Counsell sticking with slumping Broxton

Rookie center fielder struggling since late in Spring Training

Counsell sticking with slumping Broxton

ST. LOUIS -- The Brewers aren't giving up on center fielder Keon Broxton as the rookie fights a slump that began back in Spring Training.

In his last 12 games entering Wednesday -- eight in Spring Training plus four in the regular season -- Broxton was 1-for-31 with 18 strikeouts. The lone hit was a Cactus League single against the Rockies. In his first four games of the regular season, Broxton was 0-for-11 with seven strikeouts and one walk.

But after beginning Wednesday's game on the bench, the speedy 25-year-old is expected back in the starting lineup for Thursday's series finale at Busch Stadium, said manager Craig Counsell, who tied Broxton's recent results to a passive approach at the plate.

"I mean, you want the first out of the way, there's no question," Counsell said before Wednesday's 6-4 win over the Cardinals. "He's been a little passive, I think. It's just part of the learning process for him, really. He'll be in there [Thursday], most likely. You stick with him, keep using him."

Broxton made his Major League debut last season with the Pirates and was 0-for-2 in a September callup. He was traded with Minor League pitcher Trey Supak to Milwaukee for first baseman Jason Rogers.

Broxton's first Spring Training with the Brewers began with promise. He was batting .345 with a .500 on-base percentage entering an 0-for-3, two-strikeout afternoon against the Cubs on March 25. It marked the start of his swoon.

"He understands what's going on," Counsell said. "At this level, you're getting one pitch to hit sometimes, and that's got to be the pitch you fire on. It's a fine line. It's not 'swing at everything.' That's not the message. They're making good two-strike pitches on him. He's taking some borderline pitches that have been called strikes.

"He's had 11 at-bats. It's 11 at-bats."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for 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.