Wolf will pitch to Lucroy before end of season

Wolf will pitch to Lucroy before end of season

Wolf will pitch to Lucroy before end of season
MILWAUKEE -- They are not expected to form a battery on Saturday, but left-hander Randy Wolf and catcher Jonathan Lucroy will have to work together before the season is out, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said.

That duo has had a hard time meshing in the past, for reasons both have declined to enumerate. Wolf instead worked with George Kottaras 71 times over the past three seasons, a pairing severed on Thursday when the Brewers designated Kottaras for assignment and activated Lucroy from the disabled list.

Martin Maldonado will catch Wolf for the third time this season on Saturday against the Nationals, but "Luc is going to catch Randy some," Roenicke said.

"I knew that whether through injuries or changes in personnel, this is something both of them are going to have to get used to," Roenicke said. "It's not like it's one person that isn't comfortable. They both have to get comfortable with each other."

Wolf was very comfortable with Kottaras, who became a good friend off the field. Both of them saw Lucroy's pending return from the DL and Maldonado's solid play and knew that Kottaras could become the odd man out.

"I really don't think there's going to be a side effect when it comes to pitching," Wolf said. "Obviously, I threw to George quite a bit, and you develop a friendship and a bond, like he did with everybody on the team. If you know George, he is a great presence in the dugout and in the clubhouse, and did everything this organization wanted. He went out there with a torn hamstring [after Lucroy broke his hand in May]. He did everything for this team. It's tough to see a guy like that go."

Wolf will make his 20th start of a tough season on Saturday. He is 3-6 with a 5.46 ERA, and has left eight games with the lead and had the bullpen blow the save.

He said he would be "totally fine" with Maldonado, who impressed Wolf during a September callup last year.

"He made sure he caught two of my bullpens and he wanted to know what I do against left-handers, what I do with right-handers, what I like to do with men in scoring position, what my signs are," Wolf said. "He asked questions. I thought that was awesome. It showed me he has the confidence that he deserved to be here, and a desire to get better. What was cool was that, in Spring Training, he had retained all of it."

Asked whether he expected Maldonado to handle most of his starts over the remaining two months, Wolf said, "That's not my job. I talked to Ron [on Thursday] and I told him that, 'I'm not the manager, I don't fill out the lineup card.' He's got to put in the catcher that he wants for that game. I'll handle it both ways."