Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Mailbag: Brewers, NFL Draft, Brandon Jennings, and More

Q1: If Ryan Braun is found "guilty", who ends up in LF? - @NotFakeBenWeege

I don't think there is enough evidence against Ryan to even make a case to suspend him. His name on two pieces of paper surely isn't valid. I don't think anyone should be at all worried at the moment unless MLB releases something on a decision. Cause all of the reports saying Braun will be suspended are all false, and they were proven false by a few reliable sources. To answer your question, I think Khris Davis or Caleb Gindl would get the call to play left field for 50 games just based on how they are playing this spring.

Q2: Do you think there's a chance the Packers sign Micheal Turner and pair him with DuJuan Harris? - @davidjames2004

Five years ago, Michael Turner would have been a great free agent pick up. I don't think Ted Thompson has any interest in signing a free agent running back, especially Michael Turner. Now, if he was looking to sign Steven Jackson, Reggie Bush, or Ahmad Bradshaw, then I'd be interested. I see Ted using one of the nine draft picks on a running back. Eddie Lacy, Montee Ball, and Christine Michael have been linked to the Packers for a few months now. I am in favor of having Harris paired with a veteran. I like that idea a lot. Good question.

Q3: Who do you think could be a surprise contributor for the Brewers next season? - @zdugan3

I'll answer this from both sides of the ball. First, pitching. I think Marco Estrada has himself set up for a fantastic season as the Brewers' number two pitcher. He has tremendous upside and is a big sleeper for 2013. In 2012, Estrada put up ace-esque numbers with 5.32 K/BB ratio, a 9.3 K/9 ratio, and a 2.0 BB/9 ratio. If Estrada can pitch a full season, which would be a first in his career, I think he could really turn some heads. As for offense, I think the obvious choice is Rickie Weeks. There is no way he can be as bad as he was last year, and I feel he will bounce back nicely in 2013. After the All-Star break, Weeks batted .261 with 13 home runs and 10 stolen bases.

Q4: If the Bucks let Brandon Jennings walk, who do you use cap space on? - @patrickbucky

I can assure you that the directive of the Bucks is that they will match any offer Jennings receives. The idea is to Let Ellis walk, resign Jennings and Redick and pair them with Larry Sanders and Ersan Ilyasova. With the cap space that becomes available, the Bucks will obviously target Josh Smith, much like they did before the trade deadline. Al Jefferson, Corey Brewer, Josh Howard, and Kyle Korver all appeal to me as well. Since the Bucks are the least valuable team in the NBA, establishing a legit "Big 3" would go along way to draw a crowd at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Drawing interest in your team is how you start to make money as a franchise. It doesn't matter how many wins you have at the end of the year, it's about who you put on the court. 

Q5: Do you think Sam Dekker will make it in the NBA? All-Star? - @L_Myers12

Too early to tell right now. He certainly has the potential. He'll be entering his second season with the Badgers next year. Let's see how that plays out before we start predicting NBA futures. He has a legit shot at Big 10 6th Man of the Year, though.  

Q6: What is the condition of Aramis Ramirez? - @packbrewfan1

The Brewers released yesterday that Aramis Ramirez will be sidelined for 7-10 days with a sprained knee. The club was trying to give Aramis more at bats in spring to quicken his slow start process so he would be hot by Opening Day. That idea backfired when Aramis jammed his knee sliding into second base. Ramirez will rest up and will test his knee out in about a week. With Ramirez aging, the signing of Alex Gonzalez looks even better now as he can provide depth at third base. 

Q7: Jenkins or Canty or neither? Position for first round pick? - @NeisesTom

I wouldn't mind either. Jenkins said he would love a Packers reunion, but I don't think Ted Thompson feels the same. Canty is scheduled to come into Green Bay to meet with the staff and have a physical. A lot of people view Canty as a high profile player that would be a perfect fit for the Packers, and the organization is well aware of that. I think the Packers understand the importance of filling the holes that developed over last season. As far as drafting in the first round, I would like to see a running back, wide receiver, or offensive line.  

Q8: Thoughts on Hiram Burgos in the Bigs this year? - @AlexTJohnson

He'll be in Triple-A for the duration of the 2013 season with a few spot starts for the Brewers throughout the year. He'll be a September call up for sure. Looking further, Burgos will make a strong case to be in the Brewers starting rotation heading into the 2014 season.

Q9: Are the Brewers improving this year? - @EthanWotruba

Improving is tough to say. I think what the Brewers are doing right now is feeling out the farm system and seeing what works and doesn't work. They are looking to have a contending team again by 2014/2015 and they are putting themselves in the perfect position to do so. They cut the salary by almost 25% and still have a viable offense with a decent bullpen and an inexperienced starting rotation. They are sitting well with player development. Pitchers and position players in the minor have strides before they are at a major league level and considered legitimate by baseball writers.

Q10: How do you feel about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar being the next coach of the Milwaukee Bucks? There's talk and he said he'd do it. - @HarrisonFtw

I would love Kareem as the head coach for the Bucks. It relates to what I talked about before about drawing a crowd. Milwaukee would love to see Kareem on the Bucks again, only this time as a coach. Granted, Jabbar has said some things about Milwaukee that were rather not nice. But, in a recent interview he expressed interest in coaching the Bucks. Therefore, I am absolutely an advocate for it. Other names that have been brought up for the coaching vacancy are Jerry Sloan, Stan Van Gundy, and Brian Shaw.

Thank you all who have participated! See you all again in April for the next Mailbag Blog!

Until next time, Beers, Brats, and Championships.

-Andrew Vrchota (@AndrewVrchota)

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