End of an era: Brewers veteran Lorenzo Cain designated for assignment

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Jeffrey Phelps

Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Lorenzo Cain leaps to catch a ball off the bat of St. Louis Cardinals' Tommy Edman during the second inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021, in Milwaukee. Two Cardinal players tagged and scored on the play.

MILWAUKEE — Lorenzo Cain’s time as a Brewer is officially up.

The veteran outfielder was designated for assignment Saturday, team officials announced. Cain was drafted by the Brewers in 2004 but played only one major league season with the Crew before moving to Kansas City in 2011. He rejoined Milwaukee in 2018, earning a spot in the All-Star Game that year.

Cain won a Gold Glove in 2019, before opting out of the 2020 season. He returned to the field for 78 games in 2021 and looked like he hadn’t missed a step, batting .257 with on-base and slugging percentages that were better than his 2019 season.

The veteran’s form faltered in 2022, however. Through 43 games his average is .179, and he has struck out 36 times. His on-base percentage is at its lowest point in his career, and his wins above replacement currently sits at -0.4. From a statistical standpoint, this is the worst season he has ever had.

To replace Cain, the Brewers called on Jonathan Davis. Drafted by Toronto in 2013, Davis has only had limited playing time in the majors. He played 64 games last season, starting with Toronto before moving to the Yankees. His batting average was just .126, and his WAR was -0.2.

Davis has had a strong start to 2022 with AAA Nashville, however, batting .297 with an on-base-plus-slugging percentage of .834. The Brewers will be hoping that the positive trend makes the plane ride with Davis, and he doesn’t revert to his previous major league form.