The pitchers and catchers reported last Friday, but the real work starts today, as the Brewers hold their first full-squad workout in Maryvale. With the first Spring Training games just a couple of days away, the long offseason is really starting to feel like it’s coming to a close. No more projections, no more predictions, no more transaction news — it’s nearly time for box scores and results. Today we start by digging into the life of one of Milwaukee’s youngest prospects. Let’s roll it out:
Kyle Lesniewski (@brewerfan28) catches up with pitching prospect Gentry Fortuno, who is entering his first full professional baseball season. The 18-year-old is not necessarily a widely-known name in the Brewers organization yet, but the Brewers’ 18th-round pick in last summer’s draft acquitted himself well with the Milwaukee’s Arizona League team, putting up a 1.89 ERA in 33.1 innings. Lesniewski’s interview with the young right-hander offers a fascinating level of insight into the offseason plans and the spring training regimen of one of the rank-and-file members of the organization, from whom we very rarely hear. Definitely worth the read.
Michael Baumann (@MJ_Baumann) explains some of the math behind Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA projections by manipulating the percentages to try to get the Philadelphia Phillies, who are projected to win 65 games and finish in last place, into the playoffs with an NL East pennant. There was some hand-wringing when the projections were first released and, for the second consecutive year, they were down on the defending AL champion Royals. A lot of things went very, very right for the Royals last year, with a lot of players performing at a level that was much higher than could have reasonably been expected. So could Philadelphia win the NL East? Look, I once asked a woman out on a date and she agreed, so anything can happen, even if it isn’t likely. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try.
FanGraphs || Why We Hate The Diamondbacks (Feb. 25, 2016)
For whatever reason, there’s actually more to this article than simply having “Tony LaRussa” emblazoned across the screen in large, red letters. Apparently Dave Cameron (@DCameronFG) was feeling like an overachiever. Cameron responds to GM Dave Stewart’s remarks from earlier this week, in which he became very mad about computer projections, going so far as to imply that the computers that churn out the PECOTA projections might have a personal vendetta against the Diamondbacks for reasons only Keanu Reeves might be able to explain. The very mean computers weren’t impressed with the improvements the Diamondbacks made to this season’s roster, which is not a good sign because pretty much no one was impressed with the long-term ramifications Stewart’s moves this winter will have on the franchise.
FanGraphs || Grading The Offseason For All 30 Teams (Feb. 22, 2016)
Speaking of those moves, here’s more from Cameron, who grades the work each team did this winter. Now, as a rule I never trust a man with two first names, but here his opinions are blatantly and obviously correct, so we can take them at face value despite that. The aforementioned Diamondbacks came in with the league’s second worst grade, while the Brewers tied with the Cubs at the head of the class, as each team received an A from Professor Cameron.
Wrapping up a two week series, Gabe Stoltz (@Stoltzy3) explores the state of the major league roster in the starting rotation for the UWM Post, UW-Milwaukee’s student newspaper. He explores some of the Brewers’ options for their Opening Day starter, including an interesting argument for Matt Garza, which I am not angry about at all (Comeback Player of the Year, folks).