All Questions Answered: End of Season 2015

Many Brewers fans have sated their thirst for baseball via the two intriguing postseason matchups, but lots of things have changed for the Brew Crew. New general manager. New assistant general manager. New era, really. I thought this would be a perfect afternoon to unpack all that has happened with an All Questions Answered thread.

Leave your questions in the comments section below, and I’ll begin answering all of them at 1:00pm CT. If your question does not immediately appear, do not worry, as it just got grabbed by the spam filter for the site. I will monitor the filter and approve the questions that need to be approved. Ask questions about the Brewers, about baseball in general, or whatever comes to mind. I’ll begin taking all of your questions in the early afternoon — but please take the morning to populate the comments section so I can get right to it.

Looking forward to it, folks. Let’s get it done.

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17 comments on “All Questions Answered: End of Season 2015”

Mike T

Huge Cody Ponce fan, so I have to ask what his ceiling could be? He looks to be a fast riser through the system so far.

J.P. Breen

Opinions on Ponce’s ceiling vary, depending on the scout or front-office person being asked, but those who believe in the right-hander absolutely love him and think he’s a potential #2 starter. He’s been hitting 97-98 mph with secondaries that flash. Those who don’t love Ponce cite his stressful mechanics and wonder how he’ll be able to handle a workload around 200 innings on an annual basis; in other words, they think he could be a future reliever. A couple guys I trust, though, adore Ponce. That’s been the main reason why I’ve pumped him up since the Brewers drafted him in June.

Lucas W

Do you see any potential trade fit with the Red Sox where we would end up with Brock Holt? I haven’t even checked to see if he’s actually a productive player or thought about if it would make sense as a part of our rebuild, but I do know that he would be every Brewer fan’s favorite player. And that’s what really matters.

J.P. Breen

Holt would be the anti-Rickie Weeks, in that he’s white, plays with grit, is a solid two-win player, and doesn’t strikeout too much. He’s exactly what the average baseball fan clings to. It’s just too bad that he wears batting gloves.

In terms of trade fit, it’s difficult to determine what the Red Sox will do this winter with Dombrowski at the helm. I’d suspect that they’re going to try and dump some bigger contracts, but the starting rotation remains suspect. I guess the Brewers match up with Boston as much as they do with anyone else. It’s too early to tell what Stearns plans to do this winter.


Thoughts on the moves made in the front office so far? Matt Arnold seems like a great hire based on his scouting and analytics backgrounds. Hopefully Ray Montgomery sticks around. I know some (most notably Keith Law) said the player development was lacking in the minors, and it looks to be getting an overhaul.

J.P. Breen

I mean, I’m only basing my opinions off the positive recommendations of other people, but Stearns and Arnold seem to be great hires for an organization that is searching to flip the page and remold their image. Ray Montgomery has done a masterful job, in my opinion, and those working for him have nothing but glowing things to say about him. I’d be shocked if he’s replaced.

In terms of the Brewers’ player development system, though, I think Law is a couple years out of place. The organization had numerous issues in the mid-to-late 2000s. They lacked investment in the lower levels and their communication was spotty. In the last three or four years, though, the Brewers have pumped money into the lower levels, have invested in their Dominican complex, have hired more coaches to teach fundamentals, continue to analyze their previous shortcomings, and have implemented a quality draft strategy since 2012. As far as I’m concerned, any criticism of the organization’s minor-league system is working from notes in the past. I think we’re seeing the fruits of the Brewers’ overhaul, too, in a much improved farm system.

Michael Schwarz

Hear, hear. It’s taking a while for perception to catch up to reality.


The Brewers seem to have a ton of guys that could play shortstop in the coming years. Would you grade out their gloves and bats? And also give your prediction for who plays shortstop in 2016? 2017? 2018?

J.P. Breen

Interesting question. For me, the Brewers’ only have three legitimate shortstop candidates in Segura, Sardinas, and Arcia. Yadiel Rivera isn’t a starting shortstop in the big leagues for me, and I think Sardinas is even stretching it a bit. I prefer Arcia’s glove out of the three, but they’re all above-average defenders at the position. Segura profiles as someone who will deteriorate defensively because of his body type, so that plays into it, too.

I’ll say this — Sardinas (2016), Arcia (2017), Arcia (2018), Arcia (2019). I don’t think the organization pushes Arcia to the big leagues next year, though he should be up by the end of the season. The Brewers’ plan for Segura may have changed since hiring Stearns; however, everything I had been told surrounding Segura is that the team plans to trade him this winter.


Have we seen the end of Logan Schafer in a Brewer Uniform?

J.P. Breen

Probably. Schafer is a weird case study, actually. I saw him in Double-A and Triple-A in 2011 and 2012, and the dude could straight-up hit. He didn’t have much power and didn’t have special plate discipline, but his bat-to-ball skills were there. His swing plane changed in 2013, though, and he’s looked lost ever since. I don’t know if the org tried to get him to hit the baseball on the ground more or what, but he abandoned the opposite field and became a slap hitter, abandoning the stroke that allowed him to drive the ball. If he could ever re-discover that, he’d be able to be a solid fourth outfielder for a club. It’s just becoming more and more clear that his swing has become a mess.

Lucas W

Is there any precedent for teams in the Brewers’ current position to look to sign veteran free agents to 1-year bounce back contracts? With the hope that since we have the playing time available to take a risk on someone that wouldn’t be playing much otherwise, the player would return to form and could be flipped to a contender at the deadline.

J.P. Breen

Absolutely. It’s a strategy that teams like the Cubs and Astros have utilized in recent years. The Cubs did this with Scott Feldman in 2013 and flipped him over the summer in the deal that netted them Jake Arrieta. Furthermore, they signed Jason Hammel to a short-term deal in 2014 and packaged him with Samarzidja to get Addison Russell from the Athletics. The Astros did this with guys like Jose Veras — but the model you’re describing is best exemplified by the Chicago Cubs, and it’s one the Brewers should absolutely emulate.


Would it make sense to go after Jae-gyun Hwang (if posted) as a potential long-term 3B? Or would it make more sense to try to buy low on Cody Asche and hope to make him a viable piece of the future?

J.P. Breen

I’m unfamiliar with Hwang, so I’ll have to reserve judgment on that front. Prior to the introduction of David Stearns, the Brewers wanted to address the hole at third base with a long-term solution — such as Wilmer Flores — but weren’t able to do so. I suspect the position will be addressed in some capacity over the winter. Knowing the reputation of Stearns and Arnold, though, the Brewers are more likely to acquire the best talent possible in trades. If one happens to be a third baseman, great. If not, though, the organization will scour the free-agent market and pick up a low-cost option like Asche. Personal speculation: I thought Conor Gillaspie would end up on the Brewers last season, but the club didn’t grab him on waivers. They may grab him on a minor-league deal with an invite to big-league camp.


What are your thoughts on Segura’s future as a player and with the Brewers?

J.P. Breen

Segura still carries value because he’s a shortstop and the shortstop position around the league is horrible. However, as mentioned in an earlier comment, I think he’s a couple years away from being moved off shortstop. If he’s not able to consistently implement the swing changes he successfully showed at times in 2015, he’ll quickly become a non-factor in the league. As it stands, though, he should carry some value this offseason. And before you disagree, take note that guys like Marcus Semien and Didi Gregorius actually headlined offseason trades prior to 2015.

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