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Friday's Frosty Mug: Back On Track

The Brewers are back in the win column and we're back with a daily roundup of all things Brewers.

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Johnny Hellweg has been photographed just one time this spring, but his performance on the field should not escape notice.
Johnny Hellweg has been photographed just one time this spring, but his performance on the field should not escape notice.

Some things to read while commuting.

Day 18 of spring training 2013 opens with the Brewers on a one-game winning streak after a 4-3 victory over the White Sox yesterday. We've got the recap, if you missed it.

One of the heroes of yesterday's game was Johnny Hellweg, who pitched a pair of hitless innings in relief and continues to impress this spring. Adam McCalvy says Hellweg has a real chance to make the roster out of spring training as a reliever.

Wily Peralta pitched in a game for the first time yesterday and looked good, holding Chicago scoreless on two hits and no walks over two innings. Adam McCalvy talked to him about his debut outing.

Caleb Gindl also had a big day, getting on base three times with two walks and a single and scoring two runs. Gindl is now 5-for-9 with three runs scored and three stolen bases this spring, and Tom Haudricourt has a look at his recent hot streak.

Gindl has a chance to make the roster as a fifth outfielder, but the Brewers are still considering other options out there. Adam McCalvy reports they've asked Jeff Bianchi and Donnie Murphy to try playing the outfield this spring.

Other notes from camp:

The Brewers will be on the radio for the first time this spring as they head out to Salt River Fields today to take on the Rockies. Tom Gorzelanny will get the start as the Brewers will have a bullpen day, and Mike Gonzalez is also scheduled to make his spring debut with John Axford and Jim Henderson pitching behind him. Gorzelanny is also the subject of the latest edition of "Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers" at The Brewer Nation.

Meanwhile, the Rockies will send lefty Daniel Rosenbaum to the mound. We talked to Jeff Aberle of Purple Row to help preview today's game as part of our "Better Know A Cactus League Opponent" series.

With Gorzelanny and Gonzalez's debuts scheduled, that means the last two notable active Brewers we haven't seen this spring are the team's pair of long shot bounceback candidates. Tom Haudricourt reports that Kelvim Escobar is being brought along slowly this spring and will make his debut on Sunday, while Adam McCalvy says that Bobby Crobsy has been held out of action with a thigh strain.

Barring something unforeseen, Crosby has quite the challenge ahead of him if he's going to crack this roster: J.P. Breen of RotoGraphs has a look at the Brewers' likely infield depth chart.

You know what else we haven't seen yet this spring? Bunting. As of today the Brewers haven't laid down a single sacrifice bunt in the first week of Cactus League games. Ron Roenicke Stole My Baseball notes that Baseball Prospectus called out Roenicke for the excessive sacrifices in their 2013 annual.

Chris Narveson made his spring debut earlier this week and pitched just 1.1 innings, but the key is that he reported no issues in his surgically repaired shoulder. Colin Bennett of Reviewing the Brew asks what we should be looking for from Narveson in March.

The next few days are the last time we'll see several Brewer regulars before they head out to represent their countries in the World Baseball Classic. Disciples of Uecker has a conversation on the Brewers in the WBC. Meanwhile, Mike Oz of Big League Stew has a preview of Yovani Gallardo and Marco Estrada's Mexican team.

In the minors:

  • Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio has an update from the renovations at Fox Cities Stadium, which are nearing completion. Opening Day is now a little more than a month away.
  • Mets Cetera has a photo of Space Coast Stadium (home of the Brevard County Manatees) at twilight during last night's Mets/Nationals game.

Back in Milwaukee, the Brewers are ready to start accepting registration for the 2013 Community Foundation Racing Sausages 5K Run/Walk. The event is scheduled to be held on July 20 at 8 am, meaning you won't have to run on asphalt at noon in July like we did the year I ran this race.

If you'd like more Brewer coverage today but you're sick of reading, we've got a couple of options for you:

Elsewhere in divisional previews, Nicholas Zettel of Disciples of Uecker looks ahead to the Brewers' regular season games against the Reds.

No transactions today, so it's time for another musical interlude:

Today in former Brewers:

  • The Crawfish Boxes has a preview of Jose Veras as the closer in Houston.
  • David Schoenfield of ESPN used Baseball Reference's version of WAR to compare Prince Fielder's 50 home run season in 2007 to Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan's sub-.200 batting average season in 2012.

I've got a pair of favorite spring training stories from today, so follow these links for a note on Chase Headley winning the archery competition in Padres camp and Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus missing a Cactus League game due to soreness from a recent tattoo.

If you're looking at early spring stats, here's something to keep in mind: Noted leisured gentleman Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs noted before yesterday's games that run scoring across the Cactus League is up about a run per game this spring.

I occasionally complain about umpiring in this space (although my complaints are usually about confrontational behavior, not performance), so it's only fair that I also point out what Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs noted: Across baseball, umpires are getting significantly better at correctly identifying balls and strikes.

Today in baseball economics: The Indians made a surprise splash in the free agent market this winter and have since followed it up by lowering concession prices at Progressive Field for this season.

It's a bit of a slow day in Brewer history so this morning's edition of Brewers A-Z has a look at the Brewer career and baseball cards of reliever Mark Clear. Meanwhile, Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's been 3000 days since the Brewers traded Carlos Lee to the White Sox.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to find a place to keep these marbles.

Drink up.