Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks will miss the remainder of the season with a strained left hamstring, the club announced Friday.
Weeks was injured while running to first base in the eighth inning of Wednesday night’s game in San Francisco. After hitting a ground ball, Weeks dropped his bat in the base path and appeared to alter his stride to avoid the bat.
The Brewers placed Weeks on the 15-day disabled list Thursday, as he left the team to be evaluated by team physician Dr. William Raasch in Milwaukee.
Brewers athletic trainer Dan Wright told reporters in Seattle that Weeks’ injury is to the tendon often used in reconstruction of torn ACL’s. According to Wright, Weeks may rehabilitate the injury or have surgery and is expected to be out 4-6 months.
Weeks is expected to seek a second opinion on the diagnosis before deciding whether to have the surgery.
“It’s been a trying season for us,” Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said. “We’re going to have to move forward and give an opportunity to the younger players.
“Rickie plays the game so hard all the time. He never gives up and that might be one of the reasons why he’s injured and has the history of injuries. He got hurt running hard to first base and the injury is going to prevent him from coming back this year.”
It was a season to forget for the former All-Star, as Weeks finishes the year with a .209 batting average, 10 home runs and 24 RBI. After starting slow, Weeks hit .355 with five home runs and nine RBI in June, but hit just .170 in July.
Injuries have plagued Weeks during his 10-year career. He missed the final 62 games of the 2006 season after having season-ending surgery to repair a right wrist tendon injury in August. Weeks missed nearly a month of the 2007 season with left wrist tendinitis.
Weeks suffered a left knee injury running to first base in Game 3 of the 2008 NLDS, and he missed the remainder of the postseason. He underwent a debridement of the meniscus in his left knee in October. In 2009, Weeks underwent season-ending surgery to repair the extensor carpi ulnaris tendon sheath in the left wrist on May 20.
After making the National League All-Star team in 2011, Weeks suffered a severe left ankle sprain while running to first base on July 27. He missed 39 games with the injury and hit just .243 in 14 games after he returned.
Weeks is set to make $11 million next season and has a vesting club option for $11.5 million for 2015. The option will automatically kick in if Weeks has over 600 plate appearances next season. He could have had the option kick in by having over 1,200 plate appearances over 2013 and 2014, but he ends this season with just 399.
With Weeks done for the year, rookie Scooter Gennett will likely get the majority of the playing time at second base. The 23-year-old has bounced back and forth between Milwaukee and Triple-A Nashville this season, but now has a two-month opportunity to show the club what he can do.
“Any time you get the opportunity to go out and show them what you can do and contribute to helping the team win, it’s a good opportunity,” Gennett said. “It sucks Rickie got hurt and that’s the reason why I’m here now, but at the same time I have to go out there and do the best job I can to help the team win.”
Roenicke explains ejection: It’s rare to see Ron Roenicke as fired up as he was in the fourth inning of Friday’s 10-5 victory over Seattle, and Milwaukee’s skipper was still adamant he was correct after the game.
With one out and Carlos Gomez on first base, Yuniesky Betancourt hit a ground ball that was booted by Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager. The ball went down the line and grazed the arm of a fan reaching over the railing. Gomez motored around from first to score, as Mariners left fielder Raul Ibanez didn’t even attempt a throw.
Mariners interim manager Robby Thompson came out to argue the fan touched the baseball, and the umpires sent Gomez back to third base after conferring.
Roenicke didn’t argue the fact the ball hit the fan, but was angry at who made the decision to send Gomez back to third base. Home plate umpire Dan Bellino was the only umpire to admit he didn’t see the fan touch the baseball, but he was the one who made the decision to return Gomez to third and take the run off the board.
“What I argued was, it didn’t affect the ball coming off the wall, they didn’t even make an attempt to get Gomey at home, so he should have scored,” Roenicke said. “The one guy who didn’t see the play, he’s the one who rules whether the run scores or not.
“How can they ask him? He didn’t see it hit the spectator, so how does he know how the ball comes off? All of them should have got together and decided how does that ball affect and does he score anyway. You don’t leave it to the guy who doesn’t see the play.”
Roenicke argued with crew chief Tim Welke and Bellino long enough to have Bellino run him from the game. It was Roenicke’s second ejection of the season, as he was run from April 24th’s game in San Diego.
“I stayed out too long,” Roenicke said. “I should have been kicked out. I just told him that he took the easy way out, which he did. He took the easy call, which is spectator makes interference and you just give the guy a double. That’s the easy way, and he took it. I got kicked out because I stayed out there too long arguing. I stayed out there too long because I really thought I was right.”
Altered plans: Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez was initially slated to be activated for Friday’s game in Seattle, but Weeks’ injury changed what Milwaukee could do.
Because Gennett had been optioned down to Triple-A on Tuesday, he had to stay down for 10 days unless he was coming up due to an injury. That meant Gennett had to replace Weeks on the roster and the Brewers decided to wait to make another move to bring back Ramirez.
Ramirez is expected to return to be the designated hitter for the two-game series in Texas beginning on Tuesday.
“We had planned on him maybe playing Friday night, maybe half a game Saturday and then taking Sunday off,” Melvin said. “Then we figured that instead of just having six at-bats, we’ll just bring Scooter back.”
The Brewers will most likely have to make a decision on one of their three outfielders prior to the series in Texas. Because Logan Schafer is the team’s only backup center fielder, either Khris Davis or Caleb Gindl may be the odd man out for the time being.
“They really never got an opportunity with Ryan (Braun), Carlos (Gomez) and (Norichika) Aoki,” Melvin said of the three young outfielders. “Their opportunities have really been in spring training only. Now they will get an opportunity to play out there to give us a chance to see what they really can do. We have a lot of confidence in their ability.”