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kicking off a new weekly feature called The
Interrogation Room. We hope to
run this feature weekly for the remaining 13 weeks of the off-season.
The plan is to interview former Timber Rattlers (and maybe Foxes) players
and coaches. If it goes well, we may
continue it into the regular season.
In honor of Jeff Isom
returning for his second season as the manager of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers,
we thought it would be a good idea to have him as the first guest in The
You had a chance to work the instructional league for the Brewers after the
Timber Rattlers season ended. What exactly goes on during instructs?
A: During instructs we
bring together a small, choice group of our younger players and work them
out as well as play in games. With the smaller groups, it gives us a
chance to give the players lots of individual instruction. We are
able to work with these players in specific areas that they need to improve in,
for example a player might be doing well with his offense but his defense
struggled during the season. We are able to put more focus on defense and
spend the majority of time in that area during our workouts. It also gives
me a chance to see the newly drafted players, which is valuable to me
because these are the majority of the players that I will see in the upcoming
Q: Did any Timber Rattlers players from
the '09 team stand out during instructs?
Prince did very well, he improved on his defense and swung the bat well.
Sanchez continued to open eyes on our organization with his ability to
play multiple positions at a high level and improving his offensive game. Evan
Frederickson continued where he left off at the end of the season, he ironed
out some mechanical issues with his delivery and threw well. The thing
that stood out most of instructional league was the athleticism of our
new draft class.
Q: How have you been keeping busy since
you returned to
A: Since returning to
, I have been able to get back to my house addition. It's a project that
I've only been working on for seven years, I think it's
official that I'm tired of working on it. The thing that has kept me
most busy is being a dad. I have two children that are six and eight
years old, so it's nice to get home and to be a dad.
Q: The Brewers drafted pitcher Eric
Arnett, outfielder Kentrail
Davis, and pitcher Kyle Heckathorn
with their first three picks in the 2009 draft. Have you heard anything
about them possibly starting the 2010 season with the Timber Rattlers?
A: All three of these
players were in instructional league and I had a chance to see them in games and
workouts. They are very talented players that all have some college
experience. With that said, I feel that the decision where these players
will be placed will depend on how they perform in spring training and what the
needs are in
. So, there is a possibility.
Prince was the 3rd round pick of the Brewers in the '09 draft and he played
shortstop for the last month of the season with the Rattlers. Is there a
chance he could be back with the team or did he do enough to move up to the next
level for 2010?
A: This is a decision
that will be made in spring training. There are a few things that will
factor in this decision, how well he does in spring training and what the needs
. If he doesn't come back, there are some very talented young shortstops
that were in instructional league that I liked a lot.
Who are they?
A: The two young
shortstops that I was talking about were Carlos
George and Scooter
Gennett. Both players were in instructional league and impressed me.
What impressed you about them?
A: Both were slick
fielding and showed some promise with their bats. Both ran very well. Scooter
drafted last year out of high school so he might not be ready at the beginning
of the season, he also had a minor injury that sat him out of part of
instructional league. Carlos played in the AZL last summer, but caught our
attention to how much he improved over the course of the season last year.
What I really like about both players is how coachable they were. But
as I mentioned, both show lots of promise as shortstops. I know there were
other shortstops that we drafted but they didn't attend instructional league.
Matt Erickson and Chris Hook are back with you as your hitting coach and
pitching coach. What do you three do best as a staff?
A: I'm excited that we
are together once again. I enjoyed working with both of them. I feel
that our staff does a good job of working with the players to develop them.
The players are the main focus for all of us. We are always accessible
to them, if they need some extra work we are always there to give them what they
need. And...we are very good at synchronized
swimming, something we work on together on the road in the pool, 2012
Q: Time Warner Cable Field is making some
renovations, including moving the bullpens out beyond the outfield fence.
Put yourself in this situation: You go out to make a pitching change
during an inning. Instead of running in from the bullpen, your reliever
rides in on a golf cart or other type of bullpen car. Your reaction is...
A: Old school...... I
remember seeing the carts in the late 70's and early 80's, haven't seen
them since. I think the relievers now have made the run in from the
bullpen part of their mental preparation from the game. Could you see
Trevor Hoffman coming in on a cart while Hells
Bells is playing? It just wouldn't be the same. But I could see
the starting pitchers and Chris Hook being carted in before the game.
Q: When do you head down to
for Spring Training?
A: Sometime in
early March, still waiting on my reporting date. I live in
and the temperature is currently in the single digits, so not soon enough!
As a former Purdue baseball player, how do you feel about the start by the
Boilermakers' basketball team?
A: I'm wearing
my black and gold right now. I have attended a handful of games and they
are fun to watch. We have our biggest test this weekend, going into the
to take on the Badgers. Be ready for some relentless, in your face defense.
a great time to be a Boilermaker fan. Is this the year? Boiler
I am a Colts fan and I hope they do make it
to the Super Bowl, but the defense
concerns me a little. The matchup I would love to see is Colts and Saints.
If that was the case, I think I'd have to root for the Drew Brees
led Saints. I'd love to see Brees get a Super Bowl ring.
The Colts are in the playoffs with the best record in the AFC. Do they
make it through to the Super Bowl for the second time with Peyton Manning?
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.