Yay plate discipline!
The big news in MLB yesterday was that there will be no expanded replay for the coming season. The additional replay required the approval of MLB and the unions representing the umpires and the players and the three sides weren't able to agree.
This is a few days old, but it didn't look like any of the other Guest Muggers linked to it, so I'm sharing it. It's by far my favorite non-Brewers read so far this ST. New Cardinals manager Mike Matheny is ensuring that the ghost of Tony LaRussa's past doesn't desert the Cardinals clubhouse as he spent Saturday evening complaining about a rain delay in the Cards' Grapefruit League game against the Marlins. I may have clapped my hands in glee.
My second favorite is this Spring Training game Mad Lib from NotGraphs. By the end of ST, this is how I imagine we'll be writing game recaps.
In honor of Greinke's Spring Training successes, I give you Minor League Chipotle Tweets on Tumblr.
I, too, had thought that LOOGY was a universal baseball term, but Aaron Gleeman says Ron Gardenhire had no idea what it meant.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, this year marks the first time in history half of 30 MLB teams will have payrolls at least $90 million.
MLB Trade Rumors takes a look at the somewhat new practice of including an opt-out clause in minor league contracts for veteran players. The new CBA actually gives veterans with six or more years of service time a $100,000 bonus if they're sent to the minors by the club. For the Brewers, Cesar Izturis and Corey Patterson fall under this new clause.
The UniNerd in me had to pass on this SI.com slideshow of misspelled MLB uniforms.
Hardball Chat's latest podcast is all about women in baseball and features some heavy-hitters - baseball historian Dorothy Mills, astrophysicist and expert on fielding, Meredith Wills, the first woman to throw MLB batting practice, Justine Siegal and director of "Throw Like A Girl," Cami Kidder. This is must-listen in my world.
BaseballAmerica looks at the effect of home ballparks on young hitters. Miller Park comes in at No. 5 under Best Parks for Home Runs by Lefthanded Batters. The lack of Prince Fielder in MP will probably have a negative effect on these numbers in the coming years.
Octavio Dotel is making some history this season - when he hits the field for Detroit in the regular season, he'll become the only player to play for 13 major league clubs. All the more stunning is that he's done it in 13 years. He's played with 601 different players, but just one HOF'er - Rickey Henderson.
You don't exactly connect Arkansas and MLB, but 45 percent of inductees into the MLB HOF are connected to Spring baseball in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Now that connection is being commemorated with a Historical Baseball Trail.
The long-awaited decision has been made and apparently nine folks will be inhabiting the MLB Fan Cave. Here they are.