Spring Training is only 9 weeks away...imagine that if you will. Over the course of the next couple of weeks it will be interesting to see how the Brewers craft their active roster and who they will bring in to compete for it down in Maryvale.
There are still some holes in the bullpen that will have to be filled. They did make an addition in yesterday's signing of Sean Green to a non-guaranteed contract worth 875k. The veteran reliever missed all but 11 games last season for the Mets; he was placed on the DL with an intercostal strain to his throwing side. He carries a 4.36 ERA for his career which started in 2000 when he was drafted by the Rockies.
Milwaukee also brought back Craig Counsell for yet another season. I have no problem with this since he's cheap, loves Milwaukee, and he has always contributed when needed.
-Since making the Greinke trade official on Monday, the Milwaukee Brewers saw a significant spike in ticket sales for season-packages. Prior to the trade Milwaukee had 400 new accounts open since the start of the off-season. In just under 5 days the Crew has added 1500. This is exactly what Antanasio wanted to do, fill Miller Park. It doesn't happen by hiring a washed up manager like Valentine. You give a bench coach the opportunity to manage....when a number of other teams passed him up over the past couple of years.
-Interesting take on the Greinke & Marcum deals: Milwaukee received 2 of the best players at their position (Pitcher).
" For one, both Greinke and Marcum very good at turning batted balls into outs. In Baseball Info Solutions plus-minus system, Greinke rated a +7 in 2010 and a +13 since 2008 (meaning he turned 13 more balls hit his way into outs than the average fielder would have), tied for second-best in baseball. Marcum was a +4 last season and a +8 in his last three seasons (he missed 2009 due to injury). "
Considering that Milwaukee's infield all ranked at or near the bottom at their respective positions over the past 4 SEASONS (!!!), these two defenders are a blessing.
-The stars are aligning in Milwaukee. Sure I'm biased, why can't I be? Milwaukee has been losing since 1982. They BARELY made the playoffs in 2008....and now they have all the ingredients to make a run. Mark my words, Philly will not stay healthy and they will certainly miss Jason Wryth in RF. Milwaukee still needs another closer, as I'm unsure that Axford can repeat his stellar performance from his 2010 campaign. He also hit some bumps at the end of the season. If it's one thing teams can learn from the Pirates...it's to have back-up plans for the closer-role (see Octavio Dotel). Baltimore & Texas also had a plan B entering the season and it worked out for them (not so much with Baltimore's overall record of course).
-Hardball Times ranks Milwaukee's prospects (as well as the Nationals). They list Mark Rogers at the top, Kyle Heckathorn at #3, Kentrail Davis at #6 and Cutter Dykstra at #8.
I don't have last year's rankings in front of me, but a number of those who were listed this year are new to the list....due to the past 2 trades. I'm okay with that, WE NEED TO WIN NOW.