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10/02/08 6:30 PM ET
Brewers not losing faith in Weeks
Second baseman to play vs. lefties despite recent struggles
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
PHILADELPHIA -- Brewers manager Dale Sveum has no plans to stop using second baseman Rickie Weeks, at least against left-handed pitchers.
Weeks, whose costly error contributed to three unearned Phillies runs in the Brewers' 3-1 loss in Game 1 of the National League Division Series on Wednesday, was not in the lineup for Thursday's Game 2 because the Brewers faced a right-handed starter in Brett Myers. Weeks is expected back in the lineup for Game 3 on Saturday against left-hander Jamie Moyer, and would also be an option against lefty Cole Hamels in a potential Game 5.
"He's so close to being a prolific player that there's a lot of upside there," Sveum said of Weeks, 26. "We saw him three years ago, and ... how much better he's gotten defensively."
The second overall pick from the 2003 First-Year Player Draft is still a work in progress for the Brewers, and he showed it on Thursday. Weeks made a spectacular play to rob Jimmy Rollins of a leadoff hit, but then dropped a low throw from third baseman Bill Hall while covering first base in the third inning.
"It was low, but it was catchable, though," Weeks said. "That's really all I can say about it."
Weeks was charged with his first postseason error. He committed 15 of them in the regular season, second most among Major League second baseman to Ian Kinsler of Texas, who made 18 errors.
Offensively, Weeks also remains raw but talented. He batted .234 with a .342 on-base percentage during the regular season and scored a career-high 89 runs while mostly hitting leadoff. When Sveum took over as manager on Sept. 15, he dropped Weeks from first in the order down to seventh.
"He's really close," Sveum said. "He's been working real hard on getting off his back foot and it's been paying off a little bit. He does tease you. There will be streaks where you say, 'It's coming, it's really coming,' and then he falls backwards again. He's one of the strongest-headed young men you'll ever be around, and that's what keeps him going instead of just falling completely apart with some of the struggles."
Weeks is eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter.