Lucroy-Maldonado time share in flux
MILWAUKEE -- After Jonathan Lucroy started the Brewers' first two games at catcher, it was Martin Maldonado's turn on Wednesday, a pick that made sense because Maldonado has handled starting pitcher Wily Peralta throughout the young right-hander's career.
Lucroy is the Brewers' regular starter and Maldonado the backup, but their ratio of games remains malleable.
"I do [have a ratio] in mind, but it changes all the time, and their production helps that decision," manager Ron Roenicke said. "If 'Maldy' is swinging the bat like he was last year, he's going to play more than once every week or once every five days. He does such a good job, defensively, that if he's swinging the bat, he's going to be in there more."
Maldonado batted .285 with eight home runs and 29 RBIs in 58 starts last season, most of them coming while Lucroy was on the disabled list with a broken hand.
There have been no promises about playing time, Maldonado said.
"That's fine with me," he said. "Like I always say, I come here every day expecting to play, and when it doesn't happen, you change."
Lucroy was 0-for-8 in the first two games, though he hit a winning sacrifice fly in the 10th inning on Opening Day. Maldonado's start on Wednesday was more about the pitcher, Roenicke said.
"I think, sometimes, that first outing is nice, when [Peralta] is more comfortable with somebody that's comfortable with him," Roenicke said. "'Luc' caught him well last year, so it's not something we'll do every time. We'll see how the games go, what the pitching matchups are against us, and figure out who catches when."