Doug Melvin Chat at Bullfrogs Event: Part 1
The Green Bay Bullfrogs, a 2007 expansion team of the Northwoods League, had their Winter “Hot Stove” baseball event at Stadium View Banquet Hall in Green Bay yesterday. I was lucky enough to be in attendance. It featured presentations by Green Bay Bullfrogs Owner/President Jeff Royle and Brewers GM Doug Melvin. The Northwoods League is a summer developmental league for college players and the Bullfrogs will be playing only a few minutes away from my house. It looks like a fun time and I'll most likely end up going to at least a few games there this summer.
I'd be lying, however, if I didn't admit to being there primarily to hear Doug Melvin speak. I was able to record Melvin's presentation with my digital camera but dead batteries kept me from recording most of the Q & A section that followed. I took notes from the most interesting questions, though (including a couple of my own), so no information was really lost.
Without further delay, here are the videos:
Doug Melvin Presentation: Part 1
Doug Melvin Presentation: Part 2
That's when my stupid rechargeable batteries failed me. Regardless, I was suprised by how many questions Melvin was willing to take. Considering that it was his third public appearance of the day, it was very impressive. His generosity allowed me to get two of my own questions in.
My first question surrounded the situation at 3B. I wanted to know if Koskie would still be platooned this year, provided he was healthy enough to play. I mentioned Graffinino as the most obvious platoon candidate. If Koskie wasn't healthy by opening day, I asked if Melvin would consider moving Hall back to third or if Braun would be considered. I didn't especially like Melvin's answer. He said that Hall was now the Brewers' center fielder and he wouldn't be moving him anymore. He explained that Braun could very well end up in the majors this year but implied that he'd be spending at least a few more months in the minors first.
If Koskie isn’t ready to go, he said Counsell and Graffy would most likely platoon at 3B (he said they weren't signed to just sit on the bench). Yuck. Did he misspeak when he said "platoon"? What's the point? In the last 3 years, Graffy has hit lefties and righties about equally. His .745 OPS against righties blows away Counsell's .697 OPS over that same period. Maybe Melvin just meant Counsell would spell Graffy on occasion, which would make a lot more sense.
My second question came from a suggestion by "endaround", a poster at Brewerfan.net. He wanted to know if Weeks would be eligible for arbitration after the upcoming season (he will most likely have enough service time to qualify as a Super 2). He thought the contract Weeks signed after he was drafted might take precedence (although mlb4u.com seems to show that Weeks is only signed through 2007).
Melvin indicated that Weeks would most likely be eligible for arbitration after the 2007 season. He went on to explain that while some teams might have been tempted to send Weeks down for a few weeks to put off his eligibility, it wasn't Melvin's style. He joked that it wasn't his money anyway, it was Mark A's. Joking aside, if Weeks becomes anything close to the expectations people have for him, he'll be gone after his arbitration years.
After answering my second question, Melvin pointed to me and said, "You know a lot about baseball. You know baseball." For a Brewer geek like myself, that was quite the honor. :)
There were a few other interesting tidbits that I'll post about soon. Until then, let me leave you all with a picture of what I won:
I would have rather won the Hall or Suppan signed baseball but I'm not complaining!