Melvin building team for present, future
General manager's goal is to have team built from within
Doug Melvin wants to win now and feels that the players the Brewers are putting on the field today will also be a part of the future. The GM chatted with fans on March 8 and fielded questions about the ballclub and the outlook for 2007.
Doug Melvin: Hello everyone, thanks for joining us today. Let's get started.
Rodiggity: 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.
D_Havens: How do you feel about the shape of the coaching staff compared to last year?
Melvin: The addition of Ed Sedar and Jim Skaalen has been well received by our players. They are quite familiar with all of our young players as they were a part of each of their development in the Minor Leagues. Nick Leyva brings a wealth of experience and a very good personality and winning attitude to the staff.
muddslide: How does Rickie Weeks' wrist look after coming off of surgery? Can we expect to see him continue the progress he was making last year?
Melvin: Rickie Weeks is coming along fine. He is starting to swing the bat right now and looks much improved defensively.
roybese: I know its early but with the success of Ryan Braun and Yovanni Gallardo, will we see them sooner than September at the Major League level?
Melvin: They are both possibilities in seeing some time at the Major League level. They are both having good springs but are also young and inexperienced.
Rodiggity: Could you go into the expectations the Brewers have for new full-time starter, Corey Hart?
Melvin: We would love to see Corey get between 400 and 500 plate appearances this year so that next year he could be penciled in as a regular for years to come.
Squire: I know Derrick Turnbow has had good results from a numbers standpoint thus far this spring, but how has his "stuff" looked?
Melvin: Turnbow's stuff is just as good as it was last year and we are very encouraged by his outings so far this spring.
Andy5: 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.
madcityfan: With our excess of quality outfielders and lack of a quality healthy third baseman, isn't it the wrong time to move Bill Hall to the outfield. He could easily step in at third until Braun is ready.
Melvin: Our stance is to get Bill in center field now and not have to have him play third base and move him again when Ryan Braun is ready.
pgerbs: With possible platoons at third base and left field, how do you think Ned Yost can keep the players involved "happy" about their playing time? Are you and your staff still seeking trade options?
Melvin: Ned has had a discussion with the entire team that platooning will be a part of our defensive mix this year to try and maximize our offensive performance, and the players understand that.
roybese: How as a GM do you get yourself to hold back and not put players like Braun and Gallardo right into the roster?
Melvin: It is very difficult when you see players as talented as Braun and Gallardo. You have to weigh their experience versus the players' skills. My philosophy has always been to bring young players up to the big leagues when they are prepared to stay and not to bring them up, have a failure and move them back and forth from Triple-A to the Major Leagues.
Andy5: Are there any concerns that the injuries suffered last year by J.J. Hardy and Weeks have stunted their development?
Melvin: Right now they both look very good, the injuries prevented them from getting an additional 300 plate appearances, but since both are very hard workers, we feel that they are still a big part of our future.
brewers87: Do you plan on keeping the young guys around; do they want to stay?
Melvin: Our ultimate goal is to have a Major League team of players we draft and develop from our own system.
Squire: What, if any, aside from staying healthy, are the club's expectations for Manny Parra and Mike Jones this season?
Melvin: They have both been throwing in big-league camp and we are very pleased with their progress. But since both missed a lot of time with injuries, it is important that they complete a full season this year.
brewers87: Are the Brewers building a team for the future or wanting to win now?
Melvin: Yes, we want to win now, but we also feel that what we are putting together now will be a big part of the team's future.
SamB: There was talk of having Dave Bush be the fifth starter so he could help in relief when the schedule allows. Is that still the plan? I think it is a mistake not to give a pitcher like Bush a confirmed No. 4 spot in the rotation.
Melvin: That has not been discussed this year and we all agree that it will probably not happen.
Ryne: Would you ever consider running the 60-yard dash again? It seems, in hindsight, that it was a bad idea with Gabe Gross and Prince Fielder being hurt.
Melvin: We will run it again, it is something that we will do in the future. We want our team to develop athletically and understand that running is a valuable part of what they do on the field.
PatListach: What's your handicap, and what's your time in the 60-yard dash?
Melvin: I haven't golfed in years. Last time I golfed, I shot about 102. Last time I ran a 60-yard dash I ran a 7.2, but that was 1978. Today, I could probably run a 13.5 and would also pull a hamstring.
Melvin: Thanks for joining us today! Tune in to the webcast of today's game on brewers.com!
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.