Some things to read while jumping around.
We are 58 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training, and Scooter Gennett will probably have a nice locker waiting for him when he gets to Maryvale. It appears likely that Gennett will unseat Rickie Weeks to start most days at second base, and Mike Bauman of MLB.com is strongly in favor of the move.
Weeks or Gennett will have to wait another year to win this one: Yesterday we mentioned that MLB Network was looking for your help on Twitter selecting the #FaceoftheBrewers, and this morning they announced that Ryan Braun is your winner. Curt Hogg of Disciples of Uecker has a look at the leading candidates. Jonathan Lucroy was one of those considered, and he also hit 2013's third longest homer.
It's unlikely at best to actually happen, but Adam McCalvy reports (via Twitter) that he's shocked by the number of fans that want to move Rickie Weeks to first base. The Brewers are still more likely to solve the issue externally, but Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt nothing is imminent. The Brewers remain interested in Ike Davis of the Mets, but so are the Pirates.
We've already discussed the Brewers missing out on the likes of Corey Hart, Logan Morrison and James Loney, but was former Angel Mark Trumbo their biggest chance? Mark Blomberg of Wisconsin Dells Events says Trumbo, who was traded to Arizona, represented "the prize pick of the first base crop."
The Brewers also have a question to answer in the leadoff role, where the team will have to replace Norichika Aoki. Justin Schultz of Reviewing the Brew has a look at Scooter Gennett to fill that spot, while Nicholas Zettel of Disciples of Uecker says the team shouldn't worry about it.
Jean Segura is another leadoff candidate the Brewers are likely to consider, and a contributor from the FanGraphs community has him sixth in his "SCRAP" stat, which measures things like infield hits and putting the ball in play.
If you're one of many fans who are pessimistic about the Brewers' chances of being relevant in 2014, then one of your arguments could be the fact that the NL Central had three playoff teams last season. It's not a given that that'll happen again, though: David Schoenfield of ESPN makes the case for the Pirates to decline going forward.
In the minors:
- Both Jason Arndt of Brewers Farm Report and Benjamin Orr of Reviewing the Brew have posts this morning on the newest Brewers minor leaguer: Rule 5 selection Kevin Mattison.
- Mattison is likely to roam the outfield in Nashville, where the Brewers are in the final season of their player development contract. Brewers Farm Report has a look at what may lie ahead for baseball in the city.
- Juan Francisco went 2-for-3 with a home run and a walk in Licey's 6-4 over Aguilas in the Dominican Republic last night (box score).
- Jason Rogers went 1-for-4 with a solo home run in Este's 2-1 win over Escogido (box score).
- Elian Herrera went 0-for-5 in Oriente's 3-0 win over Cibao (box score).
- Meanwhile in Puerto Rico, Martin Maldonado went 2-for-4 with a double but it was not enough as Mayaguez lost 2-1 to Ponce (box score). Hiram Burgos allowed one run over five innings and picked up the loss, while Irving Falu went 0-for-4.
- It's currently 5 degrees under a blanket of snow in Appleton, but Chris Mehring of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers will warm you up by remembering 2013's five hottest home games. We covered the hottest one in our Timber Rattlers Notebook.
Blue Jays: Signed utilityman Steve Tolleson to a minor league deal.
Cubs: Signed reliever Jose Veras to a one-year, $4 million contract.
Indians: Signed catcher Matt Treanor to a minor league deal.
Mariners: Avoided (potential) arbitration with pitcher Charlie Furbush (one year, $750,000) and signed outfielder Cole Gillespie to a minor league deal.
Orioles: Signed reliever Grant Balfour to a two-year, $15 million contract.
Yankees: Signed reliever Matt Thornton (two years, $7 million) and second baseman Brian Roberts (one year, $2 million).
Today in former Brewers: David S. Grant of Reviewing the Brew looks at Gorman Thomas as part of his series on great moments in Brewers facial hair.
Today in baseball economics: MLB revenues for 2013 are expected to exceed $8 billion, up from an estimated $7.5 billion in 2012 and $2.2 billion (inflation-adjusted) in 1995.
- 2013 Huntsville Star Taylor Jungmann, who turns 24.
- Milwaukee native Joe Randa, who turns 44. Randa played 12 MLB seasons between 1995-2006 as a member of the Royals and four other teams.
- 1981-84 Brewer Roy Howell, who turns 60.
- Seattle Pilot and 1970 Brewer Steve Hovley, who turns 69. We covered his birthday in Today In Brewer History.
- Appleton Baseball Hall of Famer Zoilo Versalles, who would have turned 74.
- Rice Lake, Wisconsin native and UW-Madison alum Clay Perry, who would have turned 132. Perry played in the majors as a member of the 1908 Tigers.
Plunk Everyone notes that Randa's 55 career HBP are the second most ever for a position player born on December 18.
Today is also the 19th anniversary of the final NFL game at Milwaukee County Stadium and the fourth anniversary of the Brewers signing reliever Kameron Loe as a minor league free agent. We covered those events in Today In Brewer History last year and two years ago, respectively.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I've been told to shut up.