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Lesser Brewers: Logan Schafer

Logan Schafer provided a needed outfield backup for the Brewers, but saw his playtime time diminish as he continued to struggle at the plate.

Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

When we talk about Logan Schafer, there's generally a negative feeling that comes out. He doesn't have a good bat, he's not very flashy; he's essentially the definition of a replacement level backup outfielder. However, every team needs players like him each season, and he filled that role adequately.

Schafer entered 2014 with the expectations of being the fourth outfielder. In fact, because of the way the Brewers roster was constructed on Opening Day, he was the only true backup the Brewers had for the outfield. That led to him getting some starts as the season went on. However, a few weeks into the season, he strained his hamstring and had to go on the disabled list. It was a short stay, though. He returned shortly after the minimum, and ended up in a more regular starting role with Ryan Braun going on the DL. Despite getting his chances, his struggled at the plate and saw his playing time get smaller until he was optioned back to Triple-A in mid-June.

A few weeks in Nashville seemed to get him back on track, and he was recalled in early July. However, he still continued to struggle when he played, and his role remained limited to a few starts, some pinch-hits, and a few defensive replacements. Then, at the end of July, the Brewers acquired Gerardo Parra in a trade, and Logan Schafer was the odd man out there. He was sent back to Nashville following the trade. He would return as a September call-up, but at that point his role had become very limited. He got a few starts, but was mainly relegated to bench duties for the rest of the season.

It's hard to see Logan Schafer's role with the Brewers growing beyond what it is now. When he has been in Triple-A, the results have been there with regular playing time. This season, he put up a line of .273/.355/.460 in 185 PA with the Sounds. However, the results don't carry over to MLB. He had a line of .181/.278/.276 in 136 PA with the Brewers. The one thing that has kept Logan Schafer on the team is his defensive ability. He's not an exciting player, but he's solid with his glove, has good range, and makes very few mistakes. With some of the other players on the team struggling on defense, that has been good to have, but it probably won't keep him around much longer.

Best Game

Logan Schafer didn't have many good games at the plate, but there was one game where he did drive in the winning run. On September 20 against the Pirates, the Brewers playoff chances were hanging on by a thread and needed every win they could get. With the game tied at 0-0 in the ninth inning, Logan Schafer came up as a pinch hitter with the bases loaded and one out. It wasn't flashy, but he hit a sacrifice fly to left field deep enough to score Elian Herrera. It was the only run the Brewers scored that day, and they would end up winning 1-0.

Contract Status

Logan Schafer has just over 2 years of MLB service following the 2014 season. He will have one more pre-arbitration contract in 2015, will hit arbitration for the first time in 2016 and will be a free agent for the 2019 season. The Brewers will probably bring him back in 2015 to be the fifth outfielder, but he's a definite non-tender candidate when he hits his first year of arbitration, and could be expendable if the Brewers make another move this offseason.