Macha: Advance scouts do a 'fabulous job'

Brewers manager Ken Macha launched into a passionate defense of the team’s advance scouting department on Monday, a day after outfielder Ryan Braun raised eyebrows in highest levels of the front office by suggesting that limited information about Giants rookie Ryan Sadowski contributed to Milwaukee’s loss.

The Brewers fell to 0-4 in games started by pitchers making their Major League debut.

“You know what?” Macha began. “We did have stuff on that guy. I am going to absolutely defend our scouting department, 100 percent. Some people rely on video, but … unless we called his wife and asked for video, we probably weren’t going to get any video on him.

“Our scouting department does a fabulous job. I can’t tell you how in-depth everything is that they do to help our guys get ready for a game. I got up this morning at 7:30 and I’ve got a portable hard drive that I plugs into my computer, and I was going through the Mets’ hitters. It breaks everything down into as fine of detail as you want. If you want to know what a [pitcher] throws on the 0-and-0 count the majority of the time, how many balls and how many strikes he throws, this is all available to all of our players. We have a number of laptops in the players’ room where they can view the video. We had no video on [Sadowski], but we did have scouting reports. I am going to absolutely, 100 percent defend the people who do a tremendous amount of work to get our club ready.

“I was with Oakland, and one of the things that we prided ourselves on was that we would be either as prepared or better prepared than everybody that we played. Coming here [to Milwaukee] and seeing the amount of information that is available to not only our coaches but our players, it far exceeds what they have in Oakland. [Hitting coach] Dale Sveum spends a lot of time on the video, on preparation. [First base coach] Ed Sedar helps with how we play in the outfield and the moves the pitchers have over to first base. It’s extensive work. Plus, we have three or four guys working on how we pitch to people.

“All of this information is presented to us by the scouting department. Those guys do as much as humanly possible.”

The Brewers are one of a number of Major League clubs that use video to compile, in-house, detailed reports instead of relying on traditional advance scouts. That effort is headed by Karl Mueller, the Brewers’ manager of advance scouting and baseball research, and Mike Schwartz, the team’s coordinator of baseball research and special projects. Coaching assistant and digital media coordinator Joe Crawford assists players in the clubhouse with their video needs. 

The team also employs 11 professional scouts around the country who scout Major League and Minor League games.

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