10 Questions with Jeff Sackmann

10 04 2008

Jeff Sackmann from Brew Crew Ball was nice enough to answer some questions about the first week and a half of games this April. He was great about the whole process, and I cannot thank him enough for taking the time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions for everyone here at BrewersNation. Here we go:

BN: This has gotten a lot of ink, but who do you feel will be the odd man out once Yovani Gallardo comes back into the rotation? Is it possible that a starter will just be sent to the bullpen?

Jeff Sackmann: It’ll depend a lot on how the next time or two through the rotation goes. If Dave Bush can produce a 7-inning outing, I think he’s in the rotation to stay. If he keeps pitching like he did in his first start, I think he probably goes to the minors, as amazing as that is to consider. Doug Melvin is probably hoping that the situation will iron itself out and he won’t be stuck trading or waiving somebody after Bush, Villanueva, and Parra throw another round of decent-but-not-great starts.

BN: I understand it is quite early in the season, but you have to be impressed with Jason Kendall. I think we all know that he will not be able to keep up his offensive output thus far, but what about his defensive presence?

Jeff: That’s all everybody can talk about, but I don’t know how to measure it, and I don’t know how, as a fan, I can talk about it without parroting what the coaches and the media are saying. Sure, if they say so, he must be good. But coaches tend to say that stuff about every catcher on every team every season.

BN: Ben Sheets has obviously gotten off to a very hot start this April. Many people are calling for the Brewers to sign him to a long-term contract. Would this be a wise move for the Crew?

Jeff: I don’t think so. He’s not going to come cheap now, and he won’t come cheap after the season. No harm in waiting. I don’t know how badly he wants to stay, but I’m sure there will be contract talks at the end of the season. He’ll be expensive, and there are too many variables between now and November to know whether he’ll be worth what the market will bear for him.

BN: Who have you been most impressed with this April? Why?

Jeff: So far, Bill Hall. He’s playing great defense at third, which isn’t really a surprise, but is awfully impressive given how much he’s been moved around. He may never match his previous offensive output, but the fact he’s still hanging in there as a league-average offensive threat while moving around the diamond is really saying something.

BN: Who needs to step up for the Brewers to be successful this season?

Jeff: I don’t think anybody does. This is a deep team, and if any one player falters, there’s a solution. Of course, it’d be nice to get a full season out of Sheets, but even without that, this is still an 85-87 win team.

BN: Who do you feel is better, Ryan Braun or Prince Fielder? Why do you feel that way?

Jeff: Fielder has more of a track record. Braun could be better, but we’ll have to see more. His incredible performance last year was propped up by an unsustainable BABIP. When that comes back to earth, we’ll see how his numbers hold up. Needless to say, both players are among the best in the league.

BN: What Brewers prospect are you most excited to see progress this season?

Jeff: The obvious choice is Matt LaPorta, but I’ll also be keeping my eye on Jonathan Lucroy. He’s no future star, but if he emerges as a possible big-league regular behind the plate, that’s a huge boost to the organization.

BN: I feel like I need to ask an obligatory Eric Gagne question. How do you see him faring this season? Will the Crew need to fill his spot sometime this season?

Jeff: I think he’ll make it through the year as closer. Whether that will be Cordero-style or Borowski-style, I don’t know.

BN: How do you feel Mike Cameron will fit into the fold once he is eligible to return to action? Do you expect him to make a big difference in the lineup?

Jeff: Based on how Gwynn and Kapler have played, he’s not going to make a big difference. Based on how Gwynn and Kapler *would* play if they were platooned all season long…yeah, Cameron will be huge. I’m particularly excited to have him out in center every night. Gwynn is good, but Cameron is as good as it gets. He’ll take a lot of pressure off Braun as well.

BN: Finally, give me a prediction for the Crew this season. How many wins and where will they finish?

Jeff: Division winners with 88 wins or so.

Thanks again to Jeff Sackmann for answering these questions. If you have the chance, stop by Brew Crew Ball and thank him!



One response

10 04 2008
yovani gallardo

Mike Cameron will be fun to watch. Thanks for the interview!!!

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