Fatigue could be reason for Aoki's mini-slump

Fatigue could be reason for Aoki's mini-slump

Fatigue could be reason for Aoki's mini-slump
MILWAUKEE -- Outfielder Norichika Aoki has been a Brewers bright spot this season, and manager Ron Roenicke is trying to figure out how keep it that way.

Roenicke gave Aoki a day off after seeing some troubling swings in Tuesday's long loss to the Blue Jays, when the usually-pesky Aoki was 0-for-5 and saw only 17 pitches, 13 fewer than three-hole hitter Ryan Braun in the same number of plate appearances.

After hitting .346 in a 22-game span from mid-May through June 7, Aoki is batting .208 in his last 11 games, including 1-for-10 in two games against Toronto.

"I think he's run out of gas here a little bit," Roenicke said.

The manager has had discussions with Aoki about the intense pregame routine the player imported from Japan, where players take 1,000 or more swings a day. A Japanese reporter who has been following Aoki said players sometimes take 2,000 swings a day in Spring Training.

But Japanese teams also play fewer games, and get one or two days off every week. On Tuesday, the Brewers played their eighth straight game on a steamy night at Miller Park.

Aoki's average has dropped to .275.

"He's playing a lot, so all of a sudden I'm seeing some funny swings from him," Roenicke said. "He works so hard when he's off the field; I don't know if you can keep doing that. ... We've talked about it. You can overdo it."