Hello everyone and welcome to our first official mailbag. On Monday I asked you all to ask us whatever questions might be on your mind. I can't get to all of them but I'm thankful for all the responses. I always liked participating in these sorts of things from the other end and it's been fun answering questions for a change. So without further ado here are this week's crop of mailbag questions and answers.
BCB user "roguejim" asks for some clarification, "Are these Brewers-related questions or BCB-related questions?"
Whatever your heart desires homie. Ask me anything.
Voracious BCB commenter "drezdn" asks, "Is this infected?"
I don't know. What does it taste like?
"Nullact" wants to know, "What is the thought on how international money is going to work this year...Is there any more prominent talent out there to be bought or has the recent surge picked it over pretty good right now?"
Good question. When David Stearns was with the Astros he said one of the things he wanted to do there was reintroduce the Astros to the international market including the Asian markets. I'm hopeful that means he'll be more open to pursuing talent from these countries.
In the past Doug Melvin has stated that the Brewers don't even scout in Japan because of the cost to acquire talent. When they snagged Nori Aoki is was basically an accident. They said they hadn't even seen him until he came to Miller Park for a workout.
Stearns has said one of his focuses with the Brewers is going to be finding, developing, and keeping talent. The international market is one of the best ways of doing that.
As for specific talent available in during next year's signing period I think it's probably too soon to tell. I recommend following Kiley McDaniel. He's the lead prospect guy at FanGraphs and he writes about the international market more in-depthly than I've seen in most places. Plus his articles are free which isn't always the case at places like Baseball America.
"Ullsperj" asks, "Adam McCalvy recently wrote an article where he quoted Counsell saying something like more significant changes likely coming...If you had to guess, what possible significant change(s) do you think he was referring to? As a follow up or perhaps alternate question: Do you want there to be significant changes? If so, care to say what you might change?"
He was either talking about the sweet handlebar mustache he plans on growing over the winter or the recent coaching staff Armageddon. That's my guess anyway. I'm sure David Stearns has some plans too. I wonder if maybe some of the minor league coaching staff or even team managers are due a promotion to replace the major league coaching staff. I also think Pat Murphy stands a very good chance to getting the bench coach position.
Personally I'd like to see Stearns add to the international scouting department. Not necessarily replacements to current staff. As far as I know they're good at their jobs. I'd just like to see the Brewers be more active in that area. They'll have their largest international pool since the current system was put in place so next year seems like a great opportunity for such a change.
Over on Facebook Benjamin Meyer asks, "The Brewers never seem to have a pitcher go past seven innings. Was that all Kranitz's fault...Was it a philosophy thing about nibbling and not attacking the strike zone? Our pitch counts are always so high."
Actually I'm not sure that's entirely accurate. In 11 of 20 starts Wily Peralta went 6+ IP. Matt Garza went 6+ in 15 of his 25 starts. Taylor Jungmann went 6+ in 12 of his 21 starts. And Jimmy Nelson did it in 17 of his 30 starts. I think it's just that we tend to remember the bad outings more because they frustrate us. Also, I think this crop of pitchers tends to orient more on the pitch to contact spectrum than strike out spectrum so when they're going right they tend not to nibble. This was just a bad year for guys like Peralta and Garza. It might have looked like they were nibbling but really batters just weren't swinging at their bad pitches which forced them to throw more.
For me perhaps the biggest surprise was how well Taylor Jungmann performed in his first taste of the majors. I know a lot of fans had given up hope for him entirely. I wasn't one of them but I did lower my expectations greatly. I was hopeful he could stick in the back-end of a rotation and that might still be his most realistic role. But he showed me enough to suggest that mid-rotation quality is still possible.
My biggest disappointment this year is maybe Brandon Kintzler. I know what you're thinking, "A middle reliever is your biggest disappointment?" But honestly I think when he's healthy he has the potential to be a Brad Ziegler type reliever and that's really good. Unfortunately he wasn't healthy and he only pitched 7 innings at the major league level. He's since been DFA'd and opted for free agency.
And finally "Yar Nivek" wants to know, "Why was Futurama cancelled?"
The better question is how does such a shit show like "The Simpsons" last as long as it has?
Okay folks. That's it for this week. Remember to eave your questions for next week in the comment section. You could also ask them on Twitter, Facebook, and Tinder.