A year later, Brewers outfielder Logan Schafer finally made it to big league Spring Training camp.
Schafer, 24, was supposed to have a spot last spring, but he tore his left groin during a Minor League minicamp the day before he was to report to the Major League complex. That bit of bad luck multiplied; he was diagnosed with a sports hernia in May, then fouled a baseball off his right foot in early June and broke a bone.
“It feels great to finally come in here and have a locker and a name and number on my jersey,” said Schafer, who will wear No. 70 this spring. “It’s a relief to get here.”
Barring an emergency, he’ll begin the season in the Minors. The Brewers are hoping he avoids the type of ailments that began to strike last Feb. 25, when Schafer tore his groin breaking from first base in a drill.
“It was a rough year, you know?” he said. “But I feel like whatever is going to happen, is going to happen. Now I’m in the position that I’m healthy and I’m going to do everything I can to learn from the other guys in here.”
The silver lining of Schafer’s dismal 2010 is that he was able to finish the year on an active roster in the Arizona Fall League. After he broke his foot, he underwent a hernia surgery that was originally scheduled for the postseason, and he was back to full strength when AFL play began.
Schafer got another boost in December, when the Brewers traded center fielder Lorenzo Cain to the Royals as part of the Zach Greinke deal. Cain was ahead of Schafer on the organizational depth chart and impressed during the second half of last season in the Majors.
With Cain in Kansas City, Schafer’s path to Milwaukee is clearer.
“Absolutely,” he said. “But I say good for [Cain]. ‘Lo’ and I were good friends, and even though you can say we were competing, I never looked at it like that.
“It’s not like this is going to change things. I saw the trade as a good thing for me, and the organization has a lot of trust in me. It’s reassuring. It should be a good year.”