MILWAUEE -- Tony Plush has become Tony Part Time, and Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said his eccentric outfielder has been "great" about the transition.
Nyjer Morgan, whose slew of alter egos, presided over by Plush, won plenty of fans last season when he was the Brewers' primary center fielder, batted .304 and delivered the 10th-inning single in Game 5 of the National League Division Series that propelled the Brewers to the NL Championship Series.
This season, he is batting .243 and has played second fiddle to Carlos Gomez, who leads Morgan in center-field starts, 84-48, after Morgan got the nod on Saturday against the Mets.
"It's tough on him," Roenicke said. "He's been great. I've had a lot of conversations with him, and he understands. He's been swinging the bat well for a while now, and yet not playing much. 'Gomey' was doing so well offensively, and obviously I like his defense, that he's played almost every day. So it's been tough on Nyjer, but he's been really good."
Last year at Miller Park, the Brewers were selling out of "Tony Plush" T-shirts. This year, Morgan has kept a much lower profile.
Roenicke often stops by Morgan's locker before games to check in.
"I need to," Roenicke said. "I understand what the thinking is there, and I know he wants to perform well. And for wherever he is next year -- if he's back here, if he's somewhere else -- he knows it's important that he finishes well. To do that, he knows he needs to play some, but he understands it. So it's been nice on me. He's been great about it."
Morgan will be arbitration eligible again this winter after earning $2.35 million in 2012.