Brewers pleased to see McGehee flourishing

Brewers pleased to see McGehee flourishing

MIAMI -- A handful of Brewers found a familiar face in the Marlins' dugout during this weekend's series.

Casey McGehee, who played for Milwaukee from 2009-11, is Miami's starting third baseman. He entered Sunday ranked eighth in the National League with 30 RBIs in the cleanup spot and second in the Majors with a .431 average with runners in scoring position.

The 31-year-old experienced the ups and downs of baseball -- not just in the big leagues -- with the Brewers.

McGehee's breakout season came in 2010, when he hit .285 with 23 homers and 104 RBIs batting behind Prince Fielder. The following year, when the club captured a pennant for the first time since 1982, he struggled with a .223 clip, 13 dingers and 67 RBIs.

"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."

After another tough season in 2012, with the Pirates and the Yankees, McGehee signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, with whom he revitalized his career. In 144 games, he blasted 28 home runs and 93 RBIs.

Ryan Braun kept tabs while his former teammate played in Japan.

"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."

McGehee's production in Japan caught the Brewers' attention. Manager Ron Roenicke and the organization discussed the possibility of bringing him back, but the Marlins signed him early in the offseason.

"The year we had him there in '11, he really got in a mental state to where he had lost his confidence," 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 to try to get back his confidence."

Christina De Nicola is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.