HOUSTON -- Rickie Weeks surged back toward the top of the Brewers' batting order on Sunday, the latest signal that last year's starting second baseman for the National League All-Star team is shaking his brutal early season slump.Weeks batted second after hitting .287 in his last 48 games before Sunday's series finale against the Astros, with seven home runs, 23 RBIs and 56 more points on his batting average, which rose in that span from .162 to .218. Over his previous 16 games, Weeks was hitting .369. "We've been talking about it for a while," manager Ron Roenicke said. "A couple of weeks ago, when we met with [general manager] Doug [Melvin] and the boys, we talked about maybe doing it sometime, and I think it's a good time to do it." With Weeks up in the two-hole instead of center fielder Carlos Gomez, who slipped to seventh after going 0-for-8 with six strikeouts in the first two games of the Houston series, the Brewers could be previewing a potential batting order for next season, when they will try to regroup and contend in the NL Central. The top six hitters are right fielder Norichika Aoki, Weeks, left fielder Ryan Braun, third baseman Aramis Ramirez, first baseman Corey Hart and the catcher's spot -- usually held by Jonathan Lucroy. All of those players are under contract for 2013. That would leave center field and shortstop for the seven- and eight-holes. The Brewers will have to decide whether recently acquired rookie Jean Segura is ready for everyday duty next season. Center is a big question mark at the moment: Gomez is getting another chance to prove he can handle a regular workload. So far, Gomez has seemed to struggle the more he plays. He was the regular center fielder to start the 2011 season, but eventually slipped into a timeshare with Nyjer Morgan and had success. Now, at 26, Gomez is getting yet another shot. "We'll continue to play him, but he needs to show that progression in what he does offensively, because defensively, he's fine," Roenicke said. "He's good defensively. He's good when he gets on base, he's a tremendous base stealer. But that consistency in the batter's box [is the issue]."
Segura showing Crew what he can do in field
HOUSTON -- Day by day, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke is getting a better read on the team's shortstop of the future. So far, he likes what he sees in the field from young Jean Segura.The 22-year-old Segura was the key piece of the July 27 trade that sent Zack Greinke to the Angels, and the Brewers promoted him to the Majors on Aug. 6. In his first five games, Segura went 4-for-17 with three RBIs, including a run-scoring groundout Saturday night that tied the game in the ninth inning. It's in the field where Roenicke has been most impressed. "Those plays he's coming in on, those aren't easy plays," Roenicke said. "He's quick, he gets to a ball in a hurry, and he's got a cannon arm, which you guys haven't even seen yet. Wait until he gets a ball in the hole and he has to throw it over there. He's got a cannon for an arm. "So, we'll see what happens with him. Offensively, he's had some troubles with some of the offspeed stuff that they've thrown at him. We'll see how he adjusts. He's done a nice job of hitting the ball to right field." Segura is pleased to be getting regular playing time. A spot opened for him last week when the Nationals claimed shortstop Cesar Izturis off waivers. "They traded me for Greinke, and they want to know what I have," Segura said. "If they bring me up, I knew they wanted me to show what I've got every day."
First-round pick Roache cleared to take swings
HOUSTON -- Outfielder Victor Roache, the second of Milwaukee's two first-round Draft picks this year, was cleared by team doctors to begin "dry" swings this weekend and is on track to be ready to play in the Fall Instructional League next month, Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash said on Sunday.The Brewers picked Roache 28th overall in the First-Year Player Draft in June, when he was less than four months removed from a major arm surgery. Roache had six screws and a metal plate installed to repair a broken bone, and two pins to fix a dislocated left wrist. The season before he was hurt, Roache hit 30 home runs for Georgia Southern University. "This is a premier, power-type guy," amateur scouting director Bruce Seid said on Draft night. "Yeah, there's some risk as to, 'Will he get to 100 percent?' But at this point, we feel very confident in the makeup of the kid to work hard and that the injury will heal and he will be who we think he'll be." The Fall Instructional League begins in mid-September.
Brewers right-hander Mark Rogers left the team in a hurry Sunday to catch a flight home to Arizona, where his wife, Kerrie, was to give birth to the couple's first child. Rogers is penciled in to make his next start for the Brewers on Wednesday at Colorado. Reliever Livan Hernandez tweaked an ankle while breaking off the mound to cover first base in Saturday's loss to the Astros but was fine by Sunday, manager Ron Roenicke said. Lefty Manny Parra had a successful return to the mound on Saturday, working a 1-2-3 inning in an eventual loss to the Astros. Parra had not pitched since July 24 because of an impingement in his left elbow.