Making sense of the Brewers’ signing of Cole Garner

Now I’m just not sure if these signings are becoming a tad too much. Looking at the Milwaukee Brewers’ farm system, they have plenty of guys who have the potential to see some serious MLB time. For Cole Garner, his career has been all in the minors aside from the four games he played with the Colorado Rockies in 2011. At 28 years-old, Garner is on the verge of being a veteran minor leaguer with no real MLB experience by the time he hits 30. With the rise of players in the Brewers organization like Josh Prince, Caleb Gindl, Logan Schafer and Khris Davis, Garner’s spot only gets smaller on this team.

So with the younger players threatening to make the 25-man roster, why exactly did Milwaukee go out and sign Garner?

Cole Garner poses a threat to other guys, but how much of one? Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Garner signing is one that does not make sense. A career .283/.337/.475 in the minors, Garner has only had four games in the MLB and unless he can overcome guys like Prince and Schafer who are younger and developing their talent faster, he doesn’t have much of a shot. Maybe with Nyjer Morgan gone, the Brewers figure they can use Garner in the outfield to possibly platoon or just be a back-up, but I don’t see it happening, especially since Schafer has been looming in the wings for awhile.

Perhaps Spring Training will tell another story for the 28 year-old. He has a decent enough bat to be in the majors, but on another team. It’s nice to have something to fall back on cause of injury, but it’s not as if Garner has years of experience in the MLB. If he was on the 25-man roster come April 1st, he’d be a rookie, so really, is a rookie the greatest of fall back options? Maybe, maybe not. It’s funny how baseball works out, or doesn’t work out, but if he’s spent eight-years in the minors so far, maybe there’s a reason why.

Garner’s defense isn’t anything to write home about. A minor league career .972 fielding percentage shows us that despite his decent bat, Garner has some trouble out in the field. Now to be far, he hasn’t had as many chances to make a play like a major leaguer, but in the same regards, he’s been playing in Triple-A since 2010.

Who knows where exactly Garner is going to fit on this team once April rolls around. As it stands, at least in my mind, the back-up outfielder job belongs to Schafer and him alone until Prince and maybe even Garner can prove they’re ready for the show. Not to say they already aren’t, but Schafer has been a work in progress. For Garner, Milwaukee just may be another team in a career that is still trying to get up off the ground and maybe he’ll be somewhere else in 2013 or 2014.

Topics: Cole Garner, Milwaukee Brewers

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