Lucroy solidifying place behind plate

Lucroy solidifying place behind plate

PHOENIX -- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke couldn't ask for much more from his catcher than the solid spring performance Jonathan Lucroy has put on as he prepares for his second full season as the starting backstop. Lucroy entered Sunday hitting .636 (7-for-11) with three doubles, a homer, and two RBIs.

"Luc is going to keep getting better and better," Roenicke said. "He'll certainly be better this year than he was last year. I think he'll continue to grow that way. I think he'll be better offensively, too. He's a good hitter. We saw flashes last year, where he had a great month and then he'd tail off. I think he'll be more consistent."

What Roenicke is really looking forward to is the quantum leap that can take place as a catcher gets even more familiar with his pitching staff.

"The longer that you're used to a catcher, the more you start thinking on the same page," Roenicke said. "It makes a difference when a pitcher's thinking of a certain pitch, and, boom, the catcher gives it to him. It helps him with his confidence. If he's always looking in there and he's thinking a pitch and he's getting something different, sometimes there's a question of, 'Which one should I be throwing?' You don't want doubt in a pitcher's mind."

Lucroy is benefiting from extra time with bench coach Jerry Narron, a former big league catcher. A spring injury in 2011 kept Lucroy from some of the fundamental work that is making a big difference so far in the 2012 Cactus League season.

"He blocks well, but it's a matter of keeping that ball in close when he blocks," Roenicke said. "He throws well, but he's got to be more accurate with the throws. He'll get more consistent in all that. He's young, and the confidence [will come]. Once he's totally confident in his whole game, he's going to be a better player."