Rickie Weeks' Return, Ryan Braun and the Batting Title and Other Brewers Musings
Because nobody really wants to read paragraph after paragraph besides, well, me, headlines surrounding the Milwaukee Brewers are posted here in the new “Brewers Musings” section along with just a little opinion spiced in by yours truly. Excited?! Probably not, but I am. So open up those commodious brains to get the Brewers headlines.
Rickie Weeks Injury Update
As much as we loved Jerry Hairston Jr. (endearingly referred to Hairy Jerry in the Hogg household), the return of All-Star second baseman Rickie Weeks is much-anticipated.
Take that, National League.
Manager Ron Roenicke indicated that Weeks will be activated for the weekend series against the Phillies and will be available for limited pinch-hit duties. Weeks ran bases Wednesday, a huge step forward after being placed on the DL July 28 for hurting his ankle running over first base.
"If we activate him, it's not activating him so he can play second base," Roenicke said. "It's activating him so he can bat, and if we get in a game where we're up a lot or down a lot, maybe we can put him at second base for a couple innings. Something to ease him in."
If I had to put on my Roenicke Cap and guess when Weeks will be back fully, my best shot would be for Saturday or Sunday in Cincinnati. One thing well known around the MLB is that the Brewers will be extra cautious with Weeks, wanting him back for the playoffs.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Ryan Braun (.333) is only two percentage points behind Mets shortstop Jose Reyes for the batting title. Braun isn't the kind of guy to let this chase get to his head.
"Certain people are motivated by stuff like that, and I think he's one of them," Dale Sveum said. "I don't think it hurts. Sometimes it can hurt guys, but those kinds of achievements motivate Brauny. Just like last year."
Not only is Braun in the chase for the batting title after a red-hot August in which he batted .369, but the Brewers All-Star outfielder is one of the leading candidates for the National League MVP, along with Matt Kemp and teammate Prince Fielder. Braun could not have responded to his long-term contract any better than he has, posting career-best numbers.
As for the last time Braun hit under .300, you would have to go back to may, when his scuffles at the plate were evidenced by his completely abysmal .299 average that only lasted one day. Terrible, right?
Nothing, not even the legendary Vin Scully's words, could match Plush. Nothing.
George Kottaras' Cycle
Saturday night in Houston made Brewers and baseball fans alike strike the question of "Who needs Prince and Braun when you have George Kottaras?"
After his ground-rule double to Tal's Hill in center field at Minute Maid Park sealed the cycle, the first in the MLB this season, the entire Brewers dugout erupted. I'm sure that wasn't the only place clad with Brewers hats and jerseys that erupted, as nobody expected the Brewers backup catcher to accomplish this feat.
To put it in perspective, three no-hitters have been thrown this season, one of them by a legitimate MVP candidate. Only one player has hit for the cycle, and it came from the unassuming backup catcher for the Brewers. Milwaukee must just have a thing with backup catchers hitting for the cycle.
As has been said by too many people to quote simply one, sometimes you have to expect the unexpected. Just don't expect George Kottaras to hit for the cycle, really.
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