Chat with IE 66ers announcer Mike Saeger (PART II)

Here is Part Two of the chat transcript with Mike Saeger, the Inland Empire 66ers radio announcer.

dawgncarolina - Felix is obviously a lot thicker than his listed weight of 170. . . can you estimate that for us?

MSaeger - Felix is probably closer to 2 bills, maybe a shade under if I had to. Felix is a big boy and he's only going to get stronger. He's thick so he'll probably have to be careful not to put on bad weight. He's got the frame to get like Colon if he decides to eat 24-7 but Colon's pretty damn fat.

JKaiser - Jon Nelson - Ya think he'll stick in LF or do you think he's better suited at 1B?

MSaeger - He played surprisingly well in LF last year. I think he could stay there and play some 1B in a pinch. He did okay at 1B in the few games he played there last year. I would project Nelson to an OF next year if I had to guess.

JfromSeattle – What are you thoughts on Ismael Castro?

MSaeger - Ismael was poised for a breakthrough year last year when he went down with the knee injury. Too bad. He's got some talent and good pop in his stick. Castro's pretty much a 2B, though he can play SS in a real pinch and fill in some at 3B. I think Castro might go to AA when he's healthy, but it wouldn't surprise me if he started with us to get some at bats. Castro is a pretty thick guy too who could blow up. But I'll tell you what, he's got some tremendously big and strong legs. Like tree trunks.

JfromSeattle - Greg Jacobs and Rich Dorman are two guys who really seemed to have started at the wrong position. What can you tell us about them and their futures?

MSaeger - Dorman has a good chance to make the big leagues. He throws pretty hard. Really good arm. Jacobs career rests solely on his bat, but if he hits he'll play somewhere.

mhfn054 - Cesar Jimenez, how did he look last year?

MSaeger - Cesar was a pleasant surprise. He was only 19 and was one of our most reliable guys coming out of the pen. He could give you 3-4 innings an outing, quality innings. Guys like that can make a pretty nice living for a lot of years. He mostly threw his breaking stuff for strikes with us. I was pretty impressed.

JKaiser - If you had to guess, which players at IE last year might be candidates to repeat in '05?

MSaeger - Garciaparra, Balentien, Oldham, Hagen, Tanner Watson maybe, and Miguel Martinez. That's just a guess.

(Inland Empire LHP Tom Oldham shows up in the chat room)

mhfn054 - What do you guys see in Jon Huber?

tommyo19 - Huber is legit. Throws everything...fastball, hard slider, curve, and change.

MSaeger - Huber had his best year last year. I think he started throwing a slider when he was still with the Padres chain.

dawgncarolina - What player(s) that we haven't talked about in this chat do you think will surprise us in ‘05?

Msaeger - It's hard to say with guys I haven't seen yet. I think Balentien will put together a good year if he's with us. I think the redhead (Oldham) in the chat room showed alot in his brief stay with us last year.

MSaeger - Tommy, how are Feireabend and Moorhead? I would expect they'd be with us next year. (Saeger is now asking questions)

tommyo19 - Feir and Head are awesome, definitely will be there. Ryan is gonna be read good.

JoelPineiro-is#1 - In your opinion, is it more important to trade for prospects?

MSaeger - Rumor is that Seattle is going to make a run at trying to get Sexson and Glaus. M's ownership has never been handcuffed by $$. Give them credit for that. You need to balance it with your own talent though.

tommyo19 - Don't throw Glaus outside fastballs 3-2!!!

Mariners Gal - Hey TommyO, how much interaction does a player at your level have with the guys on the big club? Did you hang with them much during Spring Training?

tommyo19 - Well we lift together, but it is split up pretty well. I started out rough last year, and asked Wisconsin manager Steve Roadcap if there was a way I could talk to a big leaguer to get things on track and I was fortunate enough to have a chance to talk to Jamie Moyer.

JKaiser – TommyO, did you ever go to Safeco Field when you were at Everett?

tommyo19 – Oh ya, we all went up to Safeco one off day.

Ian - Mike, if a minor league team is in a playoff run, do you believe it is more important for the parent club to let them be or promote players if they see fit?

MSaeger - The big league club always comes first if push comes to shove. That's what the minor league system is for.

JKaiser - Mike, how long you been with the Sixers and what's your favorite part of the job?

MSaeger - I've been there 10 years. The best part of the job is April-September, period. Getting paid to watch games and talk about them. Not a bad gig. It's neat when you see a guy eventually get to the big leagues and you can say, "I knew him when..."

JKaiser - The Vin Scully comparisons must arise all the time. Is that something that is natural or do you model your style after him?

MSaeger - Total coincidence, but it's a nice complement, though sometimes I wish I sounded nothing like him or anyone else in particular.

dawgncarolina - What was the single most memorable moment of the year for you?

MSaeger - I don't think there was one moment in particular, but I think watching Felix pitch, especially over his last 6 or 7 starts, would qualify as the best "moment" for me. Just incredible.

MSaeger - Alright gang. Had a good time. Thanks for the questions. Tommy, you take care and have a good winter and good spring. Maybe I'll see you in April.

Special thanks to Mike Saeger for taking two hours out of his night to answers fans' questions in the chat room.

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