Lucroy’s outstanding play has kept Milwaukee in several games this season and has even won some. He has consistently come through for the team in the clutch and has been top-notch defensively. He is a strong candidate to be the National League’s catcher for the 2012 All-Star game in Kansas City. However, he will have his work cut out for him between now and then because Philadelphia Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz is providing stiff competition.
The following are Lucroy and Ruiz’s offensive statistics thus far this season:
As you can see, their numbers are very comparable. In any other season Lucroy would be running away with the honor, but Ruiz is off to a freakishly good start. Not only is he the top offensive catcher in the NL but he also has the best defensive statistics.
Lucroy is playing so well that manager Ron Roenicke decided to put him in the cleanup spot behind Ryan Braun Sunday afternoon against the Minnesota Twins. This opportunity came about when Aramis Ramirez had to sit out the game. Lucroy delivered big going 3-for-5 with three runs, seven RBI and two home runs, including his first-career grand slam on a 0-2 pitch.
Roenicke was forced with a difficult decision Monday when reporters asked him whether or not Lucroy would start against the San Francisco Giants with starter Randy Wolf on the mound for the Brewers. Catcher George Kottaras is Wolf’s personal catcher and is also having a phenomenal year which means Roenicke will most likely not be switching things up.
“I like what they’re both doing offensively,” Roenicke said. “As a catching staff I would think that we would have to, with the combination, be at the top of what any team is doing catching-wise.”
Lucroy will certainly be available in a pinch-hit situation so do not rule out the catcher quite yet. As far as the All-Star game goes he definitely has a realistic shot at making the team. Ruiz is leading the charge to be named the starter, but if the voting ended today Lucroy would have the backup position locked up. Who knows, maybe Ruiz will come back down to earth and Lucroy can pass him up on the stat sheet.