Some things to read while saving the galaxy. Today is the 12th day of the offseason for the Milwaukee Brewers, and it very well could be the day we learn the fate of manager Ron Roenicke and his coaching staff. The team was expected to announce a decision after general manager Doug Melvin and […]

Some things to read while saving the galaxy.

Today is the 12th day of the offseason for the Milwaukee Brewers, and it very well could be the day we learn the fate of manager Ron Roenicke and his coaching staff. The team was expected to announce a decision after general manager Doug Melvin and owner Mark Attanasio met in Los Angeles this week, but as of this writing, nothing has been said publicly. Nick Michalski of The Brewers Bar predicts the team will “do something to make a superficial change and continue on per usual.”

If the Brewers come to spring training without making major changes, they’re going to have an interesting competition in camp for the final spot in the Opening Day starting rotation. Jordan Mader of Brew Crew Ball has a look at the 2014 performances of Wily Peralta, Marco Estrada, Jimmy Nelson and Mike Fiers. Peralta is almost certainly assured of an opportunity to start next season, leaving the remaining three pitchers competing for one spot. Steven Jewell of Reviewing the Brew concurs with the Milwaukee BBWAA’s decision to name Peralta as the Brewers’ pitcher of the year.

Elsewhere in pending decisions, after the World Series, the Brewers will have to announce their intentions regarding Aramis Ramirez and his $14 million mutual option for 2015. Mike Petriello of FanGraphs expects Ramirez to be back in Milwaukee, predicting he’ll either re-sign early or accept a qualifying offer from the team. A combined 56 percent of voters in this MLB Trade Rumors poll think the Brewers will either sign Ramirez to an extension, exercise his option or re-sign him to a qualifying offer. Ramirez is 48th on the Brewers’ all-time list for hits with 398, and in this week’s Thursday Thinker at Brew Crew Ball, I asked you to name the 47 players ahead of him.

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If Ramirez returns on a one-year deal, the Brewers will already have spent roughly $100 million on 2015 salaries without addressing their ongoing concerns at first base. Derek Harvey of Brew Crew Ball crunched the numbers and estimates the Brewers’ current 2015 payroll at $86 million with first base, third base and one bullpen spot left open.

As of right now, none of that $86 million is allocated to Jeff Bianchi or Matt Pagnozzi. Both players rejected outright assignments to the minors and are now free agents after being removed from the 40-man roster earlier this month. They both would have been eligible for minor league free agency anyway.

Harvey’s estimates also don’t include any money for Francisco Rodriguez, who is scheduled to become a free agent following a 44-save season in 2014. David S. Grant of Reviewing the Brew has a preview of K-Rod on the open market.

In the minors:

  • Hector Gomez was the only Brewers representative to see action in the Arizona Fall League on Thursday, playing second base and going 0-for-5 as Glendale lost 7-4 to Surprise (box score).
  • On Thursday, 2014 Wisconsin catcher/designated hitter Clint Coulter was added to Glendale’s roster as a member of the “taxi squad,” a group of players that are only eligible to be used on certain days. Coulter is not expected to see much playing time with the team, but practicing with them will give him more time to work on transitioning from catcher to right field.
  • The Venezuelan Winter League also opened play on Thursday, and one of the Brewers’ top prospects got into his team’s opening game: 20-year-old shortstop Orlando Arcia went 1-for-3 in Caribes’ 3-2 win over La Guaira (box score).
  • Releiever Greg Holle pitched a scoreless ninth inning to close out Margarita’s 7-0 win over Magallanes in their opener (box score). Holle spent the 2014 season with Huntsville.
  • Minor league free agents-to-be Tim Dillard and Arcenio Leon combined to pitch 1 2/3 hitless innings in Zulia’s 5-4 win over Lara (box score).
  • Zulia’s roster also includes Brewers minor league pitchers Eric Marzec and Gian Rizzo. 
Closer to home, the Brewers dug into the archives to take part in “Throwback Thursday,” finding a video of “The Two-Fisted Slopper” that used to appear on the County Stadium scoreboard as a public service announcement on public intoxication.

Around baseball:

Astros: Declined reliever Matt Albers’ contract option for 2015.
Athletics: Claimed reliever Jorge De Leon off waivers from the Astros and released first baseman/designated hitter Adam Dunn.
Cubs: Hired former Astros hitting coach John Mallee to the same position and hired former Braves third base coach Doug Dascenzo as their new first base coach.
Orioles: Signed shortstop J.J. Hardy to a three-year contract extension believed to be worth around $40 million with an option for 2018.

After a few days off, the MLB postseason resumes tonight when the Orioles and Royals meet at 7 p.m. in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series. James Shields will take the mound for Kansas City against Chris Tillman.

The crew chief for the six-man ALCS umpiring crew will be one of baseball’s most notorious umpires, Joe West. David Pinto of Baseball Musings looks at the data supporting the claim that West was baseball’s worst full-time umpire at calling balls and strikes in 2014.

Meanwhile, the National League Championship Series will open on Saturday, with the Giants traveling to St. Louis to take on the Cardinals. The Giants are looking to go from being the final team to clinch a playoff berth in the NL to being the league’s World Series representative, and Jonah Keri of Grantland says their manager, Bruce Bochy, is one of the best in baseball history.

I won’t predict the results, but I will say that weather is likely to be a factor at some point over the playoffs’ remaining weeks, as mid-to-late October baseball is played in Baltimore, Kansas City, St. Louis and San Francisco in open-air facilities. Marc Normandin of SB Nation has a look at the rules governing rain delays, suspensions and postponements of playoff games.

Today in former Brewers:

Finally, with help from and the Baseball Reference Play Index, we’d like to wish a happy birthday today to:

  • 2014 Brevard County Manatee Brandon Macias, who turns 26.
  • Lake Mills, Wis., native and UW-Madison alum Hal Raether, who turns 82. Raether played two MLB seasons as a member of the 1954 Philadelphia Athletics and 1957 Kansas City Athletics.

Today is also the 32nd anniversary of the Brewers beating the Angels on Cecil Cooper’s go-ahead single and advancing to the World Series in 1982, and the 57th anniversary of the Milwaukee Braves beating the Yankees 5-0 in Game 7 of the 1957 World Series to clinch Milwaukee’s only championship. Follow the links for those events’ respective entries in Today In Brewer History at Brew Crew Ball.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a date.

Drink up.

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