Some things to read on the subway.
If you don't hear much from me for the first couple of weeks in March, it'll be because I'm holding my breath: Two more Brewers were announced as participants for the 2013 World Baseball Classic on Monday, and one of them is Yovani Gallardo for Mexico. Gallardo, who turns 27 in February and has thrown 430 innings since Opening Day 2011, can likely be penciled in as the starting pitcher when Mexico opens play against Italy on March 7.
The other new Brewer announced as a participant is Martin Maldonado, who will catch for Puerto Rico. This leaves the Brewers without both of their primary catchers during at least the first round of pool play (since Jonathan Lucroy is committed to play for the US), although Maldonado's absence is likely to be longer: Unlike all of the other teams featuring Brewers, Puerto Rico's training camp and pool play games will not be in Arizona.
With Gallardo and Maldonado now taking part, the Brewers have seven members of their 40-man roster leaving spring camp to compete in the Classic. Adam McCalvy had previously reported that no team was allowed to lose more than eight players, but has since corrected that to ten.
Here's another reminder that the Brewers don't have much for pitching experience behind Gallardo: Brandon Berg of Chippewa.com has a look at the wide-open race for the other four spots in the rotation.
Meanwhile, yesterday was a pretty busy day for 2012 Brewers on the free agent market:
- Alex Gonzalez has been activated by his Venezuelan winter league team, according to Adam McCalvy.
- Cesar Izturis signed a minor league deal with the Reds and will be in major league camp this spring.
- Nyjer Morgan is claiming his Twitter was hacked by someone who used the access to claim he had cheated on his girlfriend. Ben Duronio notes that this could significantly impact his Hall of Fame chances. (h/t @commnman)
Elsewhere in 2012 Brewers on the free agent market, Bill Chuck of Baseball Analytics notes that Francisco Rodriguez has 148 saves since the start of the 2008 season, the seventh highest total in all of baseball. John Axford is third among all relievers with 11.39 strikeouts per nine innings over that same span, and Jose Veras is seventh with 4.9 walks per nine.
In the minors:
- We've mentioned Baseball America's top ten list for 2013 previously, but it's now up on their site along with a survey of the organization's best tools and a projected lineup for 2016. The most interesting leap in the future lineup might be moving Rickie Weeks to third base to make way for Scooter Gennett.
- As of this writing Wily Peralta holds a commanding lead in the vote for the #1 spot in our Community Prospect Rankings. The poll will remain open until 1 pm today, and the voting for the #2 spot will open at 2.
- The Brewer Nation profiled 2012 Brevard County Manatee Jed Bradley as part of their "Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers" series.
- Officials from Brevard County will meet with the Nationals on January 25 to discuss a deal to keep the team's spring training at Space Coast Stadium, which also hosts the Brevard County Manatees.
- The Janesville Gazette's "Peace and Glove" blog has a Twitter interview with 2012 Manatee Seth Harvey.
Weeks, by the way, is the subject of the first of Roto Arcade's "pressing questions" for the 2013 Brewers.
If you'd like more Brewer coverage today but you're sick of reading, I'll be appearing on The Sports Den with Downtown Ollie Burrows on SportsFan 100.5 in Wausau at 5:30 today.
Athletics: Signed manager Bob Melvin to a two-year contract extension through 2016.
Blue Jays: Avoided arbitration with outfielder Colby Rasmus (one year, $4.675 million) and signed outfielder Adam Loewen to a minor league deal.
Diamondbacks: Signed reliever J.J. Putz to a one-year contract extension worth $7 million for 2014.
Marlins: Are expected to re-sign outfielder Austin Kearns to a minor league deal.
Orioles: Avoided arbitration with pitcher Tommy Hunter (one year, $1.82 million).
Pirates: Re-signed pitcher Jeff Karstens to a one-year, $2.5 million deal.
The big news around baseball yesterday was the announcement of three new rules expected to be enacted for the 2013 season. Teams will now be allowed to have a seventh uniformed coach in the dugout, coaches will be allowed to take an interpreter along to the mound to talk with non-English speaking pitchers and the fake-to-third-throw-to-first pickoff move will be banned.
Today in former Brewers:
- Jerry Hairston Jr. says he'll retire after the season if the Dodgers win the World Series.
- Let's Go Tribe listed Doug Jones as the 69th best Indian of all time.
- True Blue LA remembers Franklin Stubbs' contributions to the 1988 Dodgers.
- Justin Bopp of MLB Daily Dish raised the possibility that Dante Bichette could be Leonardo DiCaprio's older brother.
Elsewhere in history, Robert J. Baumann of NotGraphs has a great look at the Milwaukee Sentinel from the morning after the 1957 Milwaukee Braves' victory parade.
And in baseball economics: Despite the fact that the Brewers are cutting payroll this year, massive increases from the Dodgers, Blue Jays and Nationals will push MLB salaries over $3 billion for the first time in 2013.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to get back to work on the farm.