Some things to read insufferably.
The 19th day of spring training 2014 opens with the Brewers below .500 for the first time in Cactus League play following a 6-4, walkoff loss to the A's. Derek has the recap, if you missed it.
Yesterday's game turned south in the late innings as Jimmy Nelson allowed two runs in the eighth and Johnny Hellweg gave up three runs (including a walkoff homer) without recording an out in the ninth. Hellweg now has an infinite ERA for the spring.
Yesterday's late struggles cost Wily Peralta a shot at a win after he pitched three scoreless innings and allowed just one hit. He has yet to allow a run this spring, and has given up just two hits over five innings.
The Brewers lost again yesterday without Aramis Ramirez, who has yet to appear in a game this spring. He remains a few days behind the rest of the team following postseason colon surgery, but yesterday Ron Roenicke told reporters he could appear in a game by the weekend. (h/t @AdamMcCalvy)
Other notes from camp:
- Adam McCalvy has a story on a small mechanical adjustment that may have had a positive impact on Rickie Weeks' play this spring.
- McCalvy also has a story on Kevin Shackelford, a longtime amateur catcher who is now on the fringe of the majors as a pitcher.
- Tyler Dunne of the JS has a story on Logan Schafer's offseason work to improve his mechanics in an effort to outperform his 2013 numbers.
- Nick Michalski of The Brewers Bar has a look at the new spring training/batting practice uniforms the Brewers are sporting this spring.
- BrewGIFs captured Carlos Gomez's bat flip from his double on Monday for posterity. Gomez, by the way, was the subject of the latest edition of "Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers at The Brewer Nation.
- Hank the dog made an appearance at Monday's home game (and was mobbed), but he might be sitting out for a couple of days now as he deals with an eye ailment.
One of the most interesting stories of spring to this point may be Rule 5 pick Wei-Chung Wang, who pitched a perfect inning on Monday in his Cactus League debut and drew rave reviews from scouts. On instagram, the Brewers have a video on Wang's offseason. The Asian Athletes Blog also has a story on his performance.
Wang turns 22 in April, so if he makes the roster he could be tacked onto this list: Baseball Prospectus has a list of the Brewers' top ten players under age 25, and Chris Mellen says "Milwaukee's U25 list features 23-year-old shortstop Jean Segura and rapidly drops falls off after." BP ranks the group dead last in baseball.
Mark Reynolds probably has a better chance to make the Opening Day roster, but he's hitting just .125/.364/.125 after his first ten spring plate appearances. Alex Skillin of SBNation.com listed Reynolds as one of five non-roster invitees who could win jobs this spring.
Speaking of Reynolds, Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors has a recap of the Brewers offseason and listed him as one of six notable minor league free agent additions.
In the minors:
- Minor league camp is officially open, and @BrewersPD has a full roster by name and a schedule for minor league games. The schedule may require you to tilt your head to the left.
- Adam McCalvy talked to Wily Peralta about the struggles he endured when reporting to minor league camp for the first time as a 16-year-old in 2005.
- Miller Park Prospects has a look at the veteran players that could play key roles for Nashville in 2014.
- Chris Mehring of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers has a look at the five states that have produced the most players for Wisconsin. Before looking, I guessed the top three.
Back in Milwaukee, yesterday the Brewers and Fox Sports Wisconsin unveiled their 2014 television schedule. Between FS Wisconsin, Fox Sports 1 and FOX, 152 Brewer games will be televised this season. Of course, I took the "glass half empty" approach and made a list of the non-televised contests.
With eight non-televised home games, we should get 73 opportunities to view some or all of the Sausage Race on TV this season. David S. Grant of Reviewing the Brew attempted to predict the season standings.
If you'd like more Brewers coverage today but you're sick of reading, my Tuesday appearance on The Sports Den with Downtown Ollie Burrows on Sports Fan 100.5 in Wausau has been archived. This week's spot starts around 1:15:00 in the audio and, if you listen closely, you might be able to pinpoint the moment where I drive into my garage on my way home from Arizona.
Orioles: Reliever Edgmer Escalona may open the season on the DL with shoulder inflammation. Also, the team signed pitcher Johan Santana to a minor league deal.
Rangers: Are expected to sign pitcher Joe Saunders.
Red Sox: Pitcher Jake Peavy may open the season on the DL with a torn tendon in his non-throwing hand.
Tigers: Outfielder Andy Dirks will open the season on the DL following back surgery.
Today in former Brewers:
- Kevin Ruprecht of Beyond the Box Score has a look at how Alcides Escobar can improve at the plate after being one of baseball's worst offensive players in 2013.
- Jonathan Judge of Disciples of Uecker has a look at the impact Juan Nieves has had as pitching coach of the Red Sox.
Finally, with help from Brewerfan.net and the B-Ref Play Index, we'd like to wish a happy birthday today to:
- 2013 Huntsville Star Hector Gomez, who turns 26.
- 2001-03 Brewer Jeffrey Hammonds, who turns 43.
- 1994-98 Brewer Jose Mercedes, who turns 43.
- 1990-91 Brewer Kevin Brown, who turns 48.
- Offseason minor league free agent signee Brad Mills, who turns 29.
- 1961 and 1964 Milwaukee Brave and 1970-71 Brewer Phil Roof, who turns 73. We covered his birthday in Today In Brewer History last year.
- 1953-63 Milwaukee Brave and 1972-75 Brewers manager Del Crandall, who turns 84. We covered his birthday in Today In Brewer History two years ago.
Plunk Everyone notes that Hammonds' 30 career HBP are the fifth most ever for a position player born on March 5, and Mercedes' 21 hit batsmen are the fifth most ever for a pitcher born on this day.
Now, if you'll excuse me, it's time to apply more paint.