04/03/2013 8:15 PM ET
Segura finding success the opposite way
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
MILWAUKEE -- Throughout Spring Training, shortstop Jean Segura's power was to right field, and two of his first four regular-season hits went the same direction.
Is this by design?
"It's natural," Segura said. "I always seem to hit the ball the other way. Sometimes, I don't try to go over there, and it happens."
That was good news to manager Ron Roenicke, who was pleased to see the unproven 23-year-old get off to a solid start. Segura was 4-for-7 in the Brewers' first two games after batting .367 (22-for-60) in 21 Spring Training games. Before that, he won the Dominican Winter League's batting title with a .324 average.
"The guys in the league that hit well for an average, that's where they hit," Roenicke said, referring to the opposite-field approach. "That keeps you on the offspeed stuff. I think if he's going to hit in this league and hit for a high average, he has to do that."
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."
Roenicke understands challenges Davis faces
MILWAUKEE -- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke knows well the challenge facing Khris Davis, who rode a red-hot Spring Training to the final spot on the bench and is getting a crash course in the rigors of pinch-hitting.
Roenicke filled the same role when he made his first Opening Day roster with the Dodgers in 1982. He didn't get his first hit until his 10th plate appearance.
"It's a tough job -- the toughest job in baseball," Roenicke said. "I don't think you know how a guy is going to handle it until you get him in that position and get him enough at-bats to see if he's a guy who can handle it. Especially being young, I haven't seen too many guys who are young who have done that job well. I know that was my job when I came to the big leagues, and I didn't do a very good job."
Roenicke did enjoy more success as that season wore on. He finished '82 with a .298 average as a pinch-hitter (13-for-45) and a .307 average as a mid-game substitution (23-for-75).
Roenicke will give Davis time to adjust to the role before forming any opinions. He is already fretting Davis' light workload.
"If you think about our outfield, they're going to play most of the time, and if somebody rests, it's probably going to be [Logan] Schafer [getting the start]," Roenicke said. "How to get Davis at-bats is really difficult. I just talked about it today."
Davis grounded out in the ninth inning on Opening Day and struck out in the sixth inning on Tuesday.
• A pair of former Brewers were on the move on Wednesday. Infielder Donnie Murphy, who lost his spot on Milwaukee's Opening Day roster when the team signed Yuniesky Betancourt late in camp, signed a Minor League deal with the Cubs and will report to Triple-A Iowa. Right-hander Josh Stinson, claimed off waivers by the A's over the weekend, was designated for assignment because Oakland needed a spot on its 40-man roster.
• Manager Ron Roenicke was displeased with the way his pitchers executed against the Rockies' Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki in the first two games of the season. Both players homered in each of those games, and when Roenicke was asked whether any of the home run offerings were good pitches, he responded simply, "No."
"They're great hitters, and we're not pitching them well," Roenicke said. "That combination doesn't work out very well."
• Brewers officials are banking on a surge in ticket sales for Friday's series opener against the D-backs. It will be right-hander Kyle Lohse's debut, but as of mid-week that game had the lightest pre-sale of any game on the opening homestand. Good seats remained in all sections.