Johnathan Lucroy went deep in his first at bat Tuesday night at Miller Park depositing Mike Leake’s pitch into the Brewers bullpen for a “no brainier” home run. He followed that up in the 4th by throwing out his 9th runner in the last 11 attempts against him, then in the bottom of the frame laced a double down the left field line.
Basically #20 has been putting on an offensive and defensive clinic the past 30 days, and he will not be donning a Brewer uniform for much longer… mark my words. So, if you want to see a class act both on and off the field, you best make it out to 1 Brewer Way SOON! By soon, I mean before mid-June, if he makes it that long.
As of the writing of this article, Lucroy is 40% in throwing out runners trying to steal (20 for 50), which is no surprise, he has always been rock solid behind the plate.
As far as his offense, the 2014 All-Star going into Tuesday’s game was batting .293 with 8 home runs and 26 rbi, & 27 runs scored in 174 at-bats. Not too shabby for the 29 year old veteran, (Lucroy turns 30 on 6/13, but, will it be in a Brewer uniform)?
The question is where could he end up? Lucroy’s contract is so manageable it’s ridiculous, ($4 million, and team control through 2017 with $5.25 million club option) which means he could end up on anyone of the 29 other teams in MLB. That in mind the Brewers have some leverage and GM David Stearns can “cherry pick” the best deal possible. Earlier in the season, Tampa Bay was looking for backstop help since Curt Casali and Hank Conger weren’t getting the job done. The Rays right now are only 8 games back in the A.L. East and some offense along with solid defense could help them contend.
The White Sox also need a solid catcher if they want to put some final pieces into a puzzle that could see them back in the Fall Classic for the first time since 2005.
Then there are Cubs… the lovable losers from the North Side of Chicago who are in the midst of an epic season. A season that could have them back in the World Series for the first time since 1945, and potentially winning the whole thing since shortly after the turn of the last century, 1908. Lucroy in my mind would be the piece that they would need. Granted Cubs catcher David Ross, is a great leader and has a great arm, but his offense is lacking. Also, keep in mind that the Cubs play in the N.L.Central, Lucroy’s home for the last 6+ years. Familiarity and some post season experience is always valuable, if a “newbie” makes a run.
How bad do the Cubs want to win, and what expense? I have to believe as hot as Lucroy is right now he could garnish a decent prospect or two from their farm system.
Do I want to see Luc go? No… no Brewer fan does, but, the fact of the matter is he will some time this year. I hope if he does, he gets on a winner, because he is one, and deserves it.
(photos courtesy of Yvonne Kemp)