Thursday’s Game: Brewers 10, Australia 5
—J.J. Hardy, Mike Lamb and Casey McGehee (NOOOO!!!) lead the offensive explosion, driving in eight of Milwaukee’s 10 runs as the Brew Crew bested the Aussies. Seth McClung struggled, surrendering two runs in three innings, but the bullpen held tight with strong outings by Jorge Julio, Trevor Hoffman, and Nick Green.
—Ken Macha gives Tom Haudricourt an updated injury list. Save for Looper, who seems to be on the mend, this list is all bench players, or players not likely to break camp. This seems like Tony Gwynn Jr.’s parting shot, though. Whatever.
—The Junkball Blues projects Ryan Braun and Rickie Weeks.
—Bernie’s Crew features a Milwaukee Brewers offseason review: Due to fewer/lower profile (on paper) signings, the post estimates the 2009 Brewers lost three wins.
—The Brewers are reportedly going to try a $1 concessions menu during certain home games: The menu is likely to include dollars dogs, sodas, and popcorn. Aside from the occasional Cactus League nacho platter, I rarely buy food inside the stadium, but this is a good move to keep Miller Park at or near the front of the line in family affordability. Kudos.
—This Bleacher Report writer lays down his expectations for Yovani Gallardo: The verdict? The potential to be a great pitcher in the long haul, but 20-25 starts, at least 10 wins, an ERA under 4.00 and about 1K/IP. If he stays healthy, all those predictions could easily come true.
—Will this be the year Rickie Weeks finally breaks out?: I feel like Rickie is near his ceiling. He’s not the flashy first-rounder he was pegged to be, but if he stays consistent and continues to improve with the glove, he could be a very productive big leaguer.
—More Jon Heyman Brewers stuff: I’ll leave this Heyman unbusted…for now.
—Here’s a pretty cool feature on Brad Nelson: He was once the organization’s top prospect, and despite playing quite well for eight seasons in the minors, he’s been overshadowed and blocked by countless younger players. It may not be in the way he’d once envisioned it, but this could finally be the year he cracks the 25-man roster. He’s waited long enough for his chance.
—Beyond the Box Score rates Milwaukee’s farm system tops in the NL Central: The post is complete with graphs and charts to explain their reasoning.
—Pedro Martinez may be a candidate to close in St. Louis: The Cards are without a clear option to close, but I still don’t expect this to happen.
—The Astros are hoping their Rule 5 draft selections, including former Brewers catching prospect Lou Palmisano, pan out: With Angel Salome, Jon LuCroy, and Brett Lawrie in tow, there wasn’t room for talented backstops like Palmisano (and to a lesser extent, Eric Fryer) to advance through the system. Best of luck to Lou…against other NL Central teams.
—Former Brewer Laynce Nix is getting a shot to crack the Reds’ lineup: There wasn’t much room for him in Milwaukee, so it’s good to see him getting another shot at big league soil.
—Team Italy lost to a team of New York Mets backups: Brewers minor leaguer Vinny Rottino went 1-for-2 with a walk and a stolen base. Mark DiFelice pitched two scoreless innings in Italy’s last game against the Nationals, also a loss. Read my B&C recap HERE.
—Alex Rodriguez will undergo hip surgery and could miss up to 10 weeks of regular season play: This hasn’t been his year.
—If you have yet to read the sad news about the untimely passing of John Odom, a minor leaguer who was once traded for 10 bats, I suggest you do so.