Roenicke, Brewers at loss for lack of power
Crew entered Sunday with three homers, .313 slugging percentage
PITTSBURGH -- Manager Ron Roenicke expected the Brewers to go through a slump at some point. Every team does, and some skids stand out more based on when they occur during the season.
That's probably the case for Milwaukee.
But what Roenicke didn't expect is the Brewers' complete lack of power so far this season.
Milwaukee entered Sunday's series finale at PNC Park with a .313 slugging percentage, tied with the Phillies for the lowest mark in the Majors. The Brewers have hit only three home runs as a team, a jarring stat considering 33 players began the day Sunday with at least three homers. Carlos Gomez, Jean Segura and Adam Lind have hit the Crew's only home runs.
"I expect our guys to drive the ball better," Roenicke said. "It's nice when you have guys on base so you can be driving in a lot of runs, but yeah, I didn't expect us to struggle like this."
Compounding the issue is the Brewers' .271 on-base percentage, second-lowest in the Majors. Milwaukee's lineup is built to survive a low on-base percentage, but that comes with the assumption that the club is piling up extra-base hits and home runs.
"We're not an on-base team. We're a slugging team," Roenicke said. "We depend on these guys to drive the ball."
Around the horn
• The Brewers trotted out a more conventional lineup Sunday, putting Ryan Braun back into the third spot a day after his big league debut as a leadoff hitter.
Roenicke was pleased to see the plan pay off as Braun got on base three times and scored in the first inning, but ideally Braun will play the part of run producer as the Brewers look to get back on track.
"If Braunie's going to start swinging, it'd be nice to have somebody on base for him," Roenicke said.
• Three bright spots offensively for the Brewers: Segura (.350/.381/.475), Khris Davis (on base in each of his 10 starts, batting .308/.357/.410) and Lind (.306/.405/.500).
Roenicke has been particularly pleased with Segura's work so far.
"Good in spring, good too this season, great defense," he said. "I like a lot what I'm seeing from him."
• Luis Jimenez got the start at third base in place of Aramis Ramirez, who is batting just .140 with nine strikeouts and no walks.
"It's bothering him, individually, and it's bothering him because he knows he needs to hit for us to win ballgames," Roenicke said of Ramirez. "So I think the combination of it is getting to him."