Coming into spring training, the odds appeared stacked against Blake Lalli making the Milwaukee Brewers' opening-day roster.

Then, just like that, things started falling into place.

Mat Gamel was lost after the first workout to a season-ending knee injury, freeing up playing time at first base. Jonathan Lucroy and Martin Maldonado had long runs in the World Baseball Classic, opening an opportunity behind the plate.

In the month or so since, the 29-year-old Lalli made the most of his chances to the point where manager Ron Roenicke indicated he has a shot at breaking camp with the major-league club.

"As a player the only thing you can really ask for is opportunity," Lalli said. "Then it's up to you. You can play well or you can play bad. Both (Lucroy and Maldonado), it shows what their countries think of them when they went to play in the Classic.

"But obviously I knew I was going to get a good opportunity."

The Brewers signed Lalli on Nov. 14 and invited him to major-league camp as a non-roster player. He came in as one of seven catchers, but quickly became a fixture in the daily lineup either behind the plate or at first base thanks in part to his left-handed bat.

During camp he's earned a reputation as a good game-caller, competent first baseman and solid hitter - in short, a guy who isn't going to wow anyone but does the little things to help a team win.

Lalli is hitting .375 with a home run and seven runs batted in over 32 at-bats.

Lalli was undrafted out of Gardner-Webb University. He began displaying his versatility there, playing mostly third base but dabbling behind the plate as well.