Dang…those guys at The Cub Reporter are really starting to tick me off…five bloggers (with at least one reporting from Arizona), lots of good posts…and to top it off, lots and lots of clever headlines. So with Ben Sheets making his second Cactus League start (still on track for that Monday, April 2nd opening day start against the Dodgers), I tried to come up with something clever…”Beneath the Sheets,” or “Sheets are Blowing in the Wind.” I got nothing…nothing good, anyway.
But the Crew’s split squads got back together for their 10th Cactus League game today, bringing their 4-5 record into Thursday’s game against…who else? The Giants…yup, 4th time against the Barrys. After drubbing them 21-2 last week Friday, the Giants got revenge the next day besting our boys 12-8, and then again yesterday 15-6. With the squads back together, skipper Yost tried this line-up:
1. Iribarren, 2B …still taking no chances with Rickie Weeks (to the betterment of my fantasy league rival, whose keeping Weeks)
2. Chavez, SS …must be easing Hardy in as well
3. Fielder, 1B …the Fresh Prince of Mil-ler (almost works) makes his Cactus League debut
4. Hall, CF …again, nothing clever
5. Estrada, C …his solo shot in the bottom of the 2nd ups his BA to .588
6. Jenkins, LF …looking more and more like this will be his spot in the line-up…at least against righties
7. Rottino, 3B …with both Graffanino and Braun nursing boo-boos, Vinny gets a chance to show if he’s versatile or not
8. Clark, RF …think showcasing
9. Sheets, P …no hits allowed through his first two…will Maddux let him go three today? I just checked again–he did…and bad mistake–doubles by not-Ray Durham Velez and Randy Winn, followed by a single by Rich Aurilia, means 2 ER’s in 3 IP…sigh.
They (meaning mlb.com and brewers.com) finally posted the transcript of Doug Melvin’s chat with fans this afternoon…some of the gems:
- Has anyone come calling about any Brewers outfielders?
Melvin: Not at this time, it is still early in camp. I expect phone calls to pick up in the next 7-10 days.
Me: Yeah, but for whom? No way we trade Hart or Hall, while Jenkins and Clark cost way too much, and Gross is still hurt…my guess is if we can’t move Mench, we deal Gross…personally, I kind of hate to lose either one.
- With Mike Rivera and JD Closser out of options, are you worried that another team will pick them up on waivers if they don’t make the big club? How could this affect the catching depth at Nashville?
Melvin: Rivera and Closser have both had very good springs and we are a little concerned that they could get claimed on waivers, but we are fortunate to have the experience of Johnny Estrada and Damian Miller at the big-league level.
Me: Read: We want to trade ’em…Rivera, Closser, maybe even Miller…anything we can get would be a plus, as these are decent catchers that won’t see much playing time in Milwaukee this year unless someone gets hurt.
Finally, the combined Crew squad (hey, they should call one split-squad “Black” and the other “Tan”–and when they play together, they could be “Black and Tans”–get it? Er, never mind…) sees the Royals on Friday and the D-Backs with Double D Doug Davis on Saturday. Wonder who’ll be more peeved at their prior team–Davis or Johnny Estrada…probably Estrada, because he’s not making as much dough as Davis…and he’ll have to drive to work in the cold for the first few months…but he’ll be a whole lot happier playing in Wisconsin instead of Arizona come July.