Roenicke mulling lineup options

Roenicke mulling lineup options

PHOENIX -- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke still has six weeks to set a starting lineup, but his discussions with reporters have been providing some clues about his thinking.

Rickie Weeks is set as the leadoff man, and Roenicke will almost surely use some combination of Corey Hart, Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder and Casey McGehee in the two- through five-holes. McGehee led the team with 104 RBIs last season hitting fifth, but Hart could also bat in that spot.

However those players line up, it looks like Roenicke has three open slots, and if Saturday's conversation was a guide, it appears as if he's leaning toward hitting new shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt sixth, center fielder Carlos Gomez seventh and catcher Jonathan Lucroy eighth.

"Betancourt, here's a guy who had a nice year last year in a tough hitting ballpark [in Kansas City]," Roenicke said. "So, he's not your on-base guy because he doesn't walk a lot, but he's driving in runs and he's hitting home runs. Where do you put him? ... Whoever our last bopper is [in the five-hole], somebody has to be there to protect him a little bit. Maybe [Betancourt] is the guy."

Roenicke has said he likes an on-base-minded player in the eight-hole to help turn over the lineup. Lucroy could fit that bill. His on-base percentage after a May call-up last season was a modest .300, but that was better than the marks put up by Betancourt and Gomez.

"I think if you look at what Lucroy did in the Minor Leagues, he's not a low on-base guy," Roenicke said. "You can't go by what Lucroy did last year. He had a lot on his plate after he came to the big leagues, trying to handle a staff."