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Monday, February 28, 2011

Prince Fielder Should Embrace the Bunt

Yesterday during the Brewers intrasquad game Prince Fielder threw down a bunt for a base hit. When I heard about it I couldn't help but laugh at what seemed simply to be more evidence of the relaxed atmosphere currently surrounding the Brewers. After thinking about it, though, I hope he spends more time practicing bunting this spring in order to feel comfortable laying one down during the regular season.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Brewers Exhibition Games Begin Tomorrow

Brewers Cactus League play begins tomorrow with split squad games against the Cubs and Giants. Here are the lineups courtesy of Adam McCalvy of

Home vs. Giants
Rickie Weeks 2B
Jeremy Reed RF
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Prince Fielder 1B
Casey McGehee 3B
Brandon Boggs LF
George Kottaras C
Chris Dickerson CF
Brendan DH

Shaun Marcum RHP

Away vs Cubs

Carlos Gomez CF
Craig Counsell SS
Ryan Braun LF
Mark Kotsay 1B
Luis Cruz 2B
Wil Nieves C
Erick Almonte DH
Caleb Gindl RF
Zelous Wheeler 3B

Tim Dillard RHP

Still More Pics From Spring Training

Here's another set courtesy of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Select Brewers Spring Training Games to Air on MLB Network, FSN, and WMLW41

Here is a list of Brewers Spring Training games that will be televised (all times listed are CST). Also, click here for a short clip of Zack Greinke's first live batting practice session from this past week.

March 7 (Monday) at Cincinnati Reds (2:05 PM) airing on MLB Network on tape delay at 8:30 PM.

March 15 (Tuesday) at Cleveland Indians (3:05 PM) airing on MLB Network on tape delay at 9:00 PM.

March 16 (Wednesday) at Seattle Mariners airing on FSN-HD at 9:30 PM.

March 19 (Saturday) at Los Angeles Dodgers (3:05 PM) airing on MLB Network on tape delay at 4:00 PM.

March 28 (Monday) at Kansas City Royals airing on WMLW41 at 3:05 PM.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Hall of Famer Robin Yount to Spend Considerable Time With Brewers This Spring

Ron Roenicke told reporters Friday that Brewers legend Robin Yount would spend more time with the team this spring than in years past. Yount lives nearby and usually spends a few days each spring with the Brewers as a special instructor. This year Roenicke asked him if he'd spend more time with the team and despite his busy schedule, he agreed.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Vote Online For John Axford's Entrance Music

Last night Axford posted the poll on his facebook page to let fans choose his entrance music for 2011. In the end he chose Rush's Working Man as an option rather than Tom Sawyer. We can forgive him since he at least included a Rush song, even if not the Rush song we asked for.

Visit Axford's facebook page,, to vote for your favorite selection.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Axford to Hold Online Vote For 2011 Entrance Music. Our Choice: Rush's "Tom Sawyer"

Brewers closer John Axford tweeted Wednesday night that he would soon post a poll on his facebook page to let fans decide his entrance music for 2011. In one of my first posts on this blog I argued that he should use Tom Sawyer by Rush. A Rush fan blog,, stumbled upon the post, linked to it, and Rush fans helped make it my most hit entry, and by a wide margin (142 hits vs Miller Park Scoreboard Update [59], Braun-Rodgers Bucks Game [56], and Brewers Bobblehead Giveaways [54]).

It truly would be amazing if Axford picked Tom Sawyer and we even have a brand new reason thanks to a lone commenter from my previous post:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Injury Bug Bites Brewers

Greinke: That guy's finger looks like it hurts
The injury bug bit the Brewers camp today. Jonathan Lucroy broke his right pinkie finger this morning during drills. He'll have a pin inserted in his finger tomorrow and will miss four weeks. It's uncertain as to whether he'll need to start the regular season on the DL. This must be a huge disappointment for him as it's the first spring he's entered as the Brewers full time catcher. He's bound to lose some of the time he'd have spent catching new Brewers pitchers and he'll enter the regular season with little, if any, at bats under his belt. Here's hoping he's ready for opening day.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Marcum Discusses Brewers Rotation

Today Shaun Marcum spoke with MLB Network about the Brewers rotation and his approach on the mound. Here is a link to the short video, and below are pictures from this past weekend courtesy of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Previewing the 2011 Season: Carlos Gomez

What can we say about Carlos Gomez? A stellar defensive center fielder, the Mets rushed Gomez to the Majors at age 21, forcing him to develop his game on the big stage. Traded to the Twins, he played two seasons in Minnesota before coming to Milwaukee in exchange for J.J. Hardy. Thus far Gomez's career has been characterized by solid defense in center field, blazing speed, and an apparent lack of any plate discipline.

Monday, February 21, 2011

What Does 2011 Hold For Mat Gamel?

As of yesterday most of the Brewers had arrived in Arizona (position players are not required to arrive until today). Mat Gamel, historically not known for his punctuality, let alone arriving early, reported earlier last week. Perhaps the fact that he showed up early this year means he's matured a bit over the last couple of years. In 2008 he became known for showing up late to workouts, leading some of the veterans in the clubhouse to move his belongings outside to teach him a lesson. He didn't make the same mistake in 2009, a year shortened by injuries, but he seemed less than willing to explore different positions given the fact that 3B is blocked at the Major League level by Casey McGehee.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

More Pics From Spring Training

Prince Fielder arrived in camp today, leaving Mark Kotsay as the only Brewer yet to show up. Here are some more pics of this week's workouts (again courtesy of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Early Pics From Spring Training

Here are some early pics of Brewers pitchers working out this week courtesy of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. I have to admit, it sure is awesome to see Greinke in a Brewers uniform! Enjoy!

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Thank You to My Readers

This morning I passed 1,000 hits on this blog since I started it on January 12. Hopefully that means I'm doing something right. I'm not really expecting anything to come from this blog. I just want to write about the Brewers and I hope that others will get some enjoyment from what I write. Suggestions for the site are always welcome-- just leave a comment in any of the posts and I'll see it. Thank you all for checking in here so often-- I truly appreciate it!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Roenicke Thinking of Batting Pitcher Eighth

Pitchers and catchers reported yesterday and everyone is getting geared up for baseball. Brewers manager Ron Roenicke spoke with reporters today and with the ink on Rickie Weeks' contract still drying his name inevitably came up for discussion. Of Weeks Roenicke said: "He's lead-off but he can hit anywhere. You put him in the 3rd spot last year and maybe he drives in 100 [RBI]." Roenicke mentioned he's even considering batting his pitchers eighth in the lineup to give Weeks more RBI opportunities.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Weeks Signs 4 Year Extension With Brewers, Avoids Arbitration on Eve of Hearing

With an arbitration hearing scheduled for tomorrow, the Brewers announced today that they've signed Rickie Weeks to a four year $38.5 million extension with an $11.5 million option for 2015. If he fails to be an everyday player in 2013 and 2014 the club can decline his fifth year (needs 600 plate appearances in 2014, or 1200 in 2013 and 2014 combined). This is great news for fans worried that the Crew might lose the right side of their infield after 2011 with Weeks and Prince Fielder both scheduled for free agency.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Milwaukee Brewers = 2011's Seattle Mariners?!

Yesterday Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal wrote about which teams he most expects to give NL and AL favorites, the Phillies and Red Sox, a run for their money in 2011. He mentioned the Brewers, but not in a way most Brewers fans would expect after such a successful offseason.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Jonathan Lucroy: Hard Working, Humble, Awesome

Last week the guys at the Bernies Crew fan blog spoke with Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy as part of a podcast. For those who haven't had a chance to listen to the podcast, I've included here some excerpts and summarization. The main thrust of the interview reinforces our perception of Lucroy-- a humble, hard working individual who doesn't take anything for granted.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

ESPN Lists Brewers' Marcum as #1 Player Poised For Breakout Season

The Brewers again found themselves mentioned in Buster Olney's column this week, this time as part of an entry on players positioned for a "breakout" season in 2011. Olney picked Brewers starting pitcher Shaun Marcum as #1 on the list, having escaped last season with a 3.64 ERA while competing in a division containing 2010's three highest scoring teams (Yankees, Red Sox, Rays). Now in the National League, he "has the type of pitching smarts and competitiveness to take advantage of the inherent holes in the NL batting orders." Olney says that the Brewers' weak defense may hinder Marcum's success (surprise!), but one long time scout thinks he has a chance to win 20 games if he remains healthy.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tom Haudricourt Discusses Brewers as Spring Training Nears

As pitchers and catchers report to Arizona and Spring Training approaches, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel spoke briefly about the team this week. Here's a link to a short video.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Axford's Mechanical Remedy Described at

I wrote here previously that Brewers closing pitcher John Axford found success after adjusting his mechanics on advice from a coach. ESPN's Buster Olney wrote yesterday that Lee Tunnell, a minor league pitching coach for the Brewers, suggested in 2009 that Axford copy the delivery of former AL Cy Young winner Roy Halladay. The change involved a lower arm slot with more athleticism in his delivery, fixing a hitch in his mechanics that developed after Tommy John surgery in college. He literally found instant success with his new delivery, noticing increased pitch control within ten pitches of a subsequent bullpen session. Axford went on to make seven appearances with the Brewers in 2009 and then, of course, became the everyday closer once Trevor Hoffman struggled out of the gate in 2010. Click here for Olney's entire article.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Brewers Announce 2011 Bobblehead Giveaways

The Brewers made some interesting choices for their 2011 bobblehead giveaways. Obvious selections include John Axford (April 24 vs Astros), Casey McGehee (May 22 vs Rockies), and Zack Greinke (June 12 vs Cardinals). Less expected were the picks of the racing Hot Dog (July 10 vs Reds), Craig Counsell (August 14 vs Pirates), and Randy Wolf (September 25 vs Marlins). Note, too, that single-game tickets go on sale on February 26 at 9:00 am CST.

Brewers Sign Marcum, Avoid Arbitration

Last night the Brewers reached agreement with Shaun Marcum on a contract that will pay him a base salary of $3.95 million with incentives to push him beyond $4 million, the midpoint between the two sides' exchanged figures. Apparently inclusion of the incentives served as the impetus to get the deal done. It's not unusual for a salary to be finalized as an arbitration hearing draws near, but the Brewers are surely glad they won't need to welcome their new pitcher to the club by airing his faults to the panel. Marcum earned $850,000 in 2010 and received a salary increase of 364.7%. Still, if Marcum puts up similar numbers as last year, $4 million represents a bargain for a sub-4.00 ERA starting pitcher.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Brewers Sign Outfielder From Dominican Prospect League

It's a quiet week as Brewers fans look ahead to Spring Training and wait for news on the Weeks and Marcum negotiations. Today the Brewers signed 17-year old outfielder Elvis Rubio from the Dominican Prospect League in a display of their increasing international presence. Rubio currently stands as one of the better, if not the best, power hitters in the DPL. Of course a player this young may never even make it to the big leagues, but at least the Brewers are drawing from multiple resources to rebuild their farm system after this winter's trades.

In other news the Brewers announced that minor league pitcher Roque Mercedes has cleared waivers and been outrighted to AAA Nashville. He was removed from the 40-man roster last week to make room for Mark Kotsay.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Arbitration Deadline Looming For Brewers, Marcum

Arbitration hearings are quickly approaching and the Brewers still need to work out contracts for 2011 with Rickie Weeks and Shaun Marcum. With much of the recent focus on Weeks the attention now shifts to Marcum, whose arbitration hearing is scheduled for Thursday if the two sides can't reach a deal before then (versus next Thursday for Weeks).

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Previewing the 2011 Season: Jonathan Lucroy

At the beginning of 2010 Jonathan Lucroy could not have imagined that he'd be the Brewers everyday catcher by the second week of June. Yet that's just what happened, despite beginning the year in AA and having no less than three players blocking his path to the starting role in the Milwaukee.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Previewing the 2011 Season: Casey McGehee

It's easy to overlook Casey McGehee with Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder in the lineup. Yet he not only avoided the sophomore slump in 2010, he led the team in RBI (104), hit 23 home runs, and played in 157 games despite a balky knee. McGehee put together a fine year in 2010 and the Brewers need him to do the same in 2011.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Kotsay Deal Official, Brewers Designate RHP Roque Mercedes For Assignment

The Brewers announced their signing of Mark Kotsay today. He'll make $800,000 in 2011 with incentives worth as much as $450,000 more. To make room for Kotsay on the 40-man roster the Brewers designated right-handed reliever Roque Mercedes for assignment. The Brewers have ten days to trade or release Mercedes. If the window passes without any interest from other clubs the Brewers can then send him back to the minor leagues.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Brewers Group Ticket Sales Begin Saturday

For anyone planning a group visit (25 people or more) to Miller Park this summer, now is the time to finalize your plans. Group tickets go on sale Saturday morning at 9:00. Visit the Group Ticket page at for details.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Brewers Nearing Deal With Mark Kotsay

Ken Rosenthal reported yesterday via Twitter that the Brewers are close to signing Mark Kotsay to a major league contract. Kotsay, 35, will play the role of backup outfielder/first baseman and pinch hitter and will provide veteran leadership to what is still a pretty young team. Not everyone is happy with the move, though.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

J.J. Hardy Finds Success in Cable Television, Other Former Brewers Finding Work

Things have calmed down in Brewerland after the excitement this past weekend of Ryan Braun attending the Bucks game with Aaron Rodgers and fans setting record attendance at "Brewers on Deck". So, I thought this might be a good time to check in with some former Brewers and see what they're up to now. J.J. Hardy, for one, found success by creating  and starring in a show that airs on FX called "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." Hardy (pictured above with costar Danny DeVito) plays a dim-witted bar tender obsessed with Chase Utley. Who knew J.J. had a thing for Utley?