Of the Milwaukee Brewers players who have been on the roster for multiple years, one who is facing possibly the biggest make-or-break seasons of his career is outfielder Tyrone Taylor.
After being used relatively sparingly in his first few years as a major leaguer, Taylor finally got a chance at consistent playing time last season after veteran Lorenzo Cain was DFA'd by the team. Fans would finally get the chance to see if Taylor could be a more long term answer in the outfield.
Unfortunately, the results weren't particularly positive. While playing in 120 games last season, a career high by nearly 30 games, Taylor set career lows in batting average (.233), on base percentage (.286), and slugging percentage (.442). He also had the highest strikeout rate of his career (25.2%).
Still, Taylor had a chance to clear the slate and earn himself a starting spot in the outfield this spring, and at worst a backup spot like in previous years. But that was before a right elbow injury delayed his start to spring training. Now it turns out that was just the start of things.
The news keeps getting worse for Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Tyrone Taylor.
Missing time in spring training isn't great, but the initial news on Taylor was that he was set to miss roughly a couple weeks. That would've been enough to overcome and still be ready by Opening Day. Yesterday, though, that timeframe got extended per Sophia Minnaert of Bally Sports Wisconsin.
That takes a starting outfield spot off the table as the Brewers will need someone else to occupy the right corner to start the season. But could Taylor's overall roster spot now be in jeopardy too as a result of this injury?
Just take a look at the options that Milwaukee has in the system. Outfielder Jesse Winker was brought in via trade from Seattle this offseason, though there's a good chance he mostly plays at DH. The team also signed Brian Anderson as a free agent, and though it seems he'll largely play third place, he will likely still see some time at right field as well.
There are two strong non-roster candidates as well. Tyler Naquin was signed to a minor league deal recently and has some things working in his favor in his quest for a major league roster spot. Meanwhile, Sal Frelick, the team's second best prospect, is trying to strengthen his long shot case to make the roster earlier than expected with a 4-for-10 start to Cactus League play.
Taylor has had his chances to prove he belongs on the Brewers roster of the future but hasn't fully taken advantage of those opportunities. Now, as the bad news continues to pile up, you can't help but wonder if his tenuous grip on a roster spot will end up slipping away.