Brewers preview Opening Day lineup

Brewers preview Opening Day lineup

Brewers preview Opening Day lineup
PHOENIX -- With the team's ownership group and major sponsors on hand Saturday, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke posted a potential preview of his Opening Day batting order.

Before left fielder Ryan Braun exited after the top of the first inning against the D-backs, the eight spots above the pitcher looked like this:

1. Rickie Weeks, 2B
2. Carlos Gomez, CF
3. Braun, LF
4. Prince Fielder, 1B
5. Casey McGehee, 3B
6. Mark Kotsay, RF
7. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS
8. George Kottaras, C

The question marks are right field, where starter Corey Hart has been shut down because of a rib-cage strain, and catcher, where Kottaras and Wil Nieves have been splitting starts while projected starter Jonathan Lucroy recovers from a fractured pinkie finger.

If Hart can get back on the field by Opening Day, he could hit second and bump Gomez down to sixth or seventh.

But if Kotsay has to step in, Saturday's lineup "could be real similar" to the one the Brewers post on March 31 in Cincinnati, Roenicke said.

"[Hart] is not your typical second hitter, but he's done really well in that spot and he likes it in that spot," Roenicke said. "If you put him there, I certainly wouldn't want to pitch to those first five guys. It makes it really dangerous up front in the lineup.

"If Gomez was a guy that turns into a .350 on-base percentage, Gomez would fit real nicely in that second spot. I don't know if he's going to be a guy who can all of a sudden change that much."

Roenicke said he'd have no problem giving Gomez a green light to run ahead of Braun and Fielder.

"There's no reason not to," Roenicke said. "If he gets in scoring position [with first base open] and they don't want to pitch to Ryan, then they have to pitch to Prince. Any time you can get someone in scoring position, for me, you have to do it."