His attitude changed last week when Ryan Braun was lost for the season to a suspension. With Aramis Ramirez and Corey Hart injured, Lucroy knew the team could not afford to be without another big bat on days like Wednesday, when Martin Maldonado was the starting catcher because Wily Peralta was on the mound.
The idea was Lucroy's.
"I went to [manager Ron Roenicke] after Brauny went down," Lucroy said. "I said, 'Look, I've got to stay in the lineup. I've got to. So what do I need to do?' ... We're going to go over there today and do some early work, and basically that's it. I'm just going to try to stop the ball and keep it in front of me. Don't try to be a Gold Glover or anything, just make the routine plays. Keep my bat in the lineup and see what happens."
Roenicke confirmed that Lucroy volunteered. Asked whether it made him nervous to play so inexperienced a player at such an involved position, Roenicke said he was "not any more nervous than some of the other guys."
"I love for a player to do that because that means he's wanting to be in there and wanting to do it," Roenicke said. "Anytime we approach somebody, they may say they want to do it, but down deep, you never know."
Fielder played nearly every day in all of his six full seasons with the Brewers. In 2011, Roenicke's first year at the helm, Fielder played all 162 games, started 159 at first base and played the position for 1,394 2/3 of the Brewers' 1,441 2/3 defensive innings.
Here are the 12 men to start at first base since Fielder's departure: Brooks Conrad, Yuniesky Betancourt, Sean Halton, Juan Francisco, Mat Gamel, Alex Gonzlalez, Taylor Green, Hart, Travis Ishikawa, Blake Lalli, Lucroy and Maldonado.
Before their starts for the Brewers in the past season and a half, six of those players had never played an inning at first base in the Major Leagues: Betancourt, Francisco, Gonzalez, Halton, Hart and Lucroy.
As for whether this could portend a more permanent switch, Lucroy said, "I'm a catcher. I don't think I hit enough to be a first baseman, anyway."