CINCINNATI – David Stearns stood in entrance of a pink velvet curtain within the bowels of Great American Ball Park and commenced rattling off his favourite reminiscences of Lorenzo Cain’s tenure with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Unfortunately for Cain – and the Brewers – there gained’t be any extra on the sphere within the blue and yellow.
The Brewers designated the centerfielder for project on the date of him reaching the 10-year mark of major-league service time, an necessary milestone for causes each intangible and tangible.
“Craig (Counsell, Brewers manager) and I sat down with Lo this morning,” Stearns, the Brewers president of baseball operations, mentioned Saturday. “It’s a milestone day for Lo, to get 10 years of service in the major leagues is an incredible accomplishment. We sat down with him and had a discussion about where we are, where he is, and through that came to really a mutual understanding that it’s probably time to part ways.
“Lo has been an incredible Brewer. He’s had an incredible career. I don’t know if this is the end of his career or not but if it is, he has been remarkable. And I think his contributions to our organization have really been beyond what we could have expected when we signed him.”
Lorenzo Cain was struggling by means of 2022 season
This season had been a battle for Cain, who signed a five-year, $80-million free agent take care of the Brewers earlier than the 2018 season. He hit .179 with a .465 OPS, in the end being relegated to a task on the bench.
The choice, Cain mentioned, was a mutual one.
“It just got to a point where it’s probably time,” he mentioned. “I haven’t been performing like I would’ve liked but the situation is what it is. I’ve had a great career. I can’t really be upset about anything. But, yeah, it’s time.
“I wish all my teammates the best, coaches, trainers, everybody that I’ve played with or met throughout my entire career, I wish them nothing but the best. It’s been a really fun ride for me for sure.”
Cain was drafted by the Brewers within the seventeenth spherical in 2004 out of Tallahassee Community College and labored his means as much as make his big-league debut with the workforce in 2010. The Brewers traded him to Kansas City earlier than the 2011 season in a deal that introduced Zack Greinke to Milwaukee.
He gained a World Series, was named an all-star as soon as and gained the 2014 ALCS MVP award whereas with the Royals.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to only play for two teams,” Cain mentioned.
Cain was an prompt success in his second stint with the Brewers
Cain was an prompt stumble on becoming a member of the Brewers for a second time in 2018. He was named an all-star for the second time in his profession and completed seventh in MVP as Milwaukee got here inside one recreation of reaching the World Series.
“His 2018 was an incredible season,” Counsell mentioned. “I don’t know if it gets statistically ranked as that, but just what he did (was incredible).”
The play stood out to Counsell from that season was a show of baserunning wizardry from Cain in opposition to the Chicago Cubs through which he directed site visitors on the bases to foil the workforce’s rival out of an out.
An up-and-coming Brewers workforce was making an attempt to overhaul the Cubs within the division –two years after Chicago had gained the World Series – and each recreation mattered because the race got here right down to the very finish of the season.
“To me, it was symbolic, a little bit and a play that, you know, trying to take over, beat the Cubs,” Counsell mentioned. “And we beat them with a brilliant baserunning play, which is always the best way to beat somebody.”
Cain wasn’t done with memorable moments against the Cubs that season, either.
As Stearns reflected on Cain’s career, he referenced his go-ahead base hit in the eighth inning in Game 163 as the Brewers won the division at Wrigley Field.
Cain had many memorable moments in center field for the Brewers
Other moments that stood out, he said, were Cain’s game-saving home run robbery on opening day in 2019 and how he “scotch-taped himself together” and played through injury in Game 4 against the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS last year.
“That was a game that he had no business playing in and performing in,” Stearns said. “I think that exemplifies the type of player Lo is. There are very few players I’ve ever been around who would have the ability to get on the field.”
Cain won his first Gold Glove in center field in 2019 and was a superb defender all the way through his time with the Brewers. According to Baseball Reference, his defense alone was worth 5.7 wins above replacement.
Cain will wait to see if he gets picked up by another team before making a decision on what comes next, but retirement is in the realm of possibility.
“It’s a wait and see approach,” he said. “You take a day or two to kind of see where we’re at. Whatever the decision is, maybe to sign with another team or to call it quits altogether, either or, talk to the family, sit down, have a conversation with them. See where we’re at at the time.
“If it happens that I continue to play, good. If not, then same, it’s still good. It’s been fun. I’ve had a blast. I’m definitely gonna miss my teammates, all the guys that I’ve played with in the past. Sucks that it comes to an end but at the same time, it’s been a great run for me.”
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This article initially appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Brewers designate Lorenzo Cain for project earlier than recreation vs. Reds