Brewers spreading around center-field starts

Broxton, Flores and Nieuwenhuis will each see time at position

Brewers spreading around center-field starts

MILWAUKEE -- Five games into the season, the Brewers have had a revolving door in center field.

It was Kirk Nieuwenhuis' turn to start during Saturday's 6-4 loss to the Astros, becoming the third player to start in center field for the Brewers this season and the seventh since the club traded Carlos Gomez to Houston last July. Nieuwenhuis went 1-for-4 with a home run and an impressive catch.

"I think this is what I explained in Spring Training," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "We decided who was on the team and I was pretty clear that we weren't committing to a center fielder or a guy playing here and so forth.

"We're still just trying to put players in positions to be successful. [On Saturday], Kirk is getting his chance."

Nieuwenhuis' sliding grab

Keon Broxton and Ramon Flores have had little success at the plate in their two starts this season.

After going 0-for-2 in Monday's Opening Day loss to the Giants, Broxton was 0-for-2 with a walk and a pair of strikeouts in Friday's win against the Astros.

Flores has just one hit in his first nine at-bats, but he has played strong defense during his time in center field.

"This will be a spot where there will be a couple of guys playing there," Counsell said. "I don't anticipate one guy [seizing the job]. That's what we're looking for, of course, because that means a guy is playing really well."

With just 276 big league games under his belt, the 28-year-old Nieuwenhuis is the veteran of the group.

Broxton and Flores each made their Major League debuts in 2015. Flores received 33 plate appearances over 12 games with the Yankees between May and July, while Broxton got two September at-bats for the Pirates.

"They're young players, they're developing players and there's the notion that you could just put one of them out there every single day and whatever happens, happens, and grow that way," Counsell said. "Or you can try to put them in spots you think they can be successful in."

Andrew Gruman is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.