Weeks close to returning
ST. LOUIS Second baseman Rickie Weeks took another step Wednesday toward returning from the disabled list when he ran the bases for the first time during batting practice.
“I’m not going to be going crazy or anything,” said Weeks, who has been sidelined since severely spraining his left ankle July 27.
Weeks has been doing everything else during workouts, including batting practice and fielding drills. Being able to run the bases is the last hurdle, but Weeks made it clear he won’t be back in all-star form when he returns.
“I’m not going to be 100% coming back,” he said. “I just don’t want to be 60%, either. I want to come back as close to ready as possible. I still have to put everything together.”
Weeks probably will have two weeks at the most of regular play to get ready for the postseason. Will that be enough?
“I think so,” he said. “The biggest thing is getting at-bats, really. I think a week is good to see pitches and get your swing back.”
Manager Ron Roenicke and the medical staff have been trying to figure the best way to ease Weeks back into action.
before he resumes playing the full nine innings. Roenicke talked Tuesday about giving Weeks some pinch-hitting appearances as well as shorter stints in the field.
But, with no minor-league games to use as rehabilitation, Weeks might need some simulated at-bats against some of the Brewers’ pitchers to bridge the gap, Roenicke said.
“We’d like him to see some balls coming in a little harder, some breaking balls,” said Roenicke. “We’re trying to figure that out.”
Roenicke hasn’t said where Weeks will bat when he returns to the lineup, but it is doubtful he will supplant leadoff hitter Corey Hart, who has prospered in that spot. Weeks had moved to the five-hole when he was injured.
“When Rickie is right, he bumps people back,” said Roenicke. “When he’s right, he’ll be in a situation where other people will move back in different slots.
“We want to see where Rickie is first. I doubt that he’s going to be the same guy as when he got hurt. He hasn’t seen any live pitching and all of a sudden we’ll have him back in the lineup.”
With Jerry Hairston Jr. still out with neck stiffness, Roenicke gave rookie Taylor Green his first start at second base. Green had started at third base twice and was 4 for 4 as a pinch-hitter.
Green started 94 games at third base for Class AAA Nashville but also played 26 games at second base when the Sounds were looking at Eric Farris at shortstop. Green shifted to third, however, in the forth inning after Casey McGehee was ejected for an angry display after a called third strike by umpire D.J. Reyburn.
The Brewers will get a gauge of their chances in postseason play when they open a four-game series against Philadelphia on Thursday night at Miller Park. The Phillies have the best record in the majors at 90-48.
The Brewers will face Philly’s three best pitchers, Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, as well as rookie sensation Vance Worley. Roenicke was asked if he looked forward to that challenge.
“I don’t know if you ever look forward to those things,” said Roenicke. “You never want to go face somebody who you know is that good. They’ve got an unbelievable team.”
Not surprisingly, ultra-confident Nyjer Morgan said the Brewers were up to the challenge.
“You have to be ready to hit,” said Morgan. “You can’t stand there taking pitches because they’re going to come after you. You have to be ready.
“We have some great hitters. You can’t put doubts in your head, no matter how good their pitching is. Pitchers don’t want to face us just as much as other teams don’t want to face them. This is a confident group. We go out to win every day.”