Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
The Milwaukee Brewers first base escapade this winter has been so exasperating, that it’s coming to the point where they may as well just pick a name out of a hat and run with it. They just need to make a decision and begin focusing on other aspects of the team.
But with that being said, despite myself being an unwavering supporter of him, Rickie Weeks is not the answer to the first base problem and shouldn’t even be a part of the question. Adam McCalvy of MLB.com answered fan’s questions the other day and I was amazed at how many people were calling for Weeks to move to first base. I was incredulous.
Ponder this for a second.
If Weeks was capable of playing first base (which is an absolute asinine notion), don’t you think Doug Melvin and Ron Roenicke would know that? Don’t you think they would have thrown him out there last season instead of the likes of Yuniesky Betancourt? They are two extremely smart men. At least give them a little credit.
As McCalvy noted in his mailbag column, Weeks is 5-10 and is not an ideal target for a first baseman. Besides, second base is the only position he has ever known in the majors. At best, he’s mediocre defensively, averaging 14.7 errors a season over the past nine years. Shifting him to first base would only make him more of a defensive liability.
He’s also not an upgrade offensively. In 2013, Brewers first basemen collectively hit .211 while Weeks hit .209. Now, when Weeks is at his best, he’s an above-average hitting second baseman, but unfortunately, he hasn’t been his best for the last two seasons. And that’s why he’ll start 2014 on the bench.
Weeks is not the next Scott Hatteberg, who had success after making the transition from catcher to first base in 2002. This isn’t Moneyball. If it was, Weeks wouldn’t be making $11 million next season. If the Brewers move Weeks to first, they may as well move Khris Davis to shortstop because that would be just as insane. In all likelihood, Juan Francisco will be the starting first baseman, who, by the way, will be monumentally better than Weeks would be.
I hope this shuts down, or at least limits, the Weeks to first base discussions. It’s just not plausible. And the people who hold the belief that Weeks should be Milwaukee’s first baseman, must not think the position is important.