Milwaukee Brewers News for Feb. 16

Right Field BleachersCorrespondent IFebruary 16, 2009

Brewers News

- Luis Pena was picked up by Seattle. I’m sad to see Pena go because I was looking forward to seeing him pitch for the Brewers, but I wish him the best with the Mariners. He’s got a great arm, so hopefully he can capitalize on it. More HERE.

- The Brewers also released Ramiro Mendoza, who failed a physical.

- And Vinny Rottino agreed to a minor-league assignment, meaning he’ll stay with the Brewers. And Tyler rejoices.

- Bill Hall says he should be ready to go in two weeks, not four to six as originally reported. The Brewers are still calling it four to six, but I like Hall’s enthusiasm. More HERE.

- McCalvy updates the other injuries in camp as Spring Training begins.

- Yovani Gallardo is going to have to earn the spot as the team’s No. 1.

- Gallardo is still considering pitching in the World Baseball Classic. More HERE.

- Seth McClung wants to start, but is OK with pitching in relief too.

- Julian Jones, a.k.a “Babysitter to the Stars,” hangs out with Manny Parra, apparently... And Parra likes to hit Vegas:

On a recent night, Mr. Sabathia and Mr. Jones were joined by Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Manny Parra. After watching a Kings game, they piled into a tricked-out party bus and around 3 a.m, unsuccessfully tried to squeeze it through a Jack In The Box drive-through to order more than $100 worth of fast food. Several weeks later, Mr. Parra and Mr. Jones went to the airport, caught a flight to Las Vegas on Southwest Airlines and, upon collecting their luggage, were whisked in a town car to the Palms casino. There, Mr. Jones high-fived nearly every staff member and shuttled Mr. Parra into the VIP check-in lounge. “I’ve never felt like part of somebody else’s entourage until now,” said Mr. Parra.

On Super Bowl Sunday, Mr. Jones watched the game from a black leather couch in the Palms Casino’s Playboy Club next to Mr. Parra, pro skateboarder Rob Dyrdek, and several young women, while waitresses in bunny ears and puffy white tails served Mr. Jones margaritas. After Larry Fitzgerald’s 64-yard touchdown catch, Buffalo Bills center Melvin Fowler ran over from across the club to give Mr. Jones a high-five before plopping down and asking about his plans for the night.

Mr. Parra watched Mr. Jones and wondered aloud: “How does he do it? He’s not the athlete, he’s not the celebrity, but in a way, he is. Sometimes I think I’m too humble.”

- Speaking of Parra, he changed his number from 43 to 26.

- Corey Hart is hopeful the two sides can agree on a contract before it goes to arbitration. More HERE.

- Is Hart doomed in his upcoming arbitration case?

- Ben Sheets is not coming back to Milwaukee, unless something really, really strange happens.

- Ken Macha to focus on fundamentals at Spring Training. SNORE. Boring, canned Spring Training piece.

- jihad at Brew Crew Ball constructs his ideal Brewers batting order: Weeks, Fielder, Cameron, Braun, Hardy, Hart, Hall/Lamb, Pitcher, Kendall.

- Doug Melvin was on the Big Show on 1250 WSSP.

- The Astros made a late run at signing Braden Looper.

- Tom Oates has eight questions the Brewers must answer in Spring Training.

- Brew Town Beat takes a look at the Brewers offseason.

- Why is Gumby’s number not retired?

- Gorman Thomas is the man. “We were a bunch of rednecks who loved to drink beer and have a good time,” he said of the 1982 team. 

- Cheap Seat Chronicles says Mat Gamel has four to six weeks to prove his worth.

With Hall’s injury, does Gamel become a fantasy sleeper?


Rumors and Speculation

- The Giants could look to move Noah Lowry in a trade since their rotation is full. I’d imagine the Brewers might be interested (especially since Lowry has an option remaining), but what would it take to get him?


Minor Leagues

- Angel Salome talks with

- Five Brewers make Baseball Prospectus’ Top 100 list, but none are in the top 50.

- The new Nashville Sounds ownership group is continuing renovations at Greer Stadium. They’re dropping $1.5 million into the project. It was a much-needed facelift. I can’t wait to get back down there and check it out.

- Milwaukee Minors continues profiling the top 20 prospects in the organization.


NL Central

- Every single article from the Chicago media assumes another Cubs division title (including this one). I hope the Cubs players are coming into the ‘09 season expecting to just roll through the NL Central too. They’re certainly the best team on paper, but ask the 2008 Detroit Tigers how the preseason paper champs thing works out...

- Rich Harden is injured. Big surprise... The degree of his injury is up in the air, but with Cubs management making sketchy, vague statements about the injury and “limiting his workload” and no one denying there’s a tear, it seems like there’s more to it than we’re hearing. I’d be surprised if Harden starts 15 games this year.

- Another Cubs Blog says, “There is nothing whatsoever special about being a Cubs fan.”  Yet the author still manages to portray one prevalent Cub fan trait—baseless arrogance:

“Do you ever hear anybody talk about what it’s like to be an Astros fan?  A Rangers fan?  A Brewers fan?  Well, that’s not fair, there aren’t many Brewers fans, but you get the point.”


Other News

- The Cleveland Indians signed former Brewer infielder Tony Graffanino to a minor-league contract.

- Former Brewer prospect Nelson Cruz is making A LOT of fantasy baseball sleeper lists...