Tuesday, April 29, marks the day that Mike Cameron will get his first official at-bat for the Milwaukee Brewers in the regular season.
He played for them in spring training. Because of his 25-game suspension for testing positive for a banned substance, he was unable to travel with the team for the first month of the season.
On April 24, he was able to join the Brewers' Triple-A club in Nashville for the last five games of the ban to help ease the transition back to the big leagues. One of those games was rained out, so he only gets to play four games with the Sounds.
It is a perfect time for Cameron to come back, too. The Brewers begin a 10-day, nine-game road trip starting with their most hated rival, the Chicago Cubs, on Tuesday.
The Brewers are also struggling to put runs on the board, which is the one problem that they didn't have last year.
Cameron is a career .250 hitter and is known as a free-swinger, but he still knows how to get on base when needed. He isn't afraid to work the count and draw the walk, which is what he'll need to do for Milwaukee.
Cameron will most likely bat in the two-hole for Ned Yost's crew. He is expected to get on base in front of Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder, making it difficult for opposing pitchers to pitch around them.
However, at this point in the season, nobody in the Brewers’ lineup has been able to produce on a regular basis. But in whatever position he is in the lineup, Cameron will be a much needed help.
Once on base, Cameron also has speed. He gives the Brewers another weapon on the base paths with speedsters Weeks, Hall, Braun, and Hart fully capable of swiping at least 20 bags each.
The most important part of this return is the fact that Mike Cameron plays centerfield exceptionally well. He has highlight reels of diving catches, him crashing into walls, and taking away numerous home runs.
He's got two Gold Gloves to back this up.
For a guy who was drafted in the 18th round in 1991 by the White Sox, Cameron is now coming into a leadership role for Milwaukee.
He was in Cincinnati when the Reds decided to trade for Ken Griffey, Jr., and Cameron was sent to Seattle with three other guys.
I see a comparison between Cameron and Griffey in that if you choose to hit it their way, you better hit it over the wall. Because if a ball is hit anywhere in the vicinity of these guys, it's going to be an out.
The Brewers are still a young team offensively, but Jason Kendall and now Mike Cameron hope to help propel this team into the playoffs for the first time since 1982.
Milwaukee's outfield will now consist of Ryan Braun in left, Corey Hart in right, and now Cameron taking charge in centerfield. Opposing hitters beware because when facing the Brewers, it's going to take some kind of at-bat to find a gap in that outfield.
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