Braun, of course, was the 2007 NL Rookie of the Year. His .634 slugging percentage was nothing less than prodigious for a rookie. But he committed 26 errors in 112 games at third. He had originally been a shortstop. You could see his athleticism. But the Brewers no longer have time to patiently develop players at the big league level."If he'd stayed at third base, he would have been a pretty good Major League third baseman in a couple of years," Yost said. "But we just don't have the time to develop him as a third baseman right now." Braun, a supremely self-confident fellow, seems to be not only rising to the challenge of learning a new position, but absolutely thriving with it. "I know I would have been a good third baseman in time, but I also recognize that last year defense was a big issue for us," he said on Saturday. "Whenever you have an opportunity to bring in somebody like Mike Cameron, you do it. "Overall, I'm really comfortable out there. It's difficult to duplicate a lot of the scenarios that come up during the game, just trying to figure out what base to throw to or when to try to throw guys out and when not to, but I'm trying to learn through everything I go through. "Enjoying being out there is making it easier. I'm having a lot of fun; I'm enjoying the early work, enjoying the extra work, just trusting in my instincts and my athleticism." Hall came up as a middle infielder and has also played 84 games at third in the Majors, so his transition should be less abrupt. "I've been fielding ground balls since I was 5 years old," Hall said. "Once you know how to field a ground ball, you know how to field a ground ball. Obviously, I had to scrape the rust off a little bit, but once I did, it was like riding a bike." If there was an award for doing whatever the team asked you to do, without carping, complaining or generally creating a disturbance, it should be named after Bill Hall. The Brewers took a lifetime infielder, and, counting on his ability and his attitude, made him a center fielder, assuring him that was his permanent position. Just when he got the hang of it, they decided he would be a third baseman. "Hopefully, this is going to be it," Yost said of position moves for Hall. "We didn't want to keep moving him from year to year to year, but we had to figure out what was best for our club, and that was Billy playing third. We talked to him about it, and there was no 'I'm tired of this,' there was no selfishness. It was: 'Whatever will help us win, I'm willing to do, as long as I can be a part of it.'" Hall's attitude has remained consistently helpful throughout his journeys from position to position. "Obviously, there's a lot of things you can do to make your team better, and that's not always putting up great numbers," he said. "Every now and then it's kind of taking one for the team. "I think this is the last move. Last year we thought it was the last move, but things changed, we felt like we needed to improve our defense, and that's what we've done. So I moved to third base and hopefully that's where I'm going to be for the rest of my career." The Brewers have directly addressed their single largest shortcoming of last season -- defense. Their moves, while requiring some major adjustments from some of their Most Valuable Players, are still sensible. But the healthiest thing about these developments is the indication that the Brewers are solidly in a win-now mode.
Mike Bauman is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.