Had this position been addressed just a week ago, the outcome would be vastly different. Khris Davis had patrolled this spot for the last few years, making his power known. Late last week Davis was the latest player moved by David Stearns, as he was sent to the Athletics for prospects Jacob Nottingham and Bubba Derby. It now creates the vacancy for a new player to groom the left field grass on Opening Day.
The lead candidate and man most likely headed for the job has to be Domingo Santana. After being included in the Carlos Gomez deal along with Brett Phillips, Josh Hader and Adrian Houser. Santana played a majority of his games in center field, mainly due to the absence of Gomez. However, despite respectable numbers, Craig Counsell has voiced on numerous occasions that he believes Santana better fits the mold of a corner outfielder. While, it seems Counsell will get his wish as left field now has Santana’s name written all over it.
Nonetheless, nothing is for sure given just yet. Michael Reed and newcomer Ramon Flores, whom the Brewers received in the trade that sent infielder Luis Sardiñas to Seattle are a tandem that may be battling it out to fulfill the backup role. Reed saw a slim fraction of garbage time play in late September, going 2-of-6 at the plate. Both he and Flores could be a fill in at all three outfield positions.
Khris Davis’ absence now creates the proposition of reuniting Ryan Braun to the left field position. In fact, looking at the stats, it would make logical sense to swap Santana and Braun position wise. According to stats provided by FanGraphs, Braun has 26 defensive runs saved in six seasons as a left fielder. Compare that to his stats in right field where he only has -8 runs saved in two seasons, the decision seems like a no-brainer. Look for Craig Counsell and his coaching staff to thoroughly evaluate this proposal.