I am interested in joining SABR, so I thought I would check it out the Ken Keltner Badger State Chapter meeting held yesterday at Long Wong's Chinese-American Sportsbar in Milwaukee. Doug Melvin spoke the crowd of about 50 people for well over an hour and took many questions. To my surprise, he seemed quite candid. The reason for this FanPost is to highlight a couple of things he said that I found interesting and perhaps that you will as well.
1. Philadelphia's projected rotation for 2011 had 56 wins last year compared to Milwaukee's 52 wins.
2. The team with the lowest batting average with RISP this year was the World Champion San Francisco Giants.
3. Melvin considers 950 IP from his 5 starters a benchmark for 2011, and noted that seven teams had 1000IP in 2010.
4. Getting doubles and preventing doubles is a philosophy in 2011. Melvin thinks the double is an underrated stat.
5. Macha vs Roenicke. This one is interesting. Melvin commented that Ken Macha really stressed making 27 outs with the bat. Macha did not want to give up outs on double plays, or by being too aggressive on the basepaths. With Milwaukee's offense, Macha really felt is was a winning strategy to get as many outs with the bats as possible. Roenicke is going to be aggressive and perhaps run into outs. Melvin is excited for a new aggressive style on the bases and feels the benefits will outweigh the risks over the course of a season.
6. Melvin feels the minor league system still has "15-20 players that will play in the major leagues."
7. When asked about Carlos Gomez, Melvin skillfully filibustered and eventually pointed out that the 8th spot in the National league had a .305 OBP in 2010.
8. Melvin highlighted BABIP, FIP, and UZR as examples of three different statistics the team uses to evaluate players.
9. Finally, Melvin also talked about Jonathan Lucroy and his rookie season. Melvin feel that he "burned out a bit." Melvin pointed to him having to know different signals from the bench, the various pitchers, the third base coach, and other areas as well. Melvin felt that eventually Lucroy was "fried." The coaches met this week with Melvin and they really like him.
The comment that made me want to post this on the BCB was the one about the 15-20 players that will play in the major leagues. I took his comment to mean that these players would make a contribution on the major league level and not just have a cup of coffee on the team. Given all of the justified gloom and doom talk about out minor league system, I found it interesting that Melvin had some optimism in this regard.