More playing time means more success for Aoki

More playing time means more success for Aoki

More playing time means more success for Aoki
MILWAUKEE -- The more that manager Ron Roenicke has tinkered with his batting order, trying to find something that works, the more outfielder Norichika Aoki's name has appeared on the lineup card.

A three-time batting champion in Japan's Central League, Aoki has started 10 games in May after starting just three before that this season, his first in the Majors. And as his plate appearances increase, so, too, has his production, as he's recorded five multihit games in six starts since May 13.

"He's had some really good at-bats," Roenicke said on Wednesday. "He's up there swinging, but you look at four at-bats, he's seeing a lot of pitches in those four at-bats. He may put the first one in play, the next at-bat he may see 10 pitches."

The increased playing time has helped Aoki settle in with Milwaukee, and he said that it's made him more effective than when he was making mostly pinch-hit appearances.

"I feel the type of player I am, I can make adjustments during the game," Aoki said. "So the more at-bats I have, if I get out the first at-bat, I can fix my mistake and try to get a hit in the next at-bat."

With Roenicke experimenting with Corey Hart at first base, Aoki might see even more starts in right field. He started there for just the third time this season on Wednesday in the series finale against the Giants at Miller Park.

Aoki, who has virtually the same average against left and right-handed pitching (.296 and .295), is fine with playing anywhere in the outfield.

"As long as [Aoki] continues to do what he's doing, as long as we see that Corey going to first base helps us as an offense, then I would say [Aoki starting more in right field] is going to happen," Roenicke said.