Brewers try putting Hart at first base

Brewers try putting Hart at first base

MILWAUKEE -- In less than a week, Corey Hart has been the focus of multiple changes for the Brewers.

Four days after moving into the leadoff spot in an effort to jump-start the offense, Hart made just his second career start at first base Monday against the Giants at Miller Park.

Hart had started 145 games as Milwaukee's leadoff hitter before manager Ron Roenicke juggled the lineup Friday. He's been atop the order three times since the move, but Monday against the Giants, he became the first Brewers first baseman to bat leadoff since Mark Loretta on Sept. 21, 1999.

"Right now, we're in the trial mode," Hart said. "We need to find a way to get things in a better rhythm. Right now, it's not working, and I think we're going to keep trying things, lineup shuffles, and something's going to work. We have a good enough team that one of these situations, you're going to come up and it will be a positive."

Entering Monday, Hart was a career .282 hitter with a .336 on-base percentage in 693 plate appearances in the one-hole. His .527 slugging percentage from that position is actually the highest for any of the four spots in which Hart has hit extensively -- first, second, fifth and sixth.

He batted leadoff for extended stints in 2007, when Rickie Weeks was out with a right wrist injury, and in 2011, when the Brewers flipped Weeks and Hart in the order to generate more production from the five-hole, where Hart was uncomfortable batting behind Prince Fielder.

As far as first base goes, Hart hadn't started there since 2006 and had only played parts of four games at that position. He did play 179 games at first while in the Minors, more than any other position except for third base (187).

Roenicke said he'd rather move Hart to first permanently as opposed to switching him between there and right field. Hart said first base is "not my favorite spot," but he won't complain as long as he's in the lineup.

"Right now we're trying to do whatever we can to get wins," Hart said. "And if that's going to help, then I'll go over there."