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Friday's Frosty Mug: Getting pushed back

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The countdown to spring training takes a step backwards in today's roundup of all things Brewers.


Some things to read in your own way.

Sadly, I come to you this morning with dour news. For months we've used this space to count down the days to spring training, based on a previous statement that the Brewers would report to Maryvale on February 15. Yesterday we received word that the club's official reporting date will actually be two days later, on the 17th. So instead of being 35 days away this morning, we're at 37. 37 just seems so much further away.

UPDATE: Adam McCalvy clarified yesterday's note, and spring is actually coming sooner than expected:

Of course, having those two extra days one less day gives the Brewers a little more less time to figure out what they're going to do at first base. The Mets are still hanging on to high demands for Ike Davis, and when asked about it yesterday GM Sandy Alderson said this:

"This is a trade market, not a yard sale, and right now we're perfectly happy to go into Spring Training with Davis and (Lucas) Duda both on the team."

You can add Brad Johnson of the Hardball Times to the list of people who think the Mets' asking price is significantly too steep. With that said, the Brewers will probably need to make a move eventually: Dave Radcliffe of Yahoo listed first base as one of his top five things that could derail the 2014 season.

The Brewers are also still expected to seek help for the bullpen this winter, and plenty of options remain available. Adam McCalvy has a list of 20 veteran relievers with some closing experience, which is what the organization is believed to be seeking.

Meanwhile, this has become the season for minor league deals with invitations to spring training. Jonathan Bernhardt of Sports on Earth has a look at some potential talent still on the market. The Brewers did make one small splash in that market yesterday, signing former Blue Jays pitcher Brad Mills.

The Brewers aren't likely to be looking for help at catcher, where they're more or less set with Jonathan Lucroy and Martin Maldonado. Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs' quick pitch framing projections for 2014 show the Brewers getting almost two extra strikes per game due to Lucroy and Maldonado, easily the most in the majors.

A year ago Scooter Gennett was a non-roster invitee to spring training, but today he's the Brewers' likely Opening Day second baseman and he'll be the subject of a bobblehead in June. There's two ways of looking at this: You can either see it as a sign that the Brewers have run out of star candidates for bobbles, as Evan Rytlewski of Express Milwaukee writes, or you can see it as a sign that the Brewers have a lot of faith in Scooter's ability to carry his success over to 2014.

Assuming the Brewers don't add a starting pitcher between now and mid-February, the competition for the final spot in the starting rotation could be one of the more interesting storylines this spring. Tyler Thornburg is expected to have the inside track to win the job, and a clear majority of voters in this Reviewing the Brew poll think he should get it.

In the minors:

  • In addition to signing Brad Mills, yesterday the Brewers also re-signed La Crosse native R.J. Seidel to a minor league deal (h/t @JaymesL). 2013 was Seidel's seventh professional season and he appeared in 26 games (14 starts) between Huntsville and Nashville, posting a 4.67 ERA over 88.2 innings and striking out 9.5 batters per nine.
  • Meanwhile in the Dominican Republic, Jason Rogers went 1-for-3 with a walk and scored two runs as Escogido beat Licey 3-2 in the round robin postseason (box score). Juan Francisco had two hits, drew a walk and drove in a run for Licey.

Around baseball:

Astros: Hired former Marlins minor league coach Tarrik Brock as their new first base coach.
Nationals: Signed infielder Jamey Carroll to a minor league deal.
Rays: Signed infielder Jayson Nix to a minor league deal.
Tigers: Signed outfielders Trevor Crowe and Ezequiel Carrera and pitcher Eduardo Sanchez to minor league deals.

Today in former Brewers:

Today's sabermetric note comes from Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs, who notes that triples have steadily decreased over the years and hit an all-time low in 2013.

With help from the B-Ref Play Index, we'd like to wish a happy birthday today to:

  • 2002 Brewer Takahito Nomura, who turns 45.
  • Madison native and UW-Madison alum Vern Geishert, who turns 68. Geishert pitched in the majors as a member of the 1969 Angels.

Today is also the seventh anniversary of the Brewers signing future Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey as a minor league free agent in 2007 and the 36th anniversary of the organization selecting future longtime reliever Doug Jones in the January secondary draft in 1978. We covered those events in Today In Brewer History last year and two years ago, respectively.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to put this off some more.

Drink up.