Nobody has benefitted from the Brewers' rash of injuries more than outfielder Billy McKinney. The former first-round pick played his way onto the roster with an offensive surge late in spring training and excelled off the bench in some early-season pinch-hitting appearances.
He's only hitting .171 (7-for-41) since moving into the starting lineup April 14, but his hits have come at important moments. He homered in each of the first two games of Milwaukee's three-game sweep against the Padres last week and his leadoff double in the ninth inning Sunday sparked a five-run rally in the Brewers' 6-0 victory over the Cubs.
Overall, McKinney is batting .245 with three home runs, five RBIs and a .731 OPS in 54 plate appearances.
"Billy has filled in as well as we could have hoped," Counsell said. "He's played really well and he's doing a nice job. We still want Christian back every day, there's no question, but in the meantime Billy has proven that he can help us win games and he's done that."
McKinney has also impressed with his glove. After his home run in Game 2 against the Padres, McKinney bailed Corbin Burnes out of a fourth-inning jam when he chased down Wil Myers' fly ball to the right-field corner, robbing him of at least one RBI with a diving catch.
"That was by far the play of the year," Burnes said.