Brewers Season Preview: Rickie Weeks
The Brewers second baseman has proven to be as safe a bet in the Brewers lineup as anyone that is a completely unsafe bet.
Did that make any sense? Nope? Didn’t think so.
I don’t have to spell it out in vivid colors to get the point across: Rickie Weeks is injury prone. However, when healthy, Weeks is one of the most productive second baseman in the Major Leagues. Key word(s): when healthy.
Elected as an All Star Game starter in 2011, Weeks’ only full season came in 2010. He played in 160 games, hitting .269 with 29 homers and 83 RBI. As had happened in each previous season in the Majors, Weeks injured himself in 2011 and only played in 118 regular season games.
While there is no way to evince that Weeks will enjoy a completely healthy season, there is always hope. And if Brewers fans who hold out hope are rewarded by Weeks and his knees, wrists, and legs, Milwaukee may be headed to the Playoffs again. After a rough start to his career, Weeks has blossomed into one of the elite offensive second baseman in addition to losing the ancient mariner tag on defense.
If he stays healthy, his production at the leadoff and, possibly, the fifth spot in the order will drive the Brewers to wins–his WAR over the last two seasons in 10.2. Last season, Milwaukee managed to stay afloat thanks to Jerry Hairston after they lost their 29-year-old second baseman to a knee injury in July. This year, there’s no Jerry Hairston to fill in that role with fluidity. Weeks is needed to fill the massive void (no pun intended) in production left by Prince Fielder.
Weeks has noted he prefers hitting leadoff, and will probably begin
the season in that role on April 6 with the early-season loss of Corey Hart. He may also see time hitting fifth.
2012 RtB Predictions: 134 G, .278, 24 HR, 58 RBI, 98 R, 11 SB, frequent shipments of bubble wrap