Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun has missed the last two games with a thumb injury and could very well miss the series finale against the Miami Marlins Wednesday night. Regardless if Braun is in the lineup, the Brewers need Logan Schafer to step his game up because he could play a big role for Milwaukee over the next several months.
Schafer has recorded three hits in his last 11 at-bats while he has played in place of Braun in left field over the past three games. Going 0-for-4 Tuesday night in a 5-4 loss is not ideal when suiting up for one of the best hitters on the team, but the fact that he played well in the two wins prior is a good sign. What is also good is the fact that Brewers manager Ron Roenicke has plenty of confidence in the 26-year-old.
“I like Logan. Any time Logan is out there, starting or off the bench, I like what he does,” Roenicke said after Monday’s win, according to Brewers.com. “The difference is in the lineup. Without Brauny hitting third, now you have to figure out how to maneuver the lineup around. Logan, the last three or four times he has started, he’s gotten hits and played good D. He has been big in our offense.”
Schafer is only batting .237 on the season, but he really has not been given consistent plate appearances. One of the hardest parts of playing Major League Baseball is staying fresh off the bench and collecting hits even though at-bats have been limited. Schafer may have a lot of hitless games, but he also throws in some 2-for-4 or 3-for-4 performances that prove he has plenty of potential.
The Brewers may be 12 games under .500, 12 games back of a Wild Card spot and 16 games out of first place in the National League Central division. However, with 98 games left on the year there is no room to believe the season is over. If players like Schafer can play a big role in critical moments, it will inspire other players to step up as well.