Lucroy receives ovation from Miller Park fans

All-Star catcher got standing ovation as pinch-hitter in eighth inning

Lucroy receives ovation from Miller Park fans

MILWAUKEE -- For years, shouts of "Luuuuuc" have rained down regularly from the Miller Park faithful, but Sunday may have been the final time.

Amid rampant trade speculation -- including invoking his no-trade clause to block a deal to the Indians earlier in the day -- Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy stepped to the plate as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning of Sunday's 4-2 win, eliciting a rousing ovation from the fans in Milwaukee. As he remains the topic of many trade rumors and reports, both Lucroy and the Miller Park contingent seemed to realize that the moment could have served as the end of the homegrown All-Star catcher's seven seasons with the Brewers.

"The fans have treated me really well," Lucroy said. "They've shown me nothing but love and respect, and that's all you can ask out of your home fans."

For a second consecutive day, the Brewers held Lucroy out of the lineup due to the possibility of a trade. And with the Brewers' approval, he remained in Milwaukee overnight and was not with the team in San Diego, where the Brewers are to open a series Monday night, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported, but he will be in San Diego in time for the game if he is not traded.

With two out in the eighth and two men on base Sunday, manager Craig Counsell called Lucroy's number off the bench.

"The game situation dictated it, certainly," Counsell said. "I think it all worked out the way I wanted it to. I don't know what is going to happen, but I thought he deserved that. I thought the fans deserved that. It worked out right. It was a really good spot for it to happen. I'm glad the fans acknowledged him. I know he appreciated it."

Anticipation built as calls of "Luuuuuc" were audible as Lucroy stood on the on-deck circle during Keon Broxton's at-bat. When Broxton drew a walk, extending the inning for Lucroy, Brewers fans loudly showed their appreciation for their catcher, prompting Lucroy to tip his helmet in response.

"If [a trade] does happen, it's a memory," Lucroy said. "I have a lot of memories here. My daughter was born here, and there's a lot of things that I have here to remember Milwaukee by."

Lucroy flew out to right field, but received another ovation as he headed down the dugout steps.

In the event the Brewers do trade Lucroy, it would serve as a fitting send-off. However, as of the team flight leaving Milwaukee for San Diego on Sunday night, Lucroy was still a member of the Brewers.

"If nothing does happen, it's gonna be awkward the rest of the year," Lucroy joked.

According to multiple reports, the Brewers and Rangers remain in active discussions regarding Lucroy, who has a club-friendly $5.25 million club option for 2017. A source confirmed to MLB.com that the Indians -- already incurring a cost of four prospects -- refused to incentivize Lucroy's contract for 2017 or tear up the team option, which, along with declining to assure a starting catcher job next season, played a role in the blocking of the trade.

Curt Hogg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.