We find ourselves treading water in what is always an awkward two week window. Spring training has officially started, yet games are not yet being played. The news cycles are largely bereft of substantial news and filled with “best shape of his life” and “looking to rebound” stories.
Still, amidst the first day of team workouts on Monday, some interesting nuggets rose to the surface:
- Right-hander Zack Greinke said that he will remain without an agent for the near future. More specifically, he said, “There’s no reason to have one for the moment.” (via Twitter) For those hoping Doug Melvin and the Brewers have approached Greinke with the idea of a contract extension, those words do not necessarily sound all that promising.
- Last February, we heard about Randy Wolf and Michael Fiers adding a cutter to their repertoire and finding success. This spring, it’s Chris Narveson (via RotoWire) and Zack Greinke (via Twitter) refining a brand new cut-fastball, hoping to experience similar improvements on the mound.
- That pitch has become increasingly popular across the major leagues. If thrown properly, it gives a pitcher a wrinkle to keep opposing batters off the fastball and another offering that can consistently be thrown for strikes. Keep an eye out for the cutter from both Narveson and Greinke this spring.
- Tom Haudricourt writes that right-hander Mark Rogers is fully recovered from his carpel tunnel surgery and is looking forward to the 2012 season. Of course, he has six games remaining of his 25-game suspension last season from when he tested positive for stimulants — though Adam McCalvy talked to Rogers on Monday, and the former top prospect said the positive test stemmed from a tainted supplement. (via Twitter)
- Left-hander Zach Braddock bounced between the big league club and Triple-A Nashville in 2011 due to ineffectiveness and complications with a sleeping disorder. He claims to be over the sleep issues and is poised to compete for one of the final bullpen positions on the Opening Day roster. Tom Haudricourt (via Twitter) notes that he appears physically stronger than he did last season.
- Over at FanGraphs, I looked back at the 2008 blockbuster trade that sent CC Sabathia to Milwaukee for prospects Matt LaPorta, Michael Brantley, Zach Jackson, and Rob Bryson. Read the article for the in-depth analysis, but it’s safe to say the Brewers have benefitted far more from the trade than have the Cleveland Indians.
- First baseman Mat Gamel has already reported to camp. The 26-year-old also rededicated himself to the weight room over the winter, and the physical results have been noticeable. Considering he arrived late in ’09 and has been known for his questionable make-up, Brewers fans should be encouraged by the initiative shown by Gamel this early in the season.