MILWAUKEE -- First base was the biggest question mark for the Brewers going into the season, but veterans Mark Reynolds and Lyle Overbay have done a good job holding down the position so far.
Offensively, the duo hasn't done much -- a combined .158 at the plate -- but manager Ron Roenicke has been more than pleased with their defensive efforts so far.
That was expected from Overbay, a 13-year veteran who has spent most of his career at first base. But Reynolds, signed to a one-year non-roster deal during the winter, has spent the majority of his career across the diamond at third.
"I heard through the grapevine when we first got him that he was pretty good at first," Roenicke said. "He had good hands. He doesn't have great foot speed, but range-wise he does a nice job."
Last season, Brewers first basemen led the league with 21 errors. Juan Francisco, another converted third baseman, accounted for 10 as Roenicke used seven players to man the bag after Corey Hart, Mat Gamel and minor-leaguer Taylor Green were lost for the season.
None of the seven had started a game at first before and four had never played an inning at the position.
There are no such worries this year.
"Our first basemen have been fabulous defensively so far," Roenicke said. "I can probably name you eight plays that we've made that we probably don't make last year."
STREAK: Won one
NEXT: Brewers (RHP Yovani Gallardo, 2-0, 0.96) at Pirates (RHP Edinson Volquez, 0-0, 1.29)
--RHP Tyler Thornburg continued his strong start to the 2014 season Wednesday, throwing a perfect eighth inning in the Brewers' 5-1 victory over St. Louis. Thornburg has retired 20 consecutive batters and has not allowed a run since his first outing, April 1. Thornburg has appeared in eight games and is 2-0 with a 0.93 ERA. He has struck out 11 and walked none in 8 2/3 innings.
--3B Aramis Ramirez went 3-for-4 with an RBI Wednesday, raising his batting average to .377. In the last guaranteed year of a three-year, $35 million contract, the 35-year-old is off to a torrid start. In 15 games, Ramirez has driven in a run in 11 and collected a hit in 13 while hitting .769 (10-for-13) with runners in scoring position.
--RHP Francisco Rodriguez gave up two hits in the ninth inning Wednesday but did not allow a run and has thrown seven scoreless innings to start the season. Rodriguez did not record a save Wednesday but is 4-for-4 in save opportunities this season and has struck out 12.
--2B Rickie Weeks struck out in his only at-bat Wednesday, pinch-hitting for the pitcher in the eighth inning of the Brewers' 5-1 victory over St. Louis. Weeks has been sharing time with Scooter Gennett at second base; despite a good spring (.282, 12 walks), Weeks is 3-for-20 with four strikeouts and only one extra-base hit.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Our first basemen have been fabulous defensively so far. I can probably name you eight plays that we've made that we probably don't make last year." -- Manager Ron Roenicke, on his 1B platoon of Mark Reynolds and Lyle Overbay.
--RHP Brandon Kintzler (mild sprain of the rotator cuff) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 9.
--LHP Tom Gorzelanny (left shoulder surgery in December 2013) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21. He made progress with his throwing program in spring training and threw a bullpen session in mid-April.
RHP Yovani Gallardo
RHP Kyle Lohse
RHP Matt Garza
RHP Marco Estrada
RHP Wily Peralta
RHP Jim Henderson (closer)
RHP Francisco Rodriguez
LHP Will Smith
LHP Zach Duke
LHP Wei-Chung Wang
RHP Tyler Thornburg
RHP Rob Wooten
1B Mark Reynolds
2B Scooter Gennett
SS Jean Segura
3B Aramis Ramirez
INF Jeff Bianchi
INF Lyle Overbay
INF Rickie Weeks
LF Khris Davis
CF Carlos Gomez
RF Ryan Braun
OF Logan Schafer
- Sports & Recreation
- Ron Roenicke
- Lyle Overbay
- Mark Reynolds
- Francisco Rodriguez
- Tyler Thornburg