With Brandon Jacobs' retirement at the end of the 2018 season, the Saltdogs were left with some big shoes to fill.

Jacobs hit 22 home runs in his final year, tied for second in the American Association, and finished second on the team in RBIs with 68.

“You are never going to be able to fully replace Brandon Jacobs' bat,” Lincoln manager Bobby Brown said.

But the Saltdogs have seemed to “MacGyver” their way in the lineup with a pair of players in Cody Regis and Nick Schulz. Regis has filled the power void Jacobs left with 13 home runs this season, tied for the team lead, while Schulz provides stellar defense.

“Those guys have done a great job,” Brown added. “They are both solid outfielders.”

Nine different players through 78 games have manned left field in 2019, but there has been a more consistent workload in the season's second half.

Schulz (23) and Regis (19) have combined for 42 starts in left field. Randolph Oduber is the only other player still on the Saltdogs' roster that has started in left field, making 13.

“Everyone is trying to do the best that we can and help this team win,” Schulz said. “We just take it one game at a time and keep moving forward.

“We definitely have great team chemistry. We all get along really well, and feed off confidence. We just keep giving each other feedback and keep moving forward.”

Schulz missed a hefty time on the disabled list from June 6 to July 3 with an oblique injury.

“(Nick) is a great teammate,” Brown said. “He went on the inactive list with the oblique and never had a bad attitude about it. He caught bullpens for us, and I'm glad to see him have some success.”

What Schulz lacks at the plate, batting .176 before Sunday's contest, he makes up for in the outfield.

“It's good to be back and I'm trying to take it one game at a time,” Schulz said. “I know the teammates have my back. (In) my time off I had my teammates' backs, supported them, but now it's great to be back in the lineup and do whatever I can to help the team win.”

Schulz's bat has picked up as of late -- he his first home run of the season Aug. 4 and has collected seven hits in his last 24 at-bats.

“I'm just trying to see some pitches early in the count and not try to do to much and get a pitch I can handle,” Schulz said. "I try to get a good swing on a pitch that I like. Mentally, I'm trying to relax at the plate and let everything happen.”

Reach the writer at 402-473-7431 or tgray@journalstar.com.


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