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Brewers call on Mark Reynolds and Lyle Overbay to handle first base; Juan Francisco the odd man out

Mar 23, 2014, 11:25 PM EDT

Juan Francisco AP

Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the Brewers have decided to use Mark Reynolds and Lyle Overbay at first base, leaving Juan Francisco on the outside looking in. Francisco, who hit 18 home runs with a .719 OPS in 385 plate appearances last season, was beat out by two non-roster invitees. It wasn’t due to a poor spring performance — Francisco slashed .346/.500/.731 in 26 at-bats while Reynolds OPSed .830 and Overbay .393.

Manager Ron Roenicke cited the duo’s prior body of work as well as defense in the team’s decision to take them over Francisco.

“We’re going with two guys that their track record is what we’re looking at,” said manager Ron Roenicke. “We feel we have better defense that way. I’ve been frustrated a little bit with the way we’re playing our defense, as has Doug (Melvin).

“We really feel like we’re going to pitch well this season. And because of that, we feel like we need to play good defense. When they talk about your defense being strong up the middle, we think we should be.”

As a result of making the big league roster, Reynolds will earn $2 million and Overbay will earn $1.5 million. Both can earn additional money by hitting certain performance thresholds.

As for Francisco, his future remains unclear. Rosiak suggests he would be a good fit as a DH for an American League team.

  1. toodrunktotastethischicken - Mar 23, 2014 at 11:46 PM

    Wouldn’t be surprised to see the Phillies take a chance on him as a corner IF.

  2. tfbuckfutter - Mar 23, 2014 at 11:47 PM

    Remember when the Brewers were surprisingly good for a short period of time?

    Well, they’re done doing that.

    But good luck with Lyle Overbay. I’m sure that will work out really really well. Although, if previous body of work is all it takes to earn a job there, I think Carlos Delgado might be available.

    • arizonagrit - Mar 24, 2014 at 12:58 AM

      I don’t understand thumbs down when faced with reality. People think this is about Francisco losing out on the job more than Overbay and Reynolds getting playing time.

      “When they talk about your defense being strong up the middle, we think we should be.”

      Forgot 1B was up the middle.

      • spudchukar - Mar 24, 2014 at 10:26 AM

        The Brewers are making the best of what they can, without signing a pricey FA. The platoon system with Overbay/Reynolds may not be optimal, but it is doable. Francisco, is the odd man out due to his defense.

        Overbay is still average or better as a defender, and can replace Reynolds in later innings, when the lefty starter is most probably gone; something Francisco cannot or should not be called on to do.

  3. drsodrel - Mar 24, 2014 at 12:43 AM

    JDP gonna bring him to the Halos.

  4. President Charles Logan - Mar 24, 2014 at 2:03 AM

    M

  5. President Charles Logan - Mar 24, 2014 at 2:04 AM

    Mark (Dave Kingman ) Reynolds can still hit you 20 bombs if he gets enough playing time

    • thebirdsareback - Mar 24, 2014 at 10:42 AM

      unfortunately you’d already \endured 10 strikeouts prior to each blast

  6. brewcrewchamps - Mar 24, 2014 at 2:35 AM

    This is the only scenario I was hoping would not happen over at first..

  7. Kevin S. - Mar 24, 2014 at 6:19 AM

    Yes, because the Reynolds/Overbay first base combo worked out sooo well for the Yankees last year, rignt?

    • Kevin S. - Mar 24, 2014 at 6:19 AM

      Grr, right*

      • paperlions - Mar 24, 2014 at 7:49 AM

        No, no, no. It is Grr eight.

      • Kevin S. - Mar 24, 2014 at 9:24 AM

        Winner.

    • genericcommenter - Mar 24, 2014 at 1:31 PM

      I almost thought all 3 guys were with the Yankees last year, until I realized that was BEN Francisco. I can’t remember the name of the guy Overbay beat out for 1st in Spring Training.

      Also didn’t realize Reynolds played 24 games at first- knew he did some, but not even that much. Thought he was more DH and 3B. Also can’t forget his start at 2B! And Vernon Wells playing 2nd AND 3rd!

      • genericcommenter - Mar 24, 2014 at 1:59 PM

        I was thinking of Juan Rivera and Ben Francisco among the bench guys fighting it out last year.

  8. NYTolstoy - Mar 24, 2014 at 7:01 AM

    I would like to know is Juan Francisco a bad player? Defensively or someyhing? He’s offensive numbers look good and his ST numbers looked great is there something I’m missing since he’s the odd man out? I don’t know much about the Brewers so any help?

    • Kevin S. - Mar 24, 2014 at 7:39 AM

      He’s a butcher with the glove, but so is Mark Reynolds, and Lyle Overbay is a corpse at the plate these days.

    • spudchukar - Mar 24, 2014 at 10:29 AM

      I wrote this above, but the reasoning goes like this. Overbay is still an average or better defender. When Reynolds plays, Overbay can finish games at first, since the lefty starter will most likely be gone.

      The Brewers are choosing defense over offense, and the platoon only works with Overbay not the poor fielding Francisco.

  9. zzalapski - Mar 24, 2014 at 9:42 AM

    If Roenicke is putting that much weight on track record, he should’ve called Cecil Cooper.

  10. thebirdsareback - Mar 24, 2014 at 10:47 AM

    Mark Reynolds was a 3B on the Orioles, and maybe the worst defender on the corner I’ve ever seen. Buck gave him a shot @ first base and he excelled in everything at that point. His SO decreased @ the plate, he seemed more excited. Then he wanted 10 million and we said, bye bye. We refer to him as “The Sheriff” here in bmore, i hope Milwaukee will take to him as Baltimore did. He looked pretty solid @ 1b, Unfortunately for Reynolds, Chris Davis showed up and took over that spot and never let it go. Rightfully so

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