Gennett impressing with patience at plate

Second baseman walked three times in Opening Series vs. Giants

Gennett impressing with patience at plate

MILWAUKEE -- After three games, Brewers manager Craig Counsell was not quite ready to anoint free-swinging second baseman Scooter Gennett a changed player. But Gennett's performance in three games against the Giants, including Wednesday's 4-3 win, was certainly worth noting.

Gennett walked twice Wednesday, including once against a top left-handed reliever, Javier Lopez. On Monday, he walked and homered against another lefty, Madison Bumgarner. That's two walks in four plate appearances against left-handers, doubling Gennett's career total entering the year, in 119 plate appearances.

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With three walks so far this season, Gennett, who is trying to shed his reputation as a platoon player, is already a quarter of the way -- in three games -- to his walk total from all of last year, in 114 games.

"I'm not going to say he took a step forward -- it is three games," Counsell said. "He's earning those at-bats is what I would say. Javy Lopez is in there to get left-handers out. He's had a great career getting left-handers out.

"The walks are encouraging so far from Scooter. He's not being passive. He's still being aggressive, but his ball-strike recognition has been really good. It was good in Spring Training and it has been really good here."

Gennett counted two swings in the Opening Series he would take back, a swinging strikeout on Monday and a popout on a 1-0 pitch against Sergio Romo on Tuesday.

"Hopefully, I get to a point where I rarely swing at a bad pitch," Gennett said. "I'm consistently having a good mindset, being relaxed and not trying to do too much. When I try to do too much, my hands get slow and I feel like I need to 'cheat.' I give at-bats away more consistently. Being relaxed and having the same mindset is paying off now."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.