Some things to read while dealing with it.
We are 43 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Maryvale, and arguably the biggest move of the offseason was not an acquisition, but the Brewers' decision to move Ryan Braun from left to right field to make room for Khris Davis. Mark Simon of ESPN looked at the biggest defensive change for every NL team, said Braun's throwing arm is "minimal to below average" and suggested that could hurt the Brewers as he makes the move. Braun, by the way, headlined Adam McCalvy's list of the Brewers' top news stories from 2013.
Of course, the Brewers will remain above average defensively in the outfield as long as Carlos Gomez continues to patrol center field. The Gomez extension was one of eight moves nominated for MLB Trade Rumors' poll on the best transaction of 2013, but is currently last in the voting.
The Brewers' infield defense also took a big step forward in 2013 with Jean Segura playing everyday at shortstop. On Tuesday Noah considered Segura as the next Brewer who could receive a contract extension. Meanwhile, Segura's baserunning antics made Baseball Nation's list of 2013's best gifs.
Not every Brewer's defense has a sterling reputation, though: Jonathan Judge of Disciples of Uecker looked into questions about the strength of Jonathan Lucroy's throwing arm.
Now, perhaps a more important question: Does Lucroy's defense matter? Rob Neyer of Baseball Nation crunched some recent data and discovered the difference between baseball's best and worst teams at catching basestealers is less than three wins.
It may have been a quiet offseason for the Brewers, but it's important to remember that quiet isn't always bad. Bill Baer of Hardball Talk left the Brewers off his list of the five teams having the worst winter.
Meanwhile, after posting his first losing season in 2013, Ron Roenicke may feel some pressure to get more results this year. Benjamin Orr of Reviewing the Brew predicts, however, that Roenicke will not be let go this season.
A big season from Johnny Hellweg could do a lot to help the Brewers and perhaps preserve Roenicke's job. Ryan Connor of Reviewing the Brew notes that Hellweg's results haven't always been there, but "a guy with his stuff will always have upside to dream on."
A bounce-back campaign for Rickie Weeks would also make Roenicke look smarter. Bryan Grosnick of Beyond the Box Score has a look at the longest-tenured players with each NL team and notes that Rickie Weeks, a Brewer since 2003, is very near the top of the list.
Weeks is not, however, likely to be an option at first base. Adam McCalvy confirmed that yet again in this week's inbox.
In the minors:
- Jason Arndt of Brewers Farm Report was busy over the New Years holiday, posting stories on 2013 Brevard County pitcher Brent Suter and third baseman Nicky Delmonico and Wisconsin outfielder Michael Reed.
- The minor league team at Fake Teams unveiled their list of the Brewers' top prospects for fantasy purposes on Monday, with Jimmy Nelson leading the way.
- The round-robin portion of the winter league playoffs is underway in the Dominican Republic, and all four teams are 2-2 after four games. Juan Francisco has two homers in four games for Licey.
- Puerto Rico's round-robin playoffs begin tomorrow, and Martin Maldonado, Hiram Burgos and Irving Falu's Mayaguez team has qualified for postseason play.
Angels: Signed pitcher Mark Mulder to a minor league deal.
Astros: Signed reliever Jesse Crain to a one-year deal (terms undisclosed).
Cubs: Signed reliever Jose Veras to a one-year, $3.85 million contract.
Marlins: Signed outfielder Joe Benson to a minor league deal.
Nationals: Re-signed second baseman Will Rhymes to a minor league deal.
Pirates: Acquired first baseman Chris McGuiness from the Rangers for pitcher Miles Mikolas.
Today in former Brewers:
- Somehow, some way, Yuniesky Betancourt's agent reports he continues to draw interest from teams and may have one offer for a starting role.
- Amazin' Avenue has a look at Michael Gonzalez as a relief option for the Mets.
- Mike Petriello of FanGraphs says Jamey Wright, who was a Brewer from 2000-02, is improving with age.
- The LA Times has a recap of Jerry Hairston Jr.'s 2013 season and transition to broadcasting with the Dodgers.
- Amazin' Avenue has a recap of LaTroy Hawkins' 2013 season with the Mets.
- Cyril Morong has Jason Kendall, Jeff Cirillo, Ray Durham and Jose Valentin all among the top eight on his list of the best players (by WAR) who never received an MVP vote.
- Jason Brannon of Baseball Nation has Ted Simmons on his All-Switch-Hitter Team.
- Halos Heaven named Devon White as the 38th greatest Angel of all time.
- nullacct recently profiled Kevin Brown (no, not that Kevin Brown) as the face of the 1990 Brewers.
Once April and May roll around we'll probably spend a fair amount of time again discussing the roof at Miller Park and the Brewers' decisions to open and close it. The Astros also have a retractable roof at Minute Maid Park, but largely keep it closed. They're looking for ways to open it more often in 2014.
Meanwhile in navel-gazing, Yar Nivek has our end-of-year look at the memes and inside jokes of the Brew Crew Ball comments. If you're new around here and don't get all the jokes, most of them are listed there.
On a more serious note: If you weren't around the site over the last few days you may have missed our New Year's Eve post on members of the Brewers or Milwaukee Braves who passed away in 2013, including Johnny Logan, George Scott and Mike Hegan. Baseball Card Memories also notes that Wednesday was also the 37th anniversary of the passing of 1976 Brewer Danny Frisella, who was killed in a dune buggy accident in 1977.
Finally, with help from the B-Ref Play Index, we'd like to wish a happy birthday today to:
- 2007-10 Brewer Jeff Suppan, who turns 39. We covered his birthday in Today In Brewer History.
- 2003 Brewer Royce Clayton, who turns 44. We covered his birthday in Today In Brewer History two years ago.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to find a new place to sleep.