The 2011 season was a special year in Milwaukee. The Brewers won their first NL Central division crown and took a trip to the National League Championship Series. While many had great seasons, Casey McGehee was a disaster on the field. As he struggled, he lost playing time in the post season and eventually his job in Milwaukee. Here is a look at his demise in Milwaukee and his rebirth in Miami.
Upon arriving in Milwaukee in 2009, McGehee had been subject to very little expectation. The infielder had been a journeyman in Chicago and he was expected to be used sparingly off the bench with the Brewers if he made the team. But he burst on the scene to have an impressive rookie season where he hit .301 with 16 homers. These numbers were good enough to finish fifth in the Rookie of the Year voting. The next season, McGehee went from an afterthought to the team’s Most Valuable Player by batting .285 with 22 homeruns and 104 RBIs. He had completely exceeded expectations.
The next year however, McGehee’s impressive numbers came back down to earth. He no longer was a dynamite run producer, but instead he became a liability in the lineup. He finished the year batting .223 and was invisible during the playoffs. During the off-season he was sent away to Pittsburgh for journeyman reliever, Jose Veras.
During 2012 he continued to struggle while playing for both the Pirates and the Yankees. Playing in just 122 games, McGehee hit just .217 and hit just nine longballs. This season eventually led to the apparent end of his major league career.
But there was no quit in Casey McGehee. Even though he went unsigned in the MLB, McGehee gambled by playing a year in Japan. Here he rediscovered his swing. He belted a career high 28 homeruns while batting a very respectable .292.
These impressive slugging numbers in Japan earned him a second chance in the big leagues with the Miami Marlins and he has not looked back. Through his first 50 games, he has provided protection for Giancarlo Stanton by driving the ball all over the field. His 30 RBIs are good enough for 10th in the National League.
Baseball is a game of second chances. Throughout McGehee’s entire career he has earned every bit of his playing time. After struggling for two seasons McGehee has proven that he can remain in the game for a long time.
Statistics Provided by Baseball Reference