We'll be stopping in to talk Brewers with Downtown Ollie Burrows this evening.
The Brewers are off today, but that doesn't mean we have to stop talking about them. I'll be swinging by The Sports Den with Downtown Ollie Burrows on Sports Fan 100.5 in Wausau at 6:30 today to spend a segment talking about spring training and more.
You can hear Sports Fan 100.5 over the air if you live in north central Wisconsin, but if you don't you can listen in live online. If you can't catch it at 6:30 do not fear: I'll likely have the archived audio in tomorrow's Frosty Mug.
Khris Davis returns to the Valley of the Sun for Spring Training as the favorite to win the starting left-field job for the Brewers in 2014, a thrilling prospect for Davis and his father, Rodney, who moved his family to Arizona in 1994 while working for the Mariners organization.
We're watching a tumbleweed blow through Maryvale and more in today's roundup of all things Brewers.
Some things to read while rolling away.
The 25th day of spring training 2014 will feature a pretty quiet morning in the Brewers clubhouse as the team enjoys one of two scheduled Cactus League off days. Things will be a little quieter when they come back, too, because they thinned the spring roster a bit following yesterday's game.
All told, 12 players are moving on today. Here's the breakdown:
- First basemen Hunter Morris and Jason Rogers and pitchers Jimmy Nelson and Ariel Pena have been optioned to Nashville.
- Pitchers Brooks Hall and Kevin Shackelford have been optioned to Huntsville.
- Outfielders Kentrail Davis and Mitch Haniger, infielders Hector Gomez and Taylor Green and pitcher David Goforth, who were in camp as non-roster invitees, have been returned to minor league camp.
- Reliever Michael Olmsted, also in camp as a non-roster invitee, has been released.
With these moves the competition for the first base job is down to four players: Juan Francisco, Sean Halton, Lyle Overbay and Mark Reynolds. Derek revealed who he's rooting for in our Tweet of the Day:
I hope Francisco beats out Overbay for 1B so I can get someone to photoshop some Highlander screengrabs w/the quote "There can be only JUAN!— Derek Harvey (@D_J_Harvey) March 11, 2014
Back on the field the Brewers picked up their third consecutive loss yesterday, dropping a 6-3 decision to the White Sox. JP has the recap, if you missed it. Yovani Gallardo, Brandon Kintzler and Will Smith combined to pitch six scoreless innings but Johnny Hellweg allowed three runs in the seventh and Michael Blazek gave up three more in the ninth to seal the team's fate.
Hellweg's rough spring continues, as he's now allowed six runs (including two homers) on eight hits and a walk in just three innings. Tom Haudricourt talked to Hellweg about his struggle to find control.
Other notes from the field:
- Ron Roenicke asked for replay of a call in the ninth inning after umpires asked him to do so to give them an opportunity to try out the replay system.
- Aramis Ramirez made his second start of the spring and struggled yesterday, going 0-for-2 with a strikeout and committing a pair of throwing errors. (h/t @Todd_Rosiak)
- Two of the Brewers' three runs in the eighth inning scored on a home run for minor league catcher Adam Weisenburger.
- Francisco Rodriguez is ready to start pitching in games and will make his Cactus League debut on Thursday.
- Todd Rosiak has another story on Wei-Chung Wang's surprising run to make the roster.
- ASU student Brendan Capria of the JS talked to Rob Wooten (and locker neighbor Zach Duke) about his intense focus on the North Carolina/Duke rivalry.
With the day off today you might find several Brewers out on the golf course. Today is the Bob Uecker Front Row Classic in Scottsdale, a tournament to benefit the Make A Wish Foundation.
Today would have been Kyle Lohse's day to pitch, but he's expected to throw in an intrasquad game Wednesday morning instead. Matt Garza will start when the Brewers travel to Tempe to take on the Angels. (h/t @Todd_Rosiak)
Rickie Weeks was off yesterday but may have gained ground anyway in the race to play second base on Opening Day, as Scooter Gennett went 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts to drop to 2-for-21 with a team-leading seven strikeouts on the spring. Tracy Ringolsby of MLB.com talked to Weeks about competing to keep his job.
Ryan Braun was off Monday but will presumably be back in the lineup on Wednesday. He spent his off day using one of the cheesier lines of the spring, telling Bob Nightengale of USA Today "I'm one of the league leaders in confidence." Yesterday John Perrotto of Sports On Earth discussed Braun's unwillingness to talk about the past this spring and looked ahead to his 2014 season.
Jean Segura started at short yesterday and went 1-for-3, raising his spring batting average to .318. Jim Owczarski of OnMilwaukee.com talked to him about life in his second full season in the majors.
Jonathan Lucroy also went 1-for-3 yesterday while catching Gallardo, but is still hitting just .208 on the spring. Ryan Topp of Disciples of Uecker is the latest to preview the Brewers catchers.
Segura and Lucroy will almost certainly spend full seasons in Milwaukee in 2014, but not all of their spring teammates are guaranteed that luxury. SB Nation Yankees site Pinstripe Alley wonders if the Brewers could be a realistic trade partner and considers the possibility of Rickie Weeks or Juan Francisco in New York.
Of course, sometimes the best move is the one you don't make. We spent much of the winter discussing Mets first baseman Ike Davis, who was seen yesterday wearing a walking boot in Port St. Lucie.
If you haven't yet, please take a moment today to vote in this week's Brew Crew Ball Tracking Poll. It will remain open through the day today and results will go up around noon tomorrow.
Braves: Acquired pitcher Zach Stewart from the White Sox for cash.
One of yesterday's fun distractions was the Twitter debut of @MrMet, the Mets' baseball-headed mascot. Unfortunately it quickly got weird when Sluggerrr, the Royals mascot, used the occasion to hit on Mrs. Met. Undeterred, Mr. Met turned to Bernie Brewer for facial hair advice.
My favorite thing from yesterday, however, came from Fresno. The AAA Grizzlies announced they're planning on wearing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle uniforms for one game this season, and are letting fans vote to determine which turtle is represented. This is the closest I've ever been to wanting to go to Fresno.
- 2013 Wisconsin Timber Rattler Mike Garza, who turns 24.
- 2008 Brewer Salomon Torres, who turns 42. We covered his birthday in Today In Brewer History two years ago.
- 1998 Brewer Rod Henderson, who turns 43.
Plunk Everyone notes that Torres' 51 career hit batsmen are the second most ever for a pitcher born on March 11.
Today is also the 16th anniversary of an unusual transaction, as the Brewers took starter Ben McDonald back after trading the injured pitcher to the Indians earlier in the winter. We covered that anniversary in Today In Brewer History last year.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to get rid of this.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke calmly asked for the umpires to review a play at the plate in the ninth inning on Monday, but for reasons other than what the fans in the stands may have assumed.
Following today's game, the Brewers made eleven more roster moves, returning six players to minor league camp, optioning three to Nashville, and two to Huntsville. 44 players remain in camp.
Following a few roster moves last week and the release of Michael Olmsted earlier today, the Brewers made their first big round of roster moves after today's game against the White Sox.
These moves were first reported by Mike Vassallo this afternoon. Here is the list of roster moves:
Returned to minor league camp: Kentrail Davis, Hector Gomez, Taylor Green, Mitch Haniger, David Goforth
Optioned to Triple-A Nashville: Hunter Morris, Jason Rogers, Jimmy Nelson, Ariel Pena
Optioned to Double-A Huntsville: Brooks Hall, Kevin Shackelford
None of these moves are very surprising, though some of these players may have had a chance to compete for a job. With the roster moves, the Brewers now have 44 players remaining in camp (22 pitchers, 4 catchers, 12 infielders, 6 outfielders). With the off day here and minor league games about to start, the timing was right for the first round of cuts to happen today.
Adam Weisenburger's two-run home run ties the game in the 8th inning, but the White Sox rally in the 9th to win the game.
HR: Adam Weisenburger (1), Jordan Danks (1)
Yovani Gallardo got the call to start the day, and he pitched well in his third spring start. He went 3 1/3 innings, allowing only two hits and a walk while striking out three. His ERA for the spring dropped to 1.13 as a result of today's game. Bradon Kintzler and Will Smith followed Gallardo, and only allowed a hit each.
On the other side, Chris Sale and company matched the early pitching of Gallardo. Sale pitched 4 1/3 innings and only allowed two hits, while also striking out three. David Pursey and Zach Putnam followed him with scoreless appearances as well.
Johnny Hellweg pitched the seventh and had a rough day, allowing three runs and four hits with only one strikeout. The Brewers would respond quick, Sean Halton got the Brewers on the board in the seventh inning with an RBI single, and then Adam Weisenburger's eighth inning home run tied the game at three. The Brewers wouldn't hold on to the lead though, as Michael Blazek allowed three runs in the ninth and the White Sox held on to win.
Aramis Ramirez made his second start of the spring, and it was not a good one for him. He went 0-for-2 at the plate, and also committed two throwing errors.
Jeff Keppinger's fielder's choice ground ball in the ninth inning drove in the tie-breaking run and lifted the White Sox to a 6-3 victory over the Brewers before a crowd of 4,729 Monday afternoon at Maryvale Baseball Park.
Rickie Weeks has a big league resume. That, however, does not mean he has the assurance of an everyday job with the Brewers.
A year ago Monday, Kyle Lohse made his spring debut. Agent Scott Boras arranged for Lohse to pitch in a simulated game against the Scottsdale Community College Artichokes.
Reliever Francisco Rodriguez threw a live batting practice session on Sunday and is on track to make his first spring appearance on Thursday, when the Brewers travel to Peoria to play the Padres. He'll also throw a light bullpen session on Wednesday.