Marlins 3B Casey McGehee fondly remembers 2010 season with Brewers
Casey McGehee burst onto the scene with a .285 average, 23 home runs and 104 RBI in 2010 batting behind slugger Prince Fielder as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers. He happily remembers that season since it was Milwaukee's first division title since 1982.
Casey McGehee knocked 23 home runs and 104 RBI for a solid season with the Brewers four years ago.
Howard Smith / USA TODAY Sports
By Christina De Nicola
MIAMI -- How quickly the baseball gods can turn one's flourishing career upside down.
In 2010, Casey McGehee burst onto the scene with a .285 average, 23 home runs and 104 RBI batting behind slugger Prince Fielder as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers.
A year later, McGehee's numbers drastically dropped to a .223 clip, 13 dingers and 67 RBI. Despite his personal struggles, McGehee happily remembers that season because the organization captured its first division title since 1982.
"At the same time even my down year we were able to go to the postseason," McGehee said. "Even though I didn't have the year I wanted to personally it was still good. It was an experience I'll never forget about being a part of."
With the Brewers in the visiting dugout at Marlins Park this weekend, it's hard not to think about both the good and bad memories. McGehee is now the starting third baseman for the Miami Marlins.
Over parts of three seasons in Milwaukee from 2009-11, McGehee hit .267 with 52 long balls and 237 RBI in 428 games. His troubles continued with the Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Yankees in 2012, and McGehee signed a one-year contract with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles.
"It started off and just spiraled on me," McGehee said. "Trying everything I knew to get through it. It just wasn't working."
The change of scenery resuscitated his career as he recorded 28 homers and 93 RBI in 144 games.
Outfielder Ryan Braun was one of McGehee's former teammates who stayed in touch with him while he played in Japan. The pair hung out during Saturday's batting practice, catching up in person for the first time in years.
"He was such a good dude. We loved having him over here," Braun said. "Great guy, great player, great teammate. His family was a lot of fun to be around. I'm really happy for him. All of us over here are really happy for him."
Milwaukee had taken notice of McGehee's production in Japan. The organization considered bringing him back, but the Marlins signed him in mid-December as a free agent.
"The year we had him there in 2011 he really got in a mental state to where he had lost his confidence," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "You can't come off the year he had before and all of a sudden lose your skills. I knew it was a mental thing with him. I was glad to see he went over to Japan and I think for a lot for reasons. For one, they do throw a lot of offspeed pitches, which I think would help Casey. And the other try to get back his confidence."
The 31-year-old certainly brought back a thing or two from the Far East.
McGehee enters Sunday's finale batting .287 and ranks eighth in the National League with 30 RBI in the cleanup spot behind another slugger -- Giancarlo Stanton. He is third among major-league third basemen in multi-hit games (15). He ranks second in the majors with a .431 average with runners in scoring position.
"He's money. He was a great guy," Brewers infielder Rickie Weeks said. "Obviously he's a great player, doing the same thing over here for the Marlins. It's a great story. For a guy like him, he never gave up. He still wanted to play. He's still doing his thing now. I'm really happy for him."