"I think we're just struggling in general," Roenicke said. "We weren't playing that well before we had the injuries. I think we haven't figured out what kind of group this is going to be, and the confidence that you need [is missing].
"Guys are playing hard, they're working hard. It's not that. But as a team, we knew who we were last year. We had a lot of personalities on the team, and I thought we meshed really well. This year, we've got a quiet group. Sometimes when things aren't going real well, you need somebody to loosen it up a little bit."
Fielder was one of those guys. So were veterans LaTroy Hawkins, Jerry Hairston Jr. and Mark Kotsay, who entertained his teammates during good times and bad last season by playing golf naked in the clubhouse.
All of those players left via free agency. This year's club is different.
"Prince is a big personality that has an edge to it," Roenicke said. "He was able to loosen up the clubhouse, but he was also, because of the edge, [able to say], 'Let's go! Enough is enough.' That was good. I think with everybody else, I thought it really was good."
Last year, Roenicke had some chats with outfielder Nyjer Morgan about toning down his alter ego, "Tony Plush." This year, Roenicke would like to see more of Mr. Plush, but Morgan has been focused intensely on overcoming his slow start at the plate.
"Once you start playing well, it's not necessary to have that [personality]," Roenicke said. "But when things aren't going well, that's when you really need the personalities to keep things loose and keep things positive. We're trying to do it as a staff, but sometimes players get a little bit tired of hearing us. We're trying to figure it out."