Brewers C Lucroy getting on track
Catcher Jonathan Lucroy took part in another minor league intra-squad game Thursday and is on track to join the Milwaukee Brewers for Cactus League games, possibly as early as next week.
Lucroy, who emerged as a cornerstone last season, batting a team-leading .301 with 13 home runs, 69 RBIs and a National League-best 53 doubles, has been off to a slow start in spring because of a upper hamstring strain in his right leg suffered just before camp began.
He was also held back the first week of camp because of the flu, but he has been taking part in bullpen sessions and other drills and, late last week, began running again.
“He’s at a point where he can run,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “So, if he gets a hit, he can run the bases. So hopefully we’re close to getting him back with us.”
The plan heading into camp was to also get Lucroy some work at first base, where he made 19 appearances and started 16 games last season. Roenicke plans to use him there again this season in a partial platoon with left-handed-hitting Adam Lind, who was acquired over the offseason from Toronto.
Lucroy has done a little bit of work at the position, and feels confident if he’s needed to man the bag this season.
“I’ve been taking some ground balls, trying to make double plays and stuff like that,” Lucroy said. “I think I’ll definitely get some games in.”
Lind has been battling back issues during camp. With him and Lucroy both limited, Roenicke has used the opportunity to get extended looks at other players in camp, including prospect Matt Clark and backup catcher Martin Maldonado, who has also played a few games at first base.
“We always talk about the extra players and what they need to do,” Roenicke said. “For me, they need to play a lot more than the starters need to play because when you start the regular season … it comes to a halt pretty fast. If ‘Luc’ progresses with what he’s doing, he’s going to catch unless we need to give him a day off.”