PITTSBURGH -- Illustrating the Brewers' sudden rise to postseason contention, the club's entire operations staff gathered in Pittsburgh this week for previously planned meetings meant to kick-start the offseason. General manager Doug Melvin did not expect the meetings to coincide with a Wild Card chase. "We never get a chance to get together throughout the course of the year," Melvin said. "Bruce [Seid, amateur scouting director] is on the road, Dick [Groch, a special assistant] is on the road, Zack [Minasian, pro scouting director] is on the road. You've got so many people involved."
So they gathered in a conference room at the team hotel on Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET. A group that also included assistant GM Gord Ash, manager Ron Roenicke and his coaches, farm director Reid Nichols, special assistants Craig Counsell and Dan O'Brien, and Karl Mueller, the director of video scouting, pored over the Major League roster and the prospect pipeline, discussed the First-Year Player Draft and revisited the moves that were made -- and not made -- over the past year. A smaller group met again on Wednesday to discuss player development and budgeting. It was the sort of pre-planning that was pushed back last year while the Brewers cruised to the National League Central crown. Part of Melvin's goal is to gather unfiltered input from his aides about the state of the franchise. "I don't want the outside publications to interfere with what we're doing and demoralize our people," he said. "That's one thing I admire about [Green Bay Packers GM] Ted Thompson -- he does not let outside influences affect what he's doing when it comes to the Draft and [all] that." The group did not discuss a potential postseason roster. Melvin said that those decisions can be made later if the Brewers continue their run.