Manager Ron Roenicke went with his gut feeling and gave outfielder Logan Schafer his first Major League start, which paid off brilliantly for the Brewers. The 25-year-old recorded two hits in two plate appearances with an RBI double in the fourth inning. He was removed from the game once the Nationals brought in a left-handed pitcher.
Schafer has been dominating since being called up from Triple-A Nashville on Sept. 4. Since his first appearance on Sept. 6, he has two runs, four RBIs, one double, one triple and five hits in 12 plate appearances for a .417 batting average. It was clearly a matter of time until Roenicke gave the young man a chance.
As good as Schafer has been at the plate, his defense is the primary reason he got the start over Nyjer Morgan, the center fielder who typically faces right-handed starters.
“He can really play defense. Really play defense,” Roenicke said. “So that helps. What he does offensively, I don’t know. This time of year, you don’t know what a guy’s going to do. He’s given us a couple of nice at-bats. He can really play defense.”
Milwaukee is in need of an offensive center fielder who can also play solid defense. Carolos Gomez is arguably one of the best defensive center fielders in the game, but is too inconsistent at the plate.
This season is by far Gomez’s best in a Brewers uniform, as he has posted 16 homers, 48 RBIs, and 35 stolen bases in 386 at-bats. However, he has also struck out 24 percent of the time, which is not what Milwaukee’s management is looking for from the fastest player on the team.
It is hard to say how good Schafer can be at the plate, but if he can somehow keep the production up for the last 10 games, then the Brewers might have something special. Getting a permanent spot on the team next season is a goal of his, and a way to accomplish that feat is by playing at a high level in September and October.
Michael is a MLB and NBA Featured Writer for Rant Sports, but covers topics for various teams in baseball, basketball and football. Make sure to follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelTerrill and on Facebook.