After a year away from baseball, a rejuvenated and eager Jim Edmonds entered spring training as a non-roster invitee for the Milwaukee Brewers. No guarantees were made to him by manager Ken Macha or the Brewer organization, but Edmonds fought his way onto the 40 man roster, and made the 25-man cut near the end of spring.
His veteran experience should be the key factor in Edmond's success, given that with age his talents at the plate have diminished a bit over the years.
Still nimble in the outfield, however, Edmonds will push both Carlos Gomez and Corey Hart for playing time in center and right field.
Edmonds' arrival in Milwaukee might be a surprising one for close followers of the Brewers or Edmonds, considering his Brewer-killer past as a St. Louis Cardinal.
Batting .292/.382/.500 this spring, Edmonds was an easy selection for the Brewers to keep on their bench, especially when factoring in Hart's unspectacular .142/.182/.357 spring campaign.
For Edmonds, expectations should be tampered for two reasons: 1) He hasn't seen MLB action for over a year, and with starters Gomez and Hart to surely get a fair shot to stay in the outfield, Edmonds will certainly be on a short leash if given spot starts throughout the season. 2) He's 40 years old, and while baseball is "a game for the ages", lets not misunderstand that for "a game for the aged" as one can tell if a player has lost his bat speed or productivity.
Judging by his spring, Edmonds' only real concern is playing time at this point.
.281 BA, 10 HRs, 39 RBI
It's tough to make predictions given that the unpredictability of an injury to either Gomez or Hart, which could open the door for a more prominent role for Edmonds.
But as Manager Ken Macha says, "This is about production. We expect to win games. I, as a manager, will be evaluated on us winning games, and I'm certainly going to put guys out there in a position where they can be successful." Macha expects Edmonds to reach roughly 250 at-bats.