Coming into spring training the Milwaukee Brewers have two second basemen that can be an everyday starter. The two competitors for the everyday starting job are veteran Rickie Weeks and youngster Scooter Gennett. Each player has questions about whether they should start everyday and the choice isn’t completely obvious.
Nine-year veteran Rickie Weeks is a former no. 2 draft pick for the Brewers and has been the starter for the past nine seasons for the Brew Crew. Weeks has been a solid contributor to the club, with the 2010 season as his best offensive statistical season. He has been struggling with injuries in the past couple of years. In 2011, Weeks had an ankle injury that hampered his production carrying into the 2012 season. In 2013 he had struggled in the first half of the season but was fighting to get through it. In August he tore his hamstring on while running to first base.
During the season this was where Scooter Gennett was called up to spell the struggling veteran. Gennett was able to take over the starting spot for Weeks and performed well enough that Gennett could start this season. Gennett took over the starting spot in August once Weeks was out for the rest of the season. Gennett had a batting average of .324 and played superior defense compared to Weeks.
It is not set in stone which player could start for the club on March 31. Manager Ron Roenicke doesn’t have a starter in mind yet and is willing to let the best man win.
“We’re going to let it play out, and I think the scenarios that we have are pretty good,” Roenicke said. “So we’re not sure exactly how it’s going to go, but Rick needs to bounce back and be the same Rickie.”
I think that the open competition is the best way for this position battle to become resolved and find the player that can help the Brewers win the most games. I do have fond memories of watching Weeks since he started playing for the Brewers in 2005, I think that Gennett will win out at first. With Weeks, he has an $11 million salary for this season and could turn into an expensive bench player. What I think happens is that Gennett will win the job during spring training with his defense. As the season progresses though, I can see Gennett start to slump and struggle as younger players do when they haven’t played a full season before.
This could bring around the idea that Gennett and Weeks can platoon for the season. This lowers the risk of injuries for Weeks, who has had injuries that hindered his level of play dramatically and also gives Gennett time to adjust to the day-to-day grind of the season. This also gives Roenicke flexibility in the lineup to match up against opponents better because Gennett hits lefty and Weeks is a righty.
Who do you think the Brewers should start at second base on opening day? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.