Milwaukee Brewers Attempt to Weather the Loss of Rickie Weeks

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The Milwaukee Brewers may have swept the border-rival Chicago Cubs, but it was an injury to second baseman Rickie Weeks on Wednesday night which has the entire city buzzing.

According to Brewers Assistant General Manager Gord Ash, Weeks has a “severe ankle sprain,” and could miss anywhere from three-to-six weeks.

Weeks injury is a huge loss for one of the league’s middling offenses. If Rickie is forced to miss up to six weeks, it could put the Brewers in a hole they won’t be able to dig their selves out of.

Before I talk about who’s replacing Weeks, let me elaborate a little more on the ankle injury. Via Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, speculation exists that there may be “more going on,” in Rickie’s ankle than the diagnosed sprain. Haudricourt goes on to mention possible ligament damage.

If this is the case, it could be bad news for the Brewers as Weeks has been shelved in the past because of significant injuries to his wrists and left thumb.

How do the Brewers go about fixing this problem?

Initial thoughts would be that GM Doug Melvin would look to the market and acquire another team’s starting infielder before the July 31st trade deadline. But, that doesn’t look to be the case after picking up Felipe Lopez from the Tampa Bay Rays and sending him to Class AAA Nashville right away.

Yes, this is the same Lopez who played some decent baseball for the Brewers in 2009 after a trade from Arizona. When replacing Weeks in ’09, Lopez hit .320 and reached base at a .407 clip in 60 games.

Since then, Lopez has struggled to find his place in the major leagues. Most recently, he was sent to Class AAA by the Rays because of a stretch where he batted .216 and contributed only two home-runs and eight RBI in 32 games.

The Brewers immediate fix for Weeks was starting veteran Craig Counsell who’s in a horrible 0-for-41 slump. Moreover, the Brewers called up Eric Farris from Triple-A Nashville who made his debut on Thursday. Farris grounded out in the seventh inning in his only at-bat during a pinch-hit situation.

Whether it’s Counsell or Farris, I think it’s reasonable to say they will not be able to step up and play anywhere near what Weeks was doing this year. The same goes for Lopez who has yet to show he can hit the ball like he was back in 2009.

In a highly competitive NL Central, the Brewers need to figure out how to fix their offense and fast. In the series sweep of the Cubs, the Brewers scored only nine runs against one of the league’s worst pitching staffs. The way I see it, trading for another infielder who has shown he can hit is the only option for the team at this point.

If they want to sit around and try a platoon at second base until Weeks comes back, I think they could  be treading dangerous waters.

What do you think? Can the Brewers survive a Rickie-less team until he returns from the DL? Let me know by commenting below!

Nick Grays is a senior writer at the Sports Bank where he covers the Wisconsin Badgers, Green Bay Packers, and Milwaukee Brewers. He also enjoys to share Fantasy Advice from time-to-time. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best.

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Comments

  1. vegaswisfan says

    Looks like you were wrong. Weeks isn’t that valuable to the Brewers.

    In fact, I’m wondering if Weeks will even have a spot on the Brewers when he gets back.

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