MILWAUKEE—Second baseman Cutter Dykstra knows what it's like to be challenged, on and off the field.
A second-round prep pick in 2008 out of Westlake Village, Calif., Dykstra struggled mightily with low Class A Wisconsin last season, batting just .212/.310/.303 in 99 at-bats.
Worse, it became evident that he was a duck out of water in center field, a position he took up as an amateur after vacating shortstop.
So the Brewers demoted Dykstra back to Rookie-level Helena last summer for a second season. There, he was to learn to play second base and regain confidence, but in 209 at-bats he hit just .244/.332/.349 with five home runs.
"When they drafted me, they wanted to try me out in center field," said the 5-foot-11, 175-pound Dykstra. "I think I could have played there and got better at it. But I think going to second base is best for me."
While going through those on-field trials, Dykstra also had to weather the public humiliation experienced by his father Lenny, who filed for bankruptcy after a series of risky business ventures failed. The elder Dykstra retired in 1996 after 12 seasons in the big leagues.
Beyond losing his home and considerable savings, Lenny also lost wife Terri, who filed for divorce. His name also surfaced in the infamous Mitchell Report.
Despite that ugly family situation, Cutter said he remained close to his father.
"He's an awesome person, especially for me," said Dykstra. "If there's anybody I want to talk to about the game, it's him. He was one of the smartest players in baseball.
"I still talk to my mom and dad every day. They're both there for me. They're apart now. It was some tough times, but that's part of life."
The Brewers planned to send Dykstra back to Helena this summer, but after swinging a hot bat in extended spring training, they changed course and sent him to Wisconsin.
"Last year was a tough year," Dykstra said. "After the last game of the season, I said to myself, 'I don't want another year like that again. I'm going to set my mind every day of the offseason to be a player, and show them I can hit, that I can be an all-star player.' "
• The Brewers signed veteran outfielder Josh Anderson, who had been cut by the Reds, and assigned him to Triple-A Nashville.
• Nashville second baseman Eric Farris was expected to miss at least two months after spraining a knee ligament in a collision at home plate.