Roenicke on Reynolds: ‘He’ll bounce back’

Brewers manager Ron Roenicke expressed no reservations Friday about re-installing first baseman Mark Reynolds to the starting lineup, a day after Reynolds committed a mental error which contributed to an extra-inning loss to the Cardinals.

Forgetting there was only one out in the eighth inning of that game, Reynolds missed an opportunity to initiate what he and Roenicke agree would have been a double play to end the eighth inning with the Brewers ahead, 2-0. Instead, the Cardinals exploited the opening, scored twice to tie the game and won in 13 innings.

“He’ll bounce back,” Roenicke said. “This is one of our sharpest guys out there. That’s what’s baffling about it. This guy, instinctually, is unbelievable. That’s why when you see those things happen, it’s surprising. And, you know, why couldn’t you do it in a game that didn’t matter? Or a month ago, when maybe we were inning 6-0 in a game and you make a mistake? It’s just when he made it that was so tough.”

Reynolds was the pick to start Friday because the Pirates had a left-hander, Jeff Locke, on the mound. Roenicke’s other option would have been starting Jonathan Lucroy at first base and Martin Maldonado at catcher.

Had Reynolds’ brain fart occurred earlier in the season, might Roenicke and his coaches have made a different choice?

“No,” Roenicke said. “This guy feels worse than anybody does. Sitting him, it doesn’t make you come out and say, ‘Well, I’m going to concentrate better.’ Concentration is something that’s built up over years of playing this game and knowing, mentally, how to think about what you’re doing. There’s a lot of time in baseball between plays, and you’ve got all this time to think about everything else. Over time, you develop a pattern and a rhythm of what you do to make sure your thinking’s right. It was just one of those times when it was crucial.”

Roenicke added, “I’m playing the guys that we need to win this game tonight. Most of the time, that’s the way I do it.”

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