Sports Outside the Beltway

GM Doug Melvin interviewed, recap

From Doug Melvin’s interview on Milwaukee radio station WSSP, and my comments follow:

—Very happy to get Suppan, added depth, sold him on the city, park, and team. Created a comfort level with the meeting in LA, decided to give him a 4th year because of this, gave them a “soft” deadline, but needed to know an answer. Because of the Dave Roberts thing, told them the team needed to know. $2M buyout and option year sealed the deal.

I’m surprised the Crew was thinking of going with “just” a 3 year offer in this environment. I also fail to see how the $2M buyout is much of an incentive when you’re signing a contract worth $40M.

—”Stretched” on payroll to make this happen. OF’s will probably be reduced at some point, but not because of the payroll.

Doug walking the line beautifully, basically saying they can’t add much payroll, but that at some point, Mench or Jenkins will be gone, so they do have some wiggle room.

—Worked out very well to have meeting at Mark A’s house, showed him video of young players, even dug out a DVD of Suppan as a HS pitcher from scouting video that Jack Z found. Doug said it’s hard to believe that you have to recruit players with the money involved, but you do. Jeff wanted to call some teammates and others and let them know before the announcement was made.

It’s just like college football and basketball, sometimes decisions are made because of seemingly absurd reasons. You can either play the game, or you can lose.

Jeff said he learned more from Mike Maddux as a teammate than anyone else in his career.

If they knew this before, I think Maddux would have been in LA as well.

—Rickie Weeks will be the 2B. Looks like Billy Hall will be the CF, no CF’s left that will keep Hall from being the CF. Hart will be an everyday player for the most part, so the other guys will have to work themselves out. Will probably happen when someone gets hurt or isn’t looking good in spring training.

Between the lines, it is apparent Doug really liked Dave Roberts for his speed and defense.

—Feels Hall and Weeks will be above average at CF and 2B offensively, just hope to be average at each spot, and above that at a few spots.

By the sounds of it, Doug hopes to be 8th or 9th in offense, or maybe a tad higher.

—Trying to add another LH reliever and a long reliever, a Rick Helling veteran type, in case a starter goes down. Carlos V is probably the 6th starter, and it will be tough to keep him off the 25 man roster. Always looking for more pitching, to add a pitcher that’s a little better than a guy you have. Yo Gallardo may be up sometime in ’07, he’ll get a look in the Spring, but he won’t make the team in April. Huge talent, led all of minor league baseball in K’s last year.

Surprised to hear him mention Carlos V as a bullpen possibility, as I would think he’d go down to AAA and throw 90 pitches every 5th day. Inconsistent innings may keep Carlos from developing as much…but maybe all that is secondary. Yo, Carlos, and Zach Jackson is a fine trio to have at Nashville in reserve, that’s for sure. I would imagine a veteran or two will be signed to fill out the AAA rotation.

Suppan gives the rotation depth, keeps them from knocking on wood that everyone stays healthy.

That’s exactly what I’ve been saying.

Interview with Adam McCalvy, beat writer for the Brewers’ site on WSSP radio:

—Adam was in church Xmas Eve when he heard of the Suppan signing, missed the conference call, had to hurry up and put it together for the site.

Adam sounded rather unhappy with the timing.

—Feels the team looks at Suppan as that one missing piece, a durable SP that will take the ball every 5th day. Brewers look like the only team in division with 5 starters written in ink, most clubs are counting on prospects and the like.

Yep, the Crew and San Diego, and maybe LA.

—Carlos V and the others will be there if needed, but not counted on to win 10-12 games. Needed that depth last year, and this year, they look to have it. Stretched out the bullpen as well, they had to pitch more than usual, because the replacements for Ohka and Sheets were not only weak, but they didn’t go more than a few innings.

Over .500 in games started by the Opening Day rotation, 83-78 won the division for the Cardinals. A 6th starter in ’06 might have won the division for the Crew.

—Not many holes on team right now, need to get OF figured out, maybe who is the last reliever. Plenty of people will be picking the Brewers to win, and more will make them a “sleeper” pick.

As of this second, SL has 3 starting pitchers, and I think the Cubs have 2 SP’s that would make the Brewers’ top 5…I think many will pick the Brewers based on that rotation alone.

—Jenkins or Mench will probably be traded, as they look to have the most value, based on the winter meetings. Nix is intriguing, if he could stay healthy, and Gross is a nice reserve, hits some, plays all 3 spots. Gwynn looks to be back to AAA. Feels it would be difficult for Geoff to come back after last season ended.

With Gross as one reserve, I don’t see Nix making the 25 man. I think a platoon of Jenkins and Clark would be the best bet to begin the year in LF, with Hart settling into RF everyday.

Cross posted at Al’s Ramblings

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