MILWAUKEE — Brewers manager Ron Roenicke is in a tricky but enviable spot when it comes to his catching situation.
He must find a way to keep valuable backup Martin Maldonado in a groove, but starter Jonathan Lucroy is an integral part of Milwaukee’s lineup. Though it’s tough to figure out a plan that works for all parties, most managers would love to have just one of the two catchers Roenicke has on his roster.
Maldonado is making his first start of the season Wednesday against Colorado, catching Wily Peralta. Though Maldonado has caught Peralta quite a bit in the minor leagues, Roenicke is not making him his personal catcher.
“I think sometimes that first outing it’s nice when he’s more comfortable with somebody that’s comfortable with him,” Roenicke said. “Luc caught him well last year. It’s not something that we will do every time.
“We’ll see how the games go. We’ll see what the pitching matchups are against us and figure out who catches who.”
Roenicke has a ratio in mind of how much he wants to play each catcher, but he said it changes all time time.
“Their production helps that decision,” Roenicke said. “If Maldonado is swinging the bat like he was last year, he’s going to play more than once every week or once every five days because he does such a good job defensively. If he’s swinging the bat, he’s going to be in there more.”
No restrictions: Roenicke will not place a set pitch count on right-hander Kyle Lohse when he makes his Brewers debut Friday against Arizona.
Lohse signed with the Brewers a week before the season started and had just one spring training game to prepare. He had been throwing against college hitters in Arizona while waiting to sign with a team and feels stretched out, but he just hasn’t faced the level of competition he will Friday.
“It really depends on how easy he’s getting through innings,” Roenicke said. “If he’s getting through innings easy, we’ll let him go a ways. If he’s struggling, we aren’t going to go a lot of pitches with him.”
Is Lohse ready to make a big league start so soon after coming to the Brewers?
“To be midseason ready?” Roenicke said. “He’s not midseason ready.”