Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tommy H - All Over Weeks

From JS Blog.

Accountability time for Weeks
By Tom Haudricourt

Tuesday, Jul 29 2008, 10:42 AM

Throughout the 2008 season, various players for the Milwaukee Brewers have been held accountable for lack of performance.

Derrick Turnbow had a heinous April and was banished to the minors for the rest of the season.

Carlos Villanueva had a string of bad starts and was moved to bullpen duty.

Mitch Stetter was sent to the minors after walking too many hitters.

Eric Gagne forfeited the closer's role to Salomon Torres after melting down too many times in the ninth.

Bill Hall was placed in a platoon at third base with Russell Branyan until he remembered how to hit right-handed pitching again.

Dave Bush was prohibited from starting on the road after piling up too many dismal outings away from home.

Guillermo Mota -- finally -- was moved to an earlier role in the bullpen after blowing up too many late-inning leads.

It's time for second baseman Rickie Weeks to be held to that same standard.

Week's shortcomings were front and center Monday night as the Brewers lost an important game to the Cubs, 6-4. He failed to turn a routine double play in the seventh inning -- an ongoing problem for him -- allowing two runs to score (he also failed to make what would have been a good play on a sharp grounder by Kosuke Fukudome earlier that inning).

At the plate, Weeks continued to under-perform, going 0 for 4 with two strikeouts. On the other side, Cubs leadoff hitter Alfonso Soriano socked a double, homer and scored three runs.

Even with a recent hot streak, Weeks is batting only .224 with a .330 on-base percentage. If you're not going to hit, you better be able to field. And vice versa. Weeks has proven to be a liability in both areas.

This is big-boy time. If the Brewers want to end their 26-year playoff drought, they must play Ray Durham as often as possible in place of Weeks. Durham is no flash in the field, either, but I'm guessing he can turn a routine double play. And his on-base percentage is .381, 51 points higher than Weeks.

Manager Ned Yost has backed Weeks relentlessly. He continually has said Weeks is "fine" and given him the longest leash of any player on the club. And I understand why. Weeks is a high draft pick who was considered the Brewers' second baseman of the future.

But we've seen enough of Weeks by now to see he's got too many shortcomings to be an impact player. And, with the playoffs on the line, you can't have both an offensive hole atop the lineup and a poor fielder, all wrapped up in the same player.

The Brewers traded two minor leaguers and picked up half of the remaining $3 million on Durham's contract to get him from San Francisco. The move was made to provide insurance should Weeks continue to underperform.

It's time to cash in that insurance policy. Not just because Weeks blew a double play last night. But because he has been given enough time to show he can be a viable major leaguer and he hasn't produced.

Again, this is big-boy time. Time to put your best lineup out there every night. For that matter, Craig Counsell has a higher on-base percentage than Weeks and is a much better second baseman. So, there are options. You don't have to stick with Weeks just to try to prove he belongs.

Yost has said many times that performance has become more important than development, with the club openly saying it's going for the playoffs this year. Time to live up to that motto, with EVERY player on the team.


woziszeus said...

Damn Right.

StormShadow said...

They should have dumped Dick Reeks after the first 3 years he showed nothing while he still had value on the market. They need to bundle Hall and Weeks like the Time Warner commercial and send them seaworthy. Maybe they can package Yost in there too.

Suppan said...

I'm all for dumping Yost

garcia said...

In my mind, Yost and the rest of the staff is just as acocuntable. They have been given a very talented team and I do not find the coaching staff doing all they can to win ball games. In my mind, I do not see how they are pushing or motivating the team. We are spending more money than ever and I feel the entire coaching staff is putting their playoff push in jeopardy!