'The value of versatility:' Brewers preparing for season with familiar faces in new places

MILWAUKEE -- To improve is to change. To be perfect is to change often.

It seems as if the Milwaukee Brewers are following those words uttered by Winston Churchill. While the MLB season is on hold for now, whenever it does start some familiar faces will be in different places.

Ryan Braun

For a number of years, Ryan Braun has been penciled-in in left field for the Brewers. In 2020, you're going to see him a lot more at first base, and that means there are a number of other changes as well.

"When you're talking infield-outfield, there's like Ryan being able to move positions for sure," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said.

Craig Counsell

"It's fun," said Braun. "We've seen the value of versatility in our game."

If there is an identity early in 2020 for the Brewers, it's adjustable.

"Everyone's kind of moving around. That's what we do is positional versatility," said outfielder Christian Yelich.

Braun will seemingly go through the biggest change, shifting from left field to right field as well as getting time at first base -- something he flirted with a bit in 2019.

Christian Yelich

"I feel better about it now than I did then because, obviously, I never put on a first baseman's glove or spent any time over there at all," Braun said. "So, I'll have to reacclimate myself, obviously, to the position a little bit."

While it will be something very different, he will be getting plenty of help from teammates like Justin Smoak.

"He might have questions, he might not. He might think he has it all figured out, which he's been a good player for a long time," said Smoak.

And there's another guy around the clubhouse who had 14 years of big-league experience at multiple positions.

Justin Smoak

"I'll learn from anybody that's played any amount of first base. We have a pretty good infield coach in Craig Counsell. So, I think that's his specialty. So, I'll defer to him on most of the infield stuff," Braun said.

With Braun moving out of left, Christian Yelich is moving in.

"It looks like we're rolling with left again, done it in the past, obviously. So, it's not too big of a deal. If it makes us better, I'm all for it," said Yelich. "It's just the way the ball comes off the bat, lefty, righty, the way the ball spins, just getting used to seeing it.

"I'm going to have to do again in live BP and games and stuff to get used to it. But, yeah, it's just things you don't really think about until you're out there and it's not too big of a deal."

There are subtle changes at the position that Yelich worked on getting-used to in spring training.

"Christian sometimes surprises us because he is, he's just a humble guy. There's humility and those two things, when they cross, it's like I didn't expect that," Counsell said.

It seems that all the guys who are moving around are embracing the challenge.