The recent additions of Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain give the Brewers a lot of depth in the outfield. To alleviate the potential logjam, General Manager David Stearns confirmed on Friday that he had discussed with Ryan Braun, the idea of the veteran player to give first base a try in spring training.
At Sunday’s “Brewers On Deck” event, Braun said he’s ready to give it a shot if it helps the team.
Braun was drafted as an infielder and was named the National League’s Rookie of the Year in 2007 as a third baseman. But he moved to the outfield in 2008 and hasn’t returned since.
The addition of Yelich and Cain means the Brewers will have two starters already set. Then there’s Braun, Domingo Santana, Brett Phillips and Keon Broxton.
Santana has been floated as trade bait all off-season, but if he should return, the Brewers are going to want to have some flexibility. Santana played in 151 games last season as the teams right fielder. He hit .278 with 30 home runs and 85 RBI.
Braun played in just 104 games last season due to either rest or injury. He hit .268 with 17 homers and 52 RBI.
Hader to stay in the bullpen
Brewers lefty Josh Hader will open the 2018 season in the Brewers bullpen. General Manager David Stearns made that announcement on Sunday at the “On Deck” event.
Even without Jimmy Nelson, the Brewers added free-agent starters Jhoulys Chacin and Yovani Gallardo to go along with Zach Davis and Chase Anderson. The Brewers also have a number of other pitchers that could join the competition, including Brandon Woodruff, Brent Suter, Aaron Wilkerson and last years opening day starter Junior Guerra. The possibility also remains that the Brewers could add more pitching help either by free agency or by trade.
Hader appeared in 35 games for the Brewers last season, pitching 47 2/3 innings and posting a 2.08 ERA with 68 strikeouts and a 0.986 WHIP.