Posted tagged ‘Rickie Weeks’

Home Run Derby: National League lineup is set

July 7, 2011



(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images North America)

Milwaukee Brewers slugger Prince Fielder selected teammate Rickie Weeks, the Los Angeles DodgersMatt Kemp and St. Louis CardinalsMatt Hollidayto represent the National League in Monday night’s Home Run Derby.

“It was very tough, I wanted everybody to be in it. I definitely wanted someone from the Diamondbacks to be in it, but these guys, I know these guys really well, and these are my picks, no hard feelings,” Fielder said Tuesday.

Arizona hosts the All-Star Game on Tuesday and Diamondbacks right fielder Justin Upton had said he was interested in representing the NL.

“I wish I could invite everyone I knew. That was the only part that was a little tough, trying to narrow it down,” Fielder said.

Kemp came into play on Tuesday with an NL-best 22 home runs. Fielder has 21, Weeks has 15 and Holliday has the fewest with 10 but has hit in the contest two previous times. Weeks said he’s not concerned about messing up his swing by trying to hit home runs because they try to outhit each other in batting practice.

“We mess around with it all the time in BP,” Weeks said. “It’s one of those things where if you’re confident in yourself and your swing; some people have different swings, of course, and they might have to create more lift or something like that. Maybe that might mess them up, possibly. Some people have long homers and some people have hard homers — you just want to stay with what got you here and go hard and have fun, really.”

Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said he’s already talked to Weeks about not altering his swing and said he’s comfortable with two of his best hitters being part of the festivities.

“Rickie said he’s going to be fine,” Roenicke said. “I think he can turn it on and off when he wants to.”

Fielder says he’ll use Triple-A hitting coach Sandy Guerrero as his pitcher in the derby, the same person who threw to him when he won the contest in 2009. Weeks said he wasn’t sure who he’d pick, either Guerrero or Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum. Fielder did have a little advice for his teammate on preparing for the contest.

“It’s kind of intense, it’s not as easygoing as you might think it is,” Fielder said. “You get serious because of course you want to win.”

The new format this year pits the NL against the AL for charity, and the American League hitters include 2010 derby champ David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox along with his teammate Adrian Gonzalez, Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees and Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays. Bautista leads the majors with 27 homers.

With that potent lineup, Fielder decided not to make any guarantees on who would win the competition.

“I’m not going to do that,” Fielder said. “I guarantee I’ll swing hard, though.”

This lineup is more random than the American League but it does have a dynamic duo just like Papi and Gonzo. In Milwaukee, I have seen Weeks and Fielder battle it out in batting practice and I have to say that they will definitely put on a show and Weeks can shock some people. He has tons of power and instead of hitting those towering home runs, he is going to hit some lasers to left field. It will be highly amusing to see what Fielder and Weeks do in comparison to the Boston Brigade. As for Kemp and Holliday, they deserve to be on the roster and I think Kemp deserved a bid to the All Star team and is a snub. I am glad he is able to get a chance to compete in something and he is a great raw talent. Finally, I think Holliday is a good choice as he has been on a tear lately and his swing will perfectly fit the home run derby and the dimensions of Chase Field. I can’t believe it’s July in the baseball season! Bring on the long balls…

Vote: What is the best play in baseball so far this season?

May 21, 2011

Hey baseball fans, I have watched a lot of baseball growing up and I have to say that this season has been the year of the glove. There have been a ton of fantastic plays from a lot of teams around the league and they have been very fun to watch. My question to you the fans is which one is the greatest? VOTE BELOW to decide which one is the best.

Roger Bernadina?

Brewers Double Play?

Cabrera Double Play?

Phillips throught the legs?

Sweet Spot Blog: Rickie Weeks deal good for the Milwaukee Brewers

February 24, 2011

Another very good blog that baseball fans should go to. My main writer, Rob Neyer used to write for this blog buthas handed it down to the rest of the ESPN writers around the country.

Via Sweet Spot Blog:

After what felt like an eternity of negotiations, the Brewers and second baseman Rickie Weeks finally agreed to terms on a long-term contract Wednesday. Ken Rosenthal first reported the details of the new agreement, which potentially pays Weeks $50 million over the next five seasons. The fifth year essentially acts as an option, as the Brewers can opt out if Weeks isn’t a full-time player in 2013 and 2014.

At close to $10 million per season, the Brewers are paying for fewer than two Wins Above Replacement (WAR) yearly out of Weeks once we account for long-term salary inflation. Weeks produced a whopping 6.1 WAR in the 2010 season, and even though that kind of production may just be a career year, Weeks is a good bet to eclipse the 2 WAR total on a yearly basis. Both his walk rate (10.7 percent over his career) and Isolated Power (.176 for his career) are well above the league average, and these form the basis of his solid .355 career OBP and .429 slugging percentage.

The obvious comparison for Weeks is another second baseman: the Atlanta Braves’ Dan Uggla. Uggla also received a five-year contract extension this offseason, earning an extra $12 million for a total of $62 million. Uggla has the superior bat — a .263/.349/.488 career line against Weeks’s .253/.355/.429 — but a worse defensive reputation (which is saying quite a bit) and less speed on the bases. Uggla is also two years older; Weeks won’t turn 29 until September while Uggla will turn 31 during spring training.

So the $12 million lower price tag for Weeks seems like quite the bargain. However, I think it makes sense given Weeks’s tumultuous injury history. Although Weeks showed no signs of the wrist problems in 2010 that plagued his early career, it remains a worry for many Brewers fans. Last years was the first time that Weeks managed to play more than 130 games in a season — and only the third time in six tries that he competed in more than 100 games. There’s little doubt that Weeks’s extension would be much richer — and perhaps not contain the out clause on the final season — had he not missed more than 200 career games, including much of a 2009 season that looked primed for a breakout.

Overall, though, it’s hard to argue with this deal. The Brewers will be able to escape with relatively little damage should the injury problems strike again, and Weeks is quite likely to be worth much more than his contract while he’s on the field. Much like the deals the Brewers have in place with franchise cornerstones Yovani Gallardo and Ryan Braun, this deal gives the team the flexibility to continue to add talent while retaining a very good player for a long time.

Due to a lack of prospects, the Brewers are set up for the short-term. However, the core talent on the team right now is exceptionally young. Of the team’s regular players this season, only fourth starter Randy Wolf and setup man Takashi Saito are over the age of 30. Outside of Prince Fielder and Saito, every other player is under team control at least through 2012. Deals like the Weeks contract should allow the Brewers to stay competitive while rebuilding the farm system.

…Surprisingly, I disagree with this article for many reasons. Why did the Brewers give him a 5 year deal? He will be 32 at the end of the deal and that is old for a second baseman. He has only played 2 healthy regular seasons and last years was his most productive. I understand what Doug Melvin is trying to do by locking up his young guys, but why not Fielder, Grienke, Marcum, or Axford. I think this deal leaves a lot of question marks. I love Weeks as a player when healthy because he is one of the best leadoff hitters in the game and is a game changer every time he steps up to the plate. But with his poor defense and his injury risk, I don’t think it was worth that much. If he walks a lot more this year, hits a few more home runs, and drives in more runs, this deal will look like a steal for the Brew Crew. But before then, I still put this deal up for question rather than say it was the best thing for the Brewers…