Its Tuesday, and that's when I step aside for Andrew Dunn-Bauman's weekly Brewers blog..
Rickie Weeks is due $11 million in 2014, the final season of his contract with the Milwaukee Brewers. Big money doesn’t automatically equate to success, as the Brewers know all too well. The Crew paid Jeff Suppan $42 million to compile a 29-36 record with a 5.09 ERA before they mercifully cut him part-way into the 2010 season.
There was the sentiment among many in Milwaukee that continually trotting Suppan out to pitch every 5th day was merely a feeble attempt by the Brewers to get their money’s worth from Suppan. At the time, the $42 million was the richest contract in team history, and the organization seemed attached to the belief that they could still extract some positive production from “Soup”.
Here’s hoping the Brewers can remove any and all emotional attachment from that $11 million they owe Rickie Weeks. I’m talking North Pole, Neverland distance from it. It seems to be a generally accepted truth in the Brewer organization that Scooter Gennett, after hitting .324 last season in 230 plate appearances, is the better second baseman, and the starting job is his to lose. But it needs to be set in stone. Ron Roenicke needs to come out this Spring Training and announce “Scooter Gennett is my second baseman, no doubt in my mind.”
If Gennett comes out of the blocks like Aramis Ramirez and hits .180 in April, there can’t be rumblings that it’s time to cut the cord and plug Weeks back into the lineup. Gennett has endless potential at the young age of 23. Weeks on the other hand, at 31, has been battling injuries and seen his numbers at the plate steadily decline over the past four seasons. He is an average defender, and doesn’t offer more than Gennett in any faucet of the game.
That being said, Weeks can still contribute for the Brewers coming off the bench. He still offers some speed, and a bat with a charge in it, and can potentially be used as a utility infielder. But he is not starting second baseman quality, as the Brewers have been hoping for the past nine seasons.
The best sign that Gennett is solidified as part of the everyday Brewer lineup so far is the announcement of his bobblehead day in June. I’ll take it for now, knowing that Roenicke doesn’t like to ruffle any feathers in the offseason or early in Spring. But come the end of March, Rickie Weeks better be a distant second in the race for a starting spot at second base.