Lucroy starts at 1B: ‘I’ve got to stay in the lineup’
The Brewers knew they would have a hard time replacing Prince Fielder when he signed with the Tigers for 2012, but not this much trouble. Jonathan Lucroy on Wednesday became the 12th different player to start a game at first for Milwaukee in the past season and a half.
“Being realistic, if you’re going to screw up, this is a good time to screw up,” said Lucroy, who had previously expressed reservations about manning the position until he had time to learn it in Spring Training. “This is a good year to do it because we’re kind of out of it anyway. It’s a good time to get some experience out there, some game-speed stuff.”
His attitude changed last week when Ryan Braun was lost for the season to a suspension. With Aramis Ramirez and Corey Hart injured, Lucroy knew the team could not afford to be without another big bat on days like Wednesday, when Martin Maldonado was the starting catcher because Wily Peralta was on the mound.
The idea was apparently Lucroy’s.
“I went to [manager Ron Roenicke] after Brauny went down,” Lucroy said. “I said, ‘Look, I’ve got to stay in the lineup. I’ve got to. So what do I need to do?’ … We’re going to go over there today and do some early work, and basically that’s it. I’m just going to try to stop the ball and keep it in front of me. Don’t try to be a Gold Glover or anything, just make the routine plays. Keep my bat in the lineup and see what happens.”
As for whether this could portend a more permanent switch, Lucroy said, “I’m a catcher. I don’t think I hit enough to be a first baseman, anyway.”
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