Brewers batting order in flux

Brewers batting order in flux

Brewers batting order in flux
PHOENIX -- Another day, another new Brewers lineup.

Milwaukee ranks near the bottom of the National League in 2012 lineup permutations, but has been charging up the list. Manager Ron Roenicke used a new order for the 11th straight game on Sunday, fielding the team's 32nd different starting lineup in 47 games.

With Travis Ishikawa bothered by a rib-cage issue, Corey Hart started at first base against a right-handed pitcher for the first time. And with third baseman Aramis Ramirez still out with a bruised elbow, catcher George Kottaras made his first career start in the cleanup spot.

"There's a whole bunch of stuff going on," Roenicke said. "I've never had so many days in a row where you're fighting with who to put out there in the lineup. It has been [taxing]. Last year was really easy. ... The thoughts were when somebody is a little banged up, 'OK, he needs a day.' Other than that, it was the same."

He joked: "In other words, last year was just a push-button club, wasn't it?"

Not exactly, but this year has certainly been more challenging. Roenicke far preferred the stability of 2011.

"No doubt about it," he said. "It's so nice coming in knowing those same guys are going to be there every day in that same order."

That's rare. Consider Sunday's opponent, the D-backs, who used their 44th different batting order on Sunday.