It’s a distinct possibility, according to Ron Roenicke. The Brewers skipper had his presser in Nashville yesterday, and among many of the things discussed about the team’s future in 2013 was the idea of moving Rickie Weeks back into the lead-off position.
Milwaukee’s attitude towards Rickie Weeks appears to be that the ankle injury he suffered in 2011 left him less than 100% through his slumping first half in 2012. Ron Roenicke himself even said that he expects “Rickie will be back to being Rickie.”
Even with that being said – is Rickie right for the lead-off?
It depends, I suppose, on what you want your lead-off hitter to accomplish. Rickie Weeks, even when he was striking out more than he was getting down base hits, held an impressive On-Base Percentage. In that respect, he makes a perfect fit for the number one position. He has good speed n the base paths, making him an ideal candidate to be moved over by the number two or driven in from anywhere by Ryan Braun.
Being in the number one spot, however, does a disservice to Rickie’s power bat. Leading off, especially for the National League, limits your opportunities to drive in runs. And Rickie is no stranger to power. He’s hit over 20 homers in each of the last three seasons.
A one-run home run is nice – but two or three runs is unquestionably better.
So there’s the rub for Rickie – in many ways he’s a man without a country in this
Brewers lineup. He’s not a prototypical anything. Some would say he has too much power to hit at the number one spot. Some would say his ability to draw walks and move on the bases isn’t as important at the five, six or seven spot. RRR said he does not want Rickie to hit second, because he doesn’t like the idea of Rickie having to bunt to move over Aoki.
Norichika Aoki is, in my opinion, the perfect lead-off hitter for the Brewers. He hits for average, has fantastic speed and is a very smart base runner. At the second spot, it’s not imperative that Rickie need to bunt on every occasion. Roenicke obviously knows this, but his preference to play station-to-station would likely override Weeks’ abilities in that case.
The real fact of the matter is, if Rickie is back to being Rickie, there’s really no place in the line-up that he couldn’t be effective. With the amount of speed and contact on this Brewers team, he would just be more effective further down the line up.