Coming into the 2021 season, there were concerns about depth at a few positions for the Milwaukee Brewers. Outfield was not supposed to be one of them.
You had Christian Yelich and Avisail Garcia returning as core pieces from the 2020 team, as well as Lorenzo Cain returning from his 2020 opt out. The team also signed former Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. in the offseason to add into the mix for some semi-regular playing time.
Outside of those main four, you also saw Billy McKinney grab one of the last roster spots to start the season. And if any additional help was needed, you had Tyrone Taylor and Corey Ray waiting in the minors.
And yet somehow, half of that depth is now gone. McKinney was designated for assignment after his offense disappeared, which was fine considering the depth at the time. But since then, Cain, Taylor, and Ray have all now hit the injured list.
Luckily, there was one more outfielder that hasn’t been mentioned yet, who has spent the season working his way back from injury. And it appears that he will now get a chance to make an impact with the Brewers.
On Thursday, the Brewers activated outfielder Derek Fisher for the first time in 2021.
With just three primary outfielders remaining on the 26-man roster, the Brewers needed to do something to add a little bit of depth to the position. Enter Derek Fisher, who had been on the injured list since the 2021 season began.
The Brewers acquired Fisher back in February hoping he could fulfill some of the expectations he originally had as a first-round pick of the Astros in 2014. As a career .194 hitter with a .662 OPS over four MLB seasons, he would have some work to do to make the roster.
Part of that was also because he had no minor league options remaining going into 2021, putting him in the same boat as McKinney. So the two would have to fight it out over the spring to see who might nab one of the team’s final roster spots.
For his part, Fisher was doing alright this spring. He had so far gone 6 for 22 with three doubles, a homer, and six RBIs before a hamstring injury ended his spring. He would go on the IL to begin the season and McKinney would go on to grab that roster spot.
Once the 2021 minor league season began, Fisher ended up joining the Triple-A Nashville Sounds to start his rehab. Though he would start and stop it a couple times due to some injury flare ups, he wound up hitting .220 with a .671 OPS over 17 games.
Those numbers may not jump off the page, but they don’t always do that when a player is attempting to come back from injury. Either way, Fisher is now healthy and with Milwaukee’s outfield depth at a minimum, there’s no better time to see what the Brewers have in him before some of their other outfielders come back from injury themselves.
All of the injury news for the Brewers has been of the negative variety lately, so it’s nice to finally get some positive news in the form of the activation of Fisher.