Roenicke OK with no lefties in the bullpen

Roenicke OK with no lefties in the bullpen

Roenicke OK with no lefties in the bullpen
NEW YORK -- No left-handers in the bullpen? No problem, says Brewers manager Ron Roenicke.

He remains all right with the Brewers' all-righty relief corps, and said there is a strong chance they will go without a lefty reliever until rosters expand Sept. 1.

"I like our bullpen the way it is," he said. "I just can't imagine our bullpen being any better than what it has been, so why have a left-hander in there? If it's a lights-out lefty, that's different."

Roenicke has had discussions with general manager Doug Melvin about "lights-out" left-handers, but none are available via trade, Roenicke said. A club source said the team called the White Sox about Matt Thornton before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline but were rebuffed.

It's not an issue, Roenicke said, because the Brewers are set in the eighth and ninth innings with setup man Francisco Rodriguez and closer John Axford. That means a left would primarily be used in the sixth and seventh innings, but those opportunities may be few, too. Brewers starters have been consistently working through the sixth inning, and one of the seventh-inning men, LaTroy Hawkins, has actually been better this season against left-handed batters, holding them to a .177 average through his first 41 games.

"Eighth or ninth [inning], there's no way I'm bringing in a lefty, and in the sixth or seventh, if you bring in a left-handed specialist, you're talking about using three pitchers in an inning," Roenicke said. "Say I start [Takashi] Saito in the inning, and a big lefty comes up and I bring in a lefty. He gets him out, or maybe doesn't get him out, now I have to go to a right-hander.

"It doesn't work out that well."