Ryan Braun gets his turn in the designated hitter role today as the Brewers continue to play with American League rules in Comerica Park against the Tigers.
More interestingly, this represents the Brewers 37th different lineup in 37 days, as pointed out by Mike Vassallo. It is also the Brewers' 39th lineup in 40 games. The only lineup that has been used more than once this season didn't even include the projected eight starting position players at the beginning of the season, with Gerardo Parra playing right field and a batting order of Gomez, Lucroy, Lind, Ramirez, Davis, Parra, Segura, Gennett, pitcher.
Since using that lineup on April 7 and 8, the Brewers have lost Carlos Gomez, Scooter Gennett, Aramis Ramirez, Jean Segura and Jonathan Lucory to various injuries. Gennett was demoted to Triple-A Monday morning. Guys like Jason Rogers, Elian Herrera and Juan Centeno were called up. Logan Schafer was sent down. Luis Jimenez was designated for assignment.
And players have been moving all over the lineup. Carlos Gomez has led off, moved to cleanup, and led off again. Ten different players have batted second, 11 have batted sixth, 10 have batted seventh, and 12 have batted eighth. The Brewers have changed from having the pitcher bat ninth to having them bat eighth.
Adam Lind, Khris Davis and Jean Segura have batted in four different spots, Gerardo Parra in six.
All in all, there has been very little stability in the Brewers lineup. The most steady spots have been Braun in right field and batting third and, over the past few weeks, Lind at first and batting fourth.
Is the lack of stability hurting the Brewers? I could see that being true. There are often stories about how certain players prefer hitting in certain spots. Some like leading off, some prefer being in the middle of the lineup, and so on and so on.There's a comfort factor, too. If the lineup is ever-changing, can the players get as comfortable at the plate as they otherwise would? Maybe sometimes the strategy gets changed up with somebody different batting in front of you, or with someone else on base?
But then, they're also professional baseball players and a difference in lineup probably doesn't change their mindset too much.
It's all conjecture, unless the players themselves say they don't or do like the constant changes. But the Brewers have a pretty talented lineup (though the injuries have hurt significantly) and the Brewers have scored the 25th-most runs in the majors. Which isn't great.
When teams aren't hitting, sometimes changing a lineup can jump-start the offense. Perhaps the opposite is true in this case: Everything changes too often for the players to find a comfortable spot.
The Brewers have used 37 different lineups in 37 games. That seems like a crazy stat, to me.