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Roenicke’s brilliant lineup shuffle

June 5, 2014

Give Ron Roenicke credit.

For a manager that has a National League Central title on his resume, he doesn’t get enough of it. But one of his recent moves — of which I was skeptical at the time — is paying off in a big way.

Two weeks ago, Roenicke shuffled the Brewers’ lineup, moving shortstop Jean Segura to the leadoff spot and dropping Carlos Gomez from first to cleanup. Between them, slugger Ryan Braun slid up to second and catcher Jonathan Lucroy filled Braun’s usual No. 3 spot.

The results have made Roenicke look brilliant.

In the first 13 games with Segura leading off, the Brewers have averaged 5.84 runs, while posting games of 11, 9 and 8 runs. Over their first 47 games this season, the Brewers averaged just 3.79 runs per game, with four games in which they scored eight or more.

Individually, each of the four batters at the top of the Milwaukee lineup has flourished since the change.

Segura, Braun and Gomez have hit between 40 and 60 points better than their season averages since relocating within the lineup. And all four batters have produced more extra-base hits, combining for 17 doubles, three triples and five home runs over the last two weeks.

Even slotting Aramis Ramirez in the No. 5 spot looked brilliant with the Brewers third baseman slugging a three-run homer in his return to the lineup Wednesday night in Minneapolis.

It’s all still a very small sample size, and the results very well may be coincidental.

But the Brewers’ offense has finally started to break out. And their new-look lineup seems as likely a cause as any.

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