Milwaukee’s Spring Training slate kicked off this week, with the team securing an expected win over UW-Milwaukee in their scrimmage on Wednesday. The Brew Crew then dispatched the Cubs and Giants in a pair of split-squad games on Thursday, opening their Cactus League schedule with a perfect 2-0 record. It should be pointed out that if the Brewers continue to not lose, they’ll be a good bet to win the World Series in 2016.
It’s been a fairly quiet week for the Brewers, with nothing much interesting going on, as far as I know, other than just the regular ol’ games happening on the field. Just you’re average, everyday Spring Training week. I think.
Let’s roll it out:
Beyond the Box Score || Will Smith might be the Brewers’ best trade chip
Matt Goldman (@TheOriginalBull) is one of my favorite writers at one of my favorite sites, and he breaks down why the Brewers’ most valuable trade chip might not be behind the plate, but rather on the other end of the battery. While Jonathan Lucroy may be a blue-chip player, Brewers reliever Will Smith is arguably as valuable and would be more easily movable. After all, every contender would love to add a high-end bullpen piece, particularly a hard-throwing southpaw.
FanGraphs || Domingo Santana as George Springer (Mar. 2, 2016)
August Fagerstrom (@AugustFG_) of FanGraphs went on a journey to explore the potential player that Domingo Santana, the Brewers’ young right fielder, could become. Once emerging out from the other end of the dark tunnel, he was unable to separate Santana from the man who was once his teammate, Houston Astros star outfielder George Springer. While Santana never boasted the same prospect pedigree as Springer, Fagerstrom found himself unable to distinguish the two from one another based on last year’s peripheral numbers. Certainly a lofty comparison — Brewers fans would be thrilled to see Santana live up to those standards — but one also wonders whether last year’s peripheral numbers and statistical projections are fair assessments of their long-term talent, as they’re dealing with an extremely small sample size.
Baseball Prospectus || Players Prefer Presentation: The Chapman Precedent (Mar. 2, 2016)
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Meg Rowley (@megrowler) laid down the definitive work so far on an issue that straddles baseball and the real world. Aroldis Chapman, for whom the New York Yankees traded this summer despite the allegations of domestic violence hanging over his head, was suspended for 30 games this week by Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred. Rowley questions whether the Chapman decision is a wise one to be given the burden of precedent, given the foggy issues of service time surrounding the case. Instead of being used as an opportunity to talk about the real problem of violence against women that has become an epidemic in the sports world, Chapman’s suspension has become as much about the intricacies of the Collective Bargaining Agreement as it is about his abominable actions.
Washington Post || Has the Internet uncovered the dark truth about this very good baseball dog? (Mar. 3, 2016)
OKAY, FINE, I’M GONNA TALK ABOUT IT.
Unless you were literally dead this week, you’ve heard about the uproar about Milwaukee’s favorite Very Good Baseball Dog that I very accidentally caused this week with my tongue-in-cheek article at Brew Crew Ball. Sarah Larimer (@slarimer) shares a wonderful account not only of the “controversy” itself, but also of the wild social media ride that it took from a silly offseason blog post to a national story — in response to which the Brewers have scheduled a press conference for Friday afternoon. I don’t know how many Hanks there are, I just know that they’re all good dogs. #JusticeForHank