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Gomez could land leadoff spot in Brewers' lineup

Gomez could land leadoff spot in Brewers' lineup

PHOENIX -- Center fielder Carlos Gomez led off for a second straight game on Tuesday, as the Brewers continued mulling options for that important position in the batting order.

Manager Ron Roenicke needs a replacement for outfielder Norichika Aoki, who was traded to the Royals over the winter after batting leadoff for most of the past two seasons. He left a void, since the Brewers' stolen-base threats -- Gomez and shortstop Jean Segura -- do not work many walks. Second baseman Rickie Weeks has extensive experience hitting leadoff, but he appears destined to platoon with Scooter Gennett.

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"They're swingers," Roenicke said. "They swing the bat. Their on-base [percentage] is basically a little bit above their batting average. So 'Gomey' causes problems because, for one, he's scary to start a game against, and then second, if he gets on base, he can steal bases. 'Siggy,' the same way. He can steal bases. Rickie has probably a little better on-base, but he doesn't run like the other two, and neither does Scooter. ...

"That's why we're putting Gomez there, to see what it looks like. As much as you tell guys, 'Just be yourself. We're moving you in the order, but don't change anything,' there's still something about that leadoff spot that they change. I understand that, so that's why we're wanting to see it. If Carlos can go out and be the guy he was in the six-spot [in 2013], then he fits that."

Roenicke liked what he saw in the Brewers' 9-3 win over the Rangers on Tuesday afternoon, when Gomez hit a three-run home run in the fifth inning after helping to manufacture a run in the fourth. He doubled in that inning, moved to third on a Segura groundout, then scored on a Ryan Braun groundout for a 1-0 Brewers lead.

"'Siggy' did a nice job of getting him over, and then you get a ground ball from Ryan and you've got a point," Roenicke said. "That's how it's set up anyway. You hope it works that way a lot. I still don't know. We'll continue to see how it looks and figure out what we want to do."

If Segura is the pick to lead off, catcher Jonathan Lucroy could bat second and Gomez could move to fifth. If Gomez leads off, Segura would probably bat second and Lucroy would hit fifth.

Roenicke said "it would be nice having a clear picture going into the season what we're going to do, rather than the day before or two days before."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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