Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 5/7/12
MILWAUKEE A few hours before Monday's game against Cincinnati, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke took his usual, pre-game stroll through the team's clubhouse. This time though, he was surveying a team that had changed quite drastically since its last game at Miller Park. Only pitchers Chris Narveson and Brandon Kintzler were injured the last time Milwaukee had laced up in its own clubhouse. But after the team's nine-game, 10-day road trip, in which four players left in four consecutive games, three players had joined them on the disabled list. And two of them, like Narveson, were now out for the season. Now, Roenicke had plenty of new faces and lockers to look upon as he made his way around the room -- Brooks Conrad, Taylor Green, and Edwin Maysonet were all called up in the past week, taking the spot of Alex Gonzalez, Mat Gamel, and Carlos Gomez, who all were sent to the DL. Roenicke smiled as he made his way around, joking with players and trying to keep the mood light. He knows multiple blows to the team's core in one week are liable to hurt morale, and Roenicke admitted the mood wasn't quite where he would want it to be one month into the season. "Certainly not what I'd like it to be," Roenicke said. "My morale isn't what I'd like it to be because of the way we're playing, because of the injuries. The 15-day DL's, those aren't hard. That happens so much in baseball, and I know Gomez is going to be back and 100 percent when he comes back. But the season-ending ones really hurt. You just try to replace them and try to move on." It's hard not to wonder if fate had been against last season's NL Central champs on their recent road trip. After Narveson's injury was discovered due to soreness following a start, the season-ending injuries to Gonzalez and Gamel were nothing less than freakish. Gamel tore his ACL running for a foul ball, as he suddenly came up lame and in obvious pain at San Diego's Petco Park. Gonzalez, meanwhile, slid awkwardly into second base at San Francisco's AT&T Park, turning his right knee as his foot connected with the base. Shortstop Cesar Izturis, who is one of the many fill-ins to take on everyday roles in light of an injury this season, knew Gonzalez's injury had to be serious immediately, just by watching him from the dugout. Right then, he said, it was hard not to wonder why all of this was happening to the Brewers. "You might have injuries, you have injuries every year, but not like that," Izturis said. "Not two key players. You have to ask "Why?" It's hard to understand. ... It's part of the game, but it's definitely hard." "We're definitely a little bit snake-bitten," Roenicke said. With that kind of bad luck striking all at once, the plans from here on out are piecemeal at best. Neither Travis Ishikawa nor Cesar Izturis, the two direct backups to Gamel and Gonzalez, are guys Roenicke would probably hope to trot out on an everyday basis. Both have been in that role before, but Ishikawa has limited experience as an everyday first baseman in San Francisco, and Izturis doesn't offer much offense and won't be able to play every day. Roenicke expects to rotate guys like Conrad, Green, and Maysonet in to lighten the load, as he holds out hope that one or more of them catch fire at the plate. But even with the bevy of injuries all at once, Roenicke said the team's main problem hasn't even been health. In fact, it's been much simpler than that. With a lack of fire at the plate -- they have the third-worst average in baseball at .228 -- and on the mound -- the fourth-worst ERA in baseball at 4.88 -- even the healthy players have struggled to produce, he says. "Regardless of who we have out there, if we don't do those things better, we're not going to have a good year," Roenicke said. "I know Alex was doing a great job for us offensively and I know Mat Gamel was doing a nice job for us offensively, but still, the bulk of (the lineup) needs to do better." Maybe one of the Brewers fill-in players will become a breakout success. Or maybe a lack of firepower will convince Brewers GM Doug Melvin or owner Mark Attanasio to make a move earlier than they may have liked in the season. Down just five games, Milwaukee isn't in too much of a hurry to rush or hope for either of those options. At this point though, with so much going against them, there's just one thing that can cure the Brewers recent brush with bad luck. "You just have to win," second baseman Rickie Weeks said. "You can't do anything more than that. That's the way you keep spirits up. We have guys here that have gone down and the only thing that will try to ease that pain or take that pain away is to just win games. That's it." But with a team that looks so different now with an influx of injuries, even this early in a long season, will this year's Brewers ever have the same look as last year's NL Central winners? According to Roenicke, there's still a chance. "I know you have to overcome those things," Roenicke said. "I know even without those guys this team is still a good team, and we still have the good possibility to finish up where we want to finish." Follow Ryan Kartje on Twitter.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Is Madison Bumgarner a bully?
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Doug Baldwin now victim of death threats after his comments on police

Report claims Jimmy Garoppolo is the Patriots starter for for Sunday

Sixers rookie Ben Simmons has fracture in foot

Olympic wrestler turned ISIS recruit killed in U.S. drone strike

Report: Jamaal Charles to play Sunday against Steelers

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Dez Bryant says he will not play Sunday against 49ers

Bill O’Brien officially rules J.J. Watt out for season

Report: Eric Decker out Sunday with partial tear in rotator cuff

Report: Browns planning to part ways with Josh Gordon

Noah skips dinner at West Point because he's anti-war

Giants could use wide receiver at safety against Vikings

WATCH: Is it time for the Jaguars to fire Gus Bradley?

Combing through the crowded 2016 MLB MVP races

The Blue Jays and the meaning of a late season freefall

CFB Crash Course: Week 5 - Less one Les

Box Score: 9/30 - Dolphins, Popovich and MLB umps

Seven most absurd stats heading into NFL Week 4

Antonio Brown to honor Arnold Palmer with custom cleats

The best and worst from the 2016 World Cup of Hockey

Players Jurgen Klinsmann may call up for USMNT friendlies

Byron Scott has no relationship with D’Angelo Russell

Steve Kerr favors shorter NBA preseason to limit back-to-backs

Flaws of MLB replay system exposed in Cardinals’ victory

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Is it time for the Jaguars to fire Gus Bradley?

Combing through the crowded 2016 MLB MVP races

The Blue Jays and the meaning of a late season freefall

CFB Crash Course: Week 5 - Less one Les

NBA winners and losers: Gregg Popovich as a voice of reason

WATCH: Will LSU have to sell its soul to find its next head coach?

The clubhouse leaders for MLB Rookies of the Year

Goodbye, Ted: 20 years of highs and lows at Turner Field

Forza Horizon 3 review: Going Top Gear

NFL Kickoff Week 4: Guess what? The NFL is dying again

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker