Schafer dazzling at the plate as he fills in for Braun
CINCINNATI -- For the first time in five years, the Brewers have a new regular left fielder: Logan Schafer.
"Getting to play every day will be awesome," said Schafer, who made his fifth consecutive start in place of the injured Ryan Braun on Saturday and delivered three hits for the second straight game. "I'm really excited for that opportunity to get a lot of at-bats in a row and get that comfort back, and hopefully I can hang onto it and enjoy some success."
That is, hang onto the sense of comfort. Schafer does not expect to hang on to the job.
"Look, I'm not Ryan Braun. I'm Logan Schafer," he said. "The only player I can be is myself. I'm not going to try to do too much. Bunting is still a part of my game, moving runners over, getting the guy behind me in the best situation to help the team. We're trying to push across runs. Any way I can do that, I'm going to."
Schafer is 8-for-21 (.381) in five starts since the Brewers shut Braun down to rest his right hand, and 16-for-39 (.410) over his last 13 games. The first two games against the Reds marked the first consecutive multi-hit efforts of his career.
With Caleb Gindl called up from Triple-A Nashville to take Braun's spot, three of the Brewers' four outfielders are left-handed hitters. Only center fielder Carlos Gomez bats righty.
This means that Schafer will be a regular starter even when the Brewers face left-handed pitchers. He was 2-for-6 against southpaws this season entering Saturday, and last season at Triple-A Nashville he batted a respectable .261 against lefties (versus .290 against right-handers).
"I have no problem with lefties," Schafer said. "In fact, I think that sometimes when you're facing a left-hander as a left-handed batter, at least for me, I simplify a little bit. It gets me back to ground zero of my swing. It helps me be a little quieter. I feel like I've handled lefties pretty well throughout my entire career."
Braun offered Schafer a vote of confidence.
"I think coming into the year, we knew that he was a really good player," Braun said. "He's a great defender. He's had great at-bats. The more playing time he's got, the better his at-bats have been. He's been really impressive."