Some things to read while getting more pie.
Today is the 39th day of spring training 2014 and the Brewers will spring back into action today following their final Cactus League off day yesterday. They'll welcome the Giants to Maryvale at 3:05 Central time, with Wily Peralta taking on Madison Bumgarner.
They'll be playing that game, and presumably the rest of their contests this season, without Juan Francisco. Yesterday the Brewers made his departure official, announcing they've placed him on waivers with the intention of releasing him. We've got all kinds of reaction from around the web:
- Ron Roenicke suggested that spring training numbers don't matter when discussing the decision to let Francisco go, but Enrique Bakemeyer of The Brewers Bar has a look at some decisions that would contradict that notion.
- Ryan Topp of Disciples of Uecker wonders if the Brewers will regret this decision.
- Jay D. of Reviewing the Brew says letting Francisco go was the right move.
- At tcyoung's new site he says the Brewers may have made a mistake, arguing, "If you have two very similar players, trending in opposite directions, take the guy trending the right way." He also has a list of reasons it may work out, though.
- Ken Rosenthal (via Bucs Dugout) says the Pirates are not interested, but Jeff Schafer of Tomahawk Take wonders if the Braves might be.
The Francisco release is great news for Mark Reynolds, who now seems likely to soak up the lion's share of playing time at first base despite having hit just .220/.306/.393 in 135 games last season. He's the subject of the latest installment of "Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers" at The Brewer Nation.
Jonathan Lucroy has four hits in his last two games, but it'll be interesting to see if he catches today with Peralta on the mound. Lyle Spencer of MLB.com says Lucroy is an underrated and key player for this team.
Lucroy likely will spend most of the season catching Matt Garza in his first year as a Brewer. Yesterday Rangers GM Jon Daniels admitted to reporters that he regrets acquiring Garza last season, saying "I thought way too short term" with the move. Daniels dealt three players to Chicago for Garza, who stayed in Texas for just 13 starts.
Odds are Lucroy will get to catch some of these guys at some point too: Curt Hogg of Disciples of Uecker has a preview of the pitchers opening the season just outside the Brewers rotation.
All of those pitchers will likely look better with Carlos Gomez patrolling center field behind them, and David Paulsen of the JS has video of some of his greatest highlight reel catches. His speed causes some other issues, though. TOOTBLAN Tracker notes that he's the Brewers' active career leader with 15 bad outs on the bases.
Gomez may need to cover a lot of ground this season with Ryan Braun adjusting to a new position in right field and Khris Davis being somewhat limited defensively in left. As part of their positional power rankings David Temple of FanGraphs credited the Brewers will baseball's 17th best situation in left field.
2014 will be Johnny Narron's third season as the Brewers hitting coach, and also his third season working alongside his brother Jerry. Tracy Ringolsby of MLB.com has a story on the brothers in the Brewers dugout.
We're over a month into spring training and Opening Day is less than a week away but some of us are still looking back: The Brewers tumblr feed has a short video with Scooter Gennett talking about his offseason.
In the minors:
- Brad Krause of Miller Park Prospects was in minor league camp again yesterday and talked to Jason Rogers about moving to third base for the 2014 season. It sounds like the Brewers are going to go ahead and try it. Krause also has his daily photo gallery.
- Yesterday was Chris Mehring of the Timber Rattlers' final day in Arizona, and he talked to manager Matt Erickson about being ready to head north. They may want to stay in Arizona for a few more days, because it snowed again last night.
When the Brewers open Miller Park with this weekend's exhibition games, you may notice one longtime corporate sponsor is absent from the ballpark. BMO Harris has dropped their sponsorship of the team, although they say their contract came to a "natural end" and the decision wasn't related to Ryan Braun's 2013 issues.
If you'd like more Brewers coverage today but you're sick of reading, I'll be appearing on The Sports Den with Downtown Ollie Burrows on Sports Fan 100.5 in Wausau at 6:30 today.
If you haven't yet, please take a moment today to vote in our BCB Tracking Poll. It will remain open through the day today and results will be posted tomorrow.
Astros: Released infielder Cesar Izturis.
Braves: Released pitcher Freddy Garcia and signed pitcher Aaron Harang.
Cubs: Re-signed pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada to a minor league deal.
Indians: Placed outfielder Michael Bourn on the DL with a hamstring strain.
Mariners: Pitcher Scott Baker has opted out of his contract and is now a free agent.
Nationals: Released catcher Chris Snyder.
Rangers: Catcher Geovany Soto will open the season on the DL with a torn meniscus.
Tigers: Signed outfielder J.D. Martinez to a minor league deal.
White Sox: Signed pitcher Jose Quintana to a five-year extension worth a minimum of $21 million with club options for 2019 and 2020.
Today in former Brewers:
- The Bourn injury listed above opened the door for Nyjer Morgan to make the Indians.
- Travis Ishikawa reportedly has a "good chance" at winning a job with the Pirates.
Today is also Gorman the dachshund's sixth birthday. Many of you know him better as the Rally Lobster.
On this day two years ago Scooter Gennett hit for the cycle in a spring training win over the Royals. We covered that event in Today In Brewer History last year. Today is also the anniversary of transactions that ended the Brewer careers of outfielder Chris Dickerson, Trot Nixon and Claudio Vargas. We covered those events two years ago.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to find someone to take these.