Sometimes it’s easy to forget there’s another side to every transaction. As exciting as the additions of Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain were, another reality came with them -- other guys who mostly performed well last year are going to lose an opportunity.
Domingo Santana will still get his at-bats this year. But guys like Keon Broxton? Not so much. And he’s not dumb -- he knows he probably won’t be playing in 146 games or getting 414 at-bats again, even after becoming one of the select few Brewers to put up a 20/20 season.
It was Broxton’s day to catch up with the local beat reporters today, and he offered a human response to being asked to work alongside his replacements -- he’s not exactly thrilled about it, but he knows why it happened:
#Brewers CF Keon Broxton has realistic view of additions of Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich: "I can’t say I’m happy about it but it’s good for the team. Those are two solid players. Those guys have played better than me throughout my career. So, I really can’t be mad."— Tom (@Haudricourt) February 17, 2018
Broxton's goal is to get better and not worry about OF glut with Cain and Yelich: "I know what I need to do to be where I want to be. I know if I played better, this probably wouldn’t have happened."— Tom (@Haudricourt) February 17, 2018
For what it’s worth, Broxton showed up to camp early this week excited to get to work. It looks like he still has lofty goals for himself, captioning an Instagram post earlier this week with a “30/30” hashtag.
That attitude of only trying to control things he can control is being noticed by coaches, judging by what Craig Counsell told Tom Haudricourt:
Counsell talked with Broxton about his situation: "As the player, he has to decide what lens does he want to put on it and frankly I think he’s in a pretty good place with it. These are really high-caliber players that do make his road tougher. But now it’s how you move forward."— Tom (@Haudricourt) February 17, 2018
Broxton can still be a valuable member of the 25-man roster, even if it looks like he’ll no longer be a full-time player. While he’s been the type of guy who needs consistent at-bats to get into one of his hot streaks with the bat, he still brings assets to the table with his speed and defense.
We’ll see how the rest of the spring plays out, but it doesn’t seem likely that the team will keep six outfielders, even if they consider Ryan Braun a part-time first baseman. It might come down to Broxton and Brett Phillips as the last outfielder on the roster, with the person not winning the battle ending up with a return ticket to Colorado Springs.