Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks is slumping bad through the first five weeks of the 2013 Major League Baseball season. Brewers manager Ron Roenicke has decided that the next step to helping the slump is to drop Weeks to seventh in the batting order. Is it possible that this move will fix the problem?
The 30-year-old is batting .188 with two home runs, nine RBI, six doubles, four stolen bases, 18 runs and a team-high 39 strikeouts in 117 at-bats this season. It is true that Weeks batted .316 (6-for-19) in the No. 2 spot at the beginning of the season, but Roenicke was forced to move him to the cleanup spot after Aramis Ramirez went down with a sprained knee. Ever since then, Weeks has struggled mightily at the plate.
Since Weeks went 3-for-4 in a win against the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 30, the right-handed batter is hitting .174 with five strikeouts and zero power numbers in seven games. Even though the Brewers are paying Weeks a lot of money this year, the team has to seriously consider what to do with him.
“There’s some really good hitters in the league that are hitting under .200, and they’re in the same predicament we are,” Roenicke said, according to Brewers.com. “How long do you stay with guys to get them hitting?
“If you think rest is the answer, then you rest him. We need this guy to hit, and he’s always proven that he is a good hitter. It’s our decision to figure out, do we keep playing him or do we rest him a little bit?”
There is no question Milwaukee needs Weeks to hit. In fact, prior to each season since Prince Fielder departed via free agency, everyone agreed that Weeks needed to step up his level of play. Unfortunately, he has gone in the complete opposite direction since he started at second base in the All-Star game.
The nine-year veteran has played in every game this season. One would think that Roenicke would give Weeks a day off just so he can mentally figure out his predicament. However, the manager believes his second baseman is better off hitting his way out of the slump.
“When he’s sitting on the bench, he’s not a guy that’s like, ‘Whew, man, am I glad I have a night off,’” Roenicke told Brewers.com. “That’s not him. He’s thinking, ‘If I’m in there right now, maybe I would get it going.’ You have to know the personalities.”
Obviously, the idea not to give Weeks any rest is clearly not working. He has proven repeatedly that suiting up for every game is not going to get him out of the slump. And honestly, the Brewers do not have time to wait for him to hit out of it.
At this point, Roenicke must sit Weeks for a couple games and see what happens. If that still does not work than sending him down to Triple-A to figure it out is a legitimate option. The fact that second baseman Scooter Gennett is batting .333 with seven RBI in 117 at-bats in Triple-A at least proves Milwaukee has other options. However, I would personally rather see Weeks get it going in the big leagues because he has power that is unique for a second baseman.