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The BCB First Half Review, #7: Morineko's Moment

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Mat Gamel stopped by to see what Morineko thinks of his short term future.
Mat Gamel stopped by to see what Morineko thinks of his short term future.

Wow, we're already to part seven of our all day look at the first half of the 2011 season. Our next guest is BCB Minor League Maven Morineko.

KL: As the primary author of Minor League Notes, you've gotten to spend a fair amount of time following the Brewers down on the farm this season. Who's been your favorite Brewer prospect to cover?

M: It's hard to choose a favorite! They're all interesting...mostly. I do have to say that it's been exciting seeing Brock Kjeldgaard's absolute offensive explosion after his difficult first month of the season. Like others, I'm not sure how he'll do at the higher levels of the organization, but I'm encouraged that he's doing as well as he has for being converted from pitching so late in his minor league career.

(Tangentially, this organization has a lot of interesting left fielders for it having its current MLB LF signed until the next decade. Oops.)

Follow the jump for the rest.

KL: I'm curious to hear what you think of some of the Brewers currently working in the upper level of the minors. If you ran the team, how many current Sounds would be on the major league roster?

M: AAA is a very weird level. The big-name "prospects", for the most part, hang out at AA these days until they get recalled and AAA is where the veterans who can immediately fill in for big leaguers get stashed. The Sounds do have a few non-veteran players about, like Caleb Gindl, Taylor Green, and Mat Gamel. Your question was "which
Sounds should be on the major league roster?" This also ties into your question about the roster moves. I have no doubt that Mat Gamel is ready for the major leagues today. All reports indicate that his fielding at first base has been improving over the 2011 season; he was always a defensive liability at third base which tended to complicate
his callups. The problem is, of course, that the Brewers already have an excellent first baseman installed for the 2011 season. Gamel needs to be playing every day. A Mat Gamel sitting on the bench is one that is not being properly utilized and that is exactly what would happen if he would be called up for the long term.

The left-handed bullpen situation does need to be fixed. Zach Braddock is probably the man for 2011. Hopefully Daniel Meadows can be the man in 2012.

There really isn't any other position where a current Sound would be enough of a upgrade over what is currently there. The Brewers already made the right backup catcher choice in George Kottaras. I am, however, rather worried about Casey McGehee, but I'm unsure if Taylor Green today would be the right man for third base or if he'd be
overwhelmed. He did, after all, start the season with Huntsville. If I'd be forced to swap a player in for another, I'd swap Green for McGehee and give Erick Almonte another try in Mark Kotsay's roster slot. I'll go into the latter move in your general question file.

KL: This is a little off topic, but relevant at present: You've probably had more of an opportunity to see Target Field than nearly all of us - do you have any advice for Brewer fans headed over to the Twin Cities this weekend?

M: I'll be headed out for Target Field myself on Friday. I did write a Target Field guide as a Twins series preview last year. (http://www.brewcrewball.com/2010/5/20/1480750/a-brief-twins-series-preview-and) Most of that still stands. Especially for the Friday game, I recommend people use transit (http://www.metrotransit.org/target-field.aspx) instead of messing around with the parking ramps and the horrible Minneapolis streets if they're not familiar with Minneapolis. I also recommend not getting into drunken arguments with Twins fans on the light rail after the game. You're going to be standing up for at least a half-hour; it doesn't help.

Section 127 was indeed the most awful section I've encountered at Target Field. Most of the awfulness of that has been mitigated by the Twins installing a new miniscoreboard facing the third base and left field stands. The other awful problem with Target Field is fixed by this being July instead of April. I hate having to be decked out in full winter gear at the ballpark.

Anyone else around here going to the games this weekend? It would be kind of nice if readers could find each other, if they want to.

And now, the lightning-ish round:

If you had to grade Ron Roenicke's performance to date, what would you give him?

Roenicke on managing people: A. Roenicke on managing the National League game: C. A manager can improve his talents at the latter, but at least unlike a lot of earlier Brewers managers he doesn't have to work at the former. I hate that he's having so many problems with in-game decisions as it's clear his players love him so much.

Give me one roster move the Brewers should make today.

Call up Gamel to play 1B for the next week of interleague, so Prince can DH and we can see what Gamel can do at the MLB level of fielding. My permanent move would have been to keep Erick Almonte instead of Mark Kotsay right out of the gate from spring training, because I think they're basically the same guy except that Almonte can play a few more positions. The defensive range is the same and so's the likelihood of them getting on base. It was a shame about that concussion, really.

Do you think this Brewer team will make the playoffs?

I think the Brewers may make the playoffs as the NL Central champion. This division, as usual, is a toss-up.

If so, do you think this Brewer team will make the World Series?

I don't think they'll make the World Series. The Phillies are to the Brewers as the Yankees are to the Twins. If Philadelphia is involved in a playoff matchup, it's not happening.

Which Brewer are you most excited to watch in the second half?

I'm excited to see if Zack Greinke can lower his line drive rate a bit in the 2nd half! As for players I enjoy watching, well, Nyjer Morgan has been really, really fun to watch during the first half and I hope he keeps it up.