Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox – USA Today
Perhaps if the Milwaukee Brewers want to look at an internal option for first base, they could look at catcher Jonathan Lucroy. In the past, Lucroy has filled in at the position when the Brewers really ran out of options for the base and he did well. Why not try it again?
Putting Lucroy at first is something I think would have to be dependent completely on what Martin Maldonado can produce out of an everyday role. Of course, by putting Lucroy at first the Brewers could finally find an answer for the position since nobody in the organization seems terribly confident in Juan Francisco or Hunter Morris.
Some would say moving Lucroy from his prominent role as a catcher might be a shame because you just don’t get many decent hitting catchers. While it’s true and I’d be inclined to side with that concern just a little, look at what the Minnesota Twins did with Joe Mauer. He’s now their everyday first baseman and they’ve found someone to solidify the catcher’s role.
Maldonado was not impressive by any stretch of the imagination in 2013, hitting only .169/.236/.284 in 67 games, but what else can you really expect out of a back-up catcher? Perhaps the Brewers could wait on prospect Clint Coulter, but he’s slated to make a major league debut in 2016. Even then, it’s not as if anyone would expect him to put up tremendous numbers out of the gate.
Obviously there’s a lot of concern if the Brewers transitioned Lucroy to first base, but it doesn’t have to be a permanent move. If they feel Francisco, Morris or even Sean Halton cannot get the job done, then platoon Lucroy’s bat with them. Maybe the more chances Maldonado would get behind the plate could help improve his game and perhaps we would see shades of his 2012.
A lot of this is wishful thinking I know, but the Brewers’ pursuit of a first baseman kind of skips over a lot of internal options. Talks with the New York Mets and Ike Davis have seemed to stand still and all for the better I say. The Brewers don’t need to waste a player on a guy like Davis who might not even put forth more production than Francisco could.
All I’m saying is the Brewers might want to consider giving Lucroy more starts at first in 2014. By no means does this say that Lucroy will be the first baseman, but it gives the Brewers a solid bat at a position that has been plagued since the beginning of 2013. There are certainly worse options for the Brewers to put at first base.