5/18/2014 8:59 P.M. ET
Roenicke hoping Weeks' patience can help offense
By Joe Popely / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- Manager Ron Roenicke is a realist when it comes to his offense. He knows that in general, he doesn't have the most patient hitters. Strike out totals will be high and have been just that in the first two games against the Cubs.
The Brewers struck out 14 times on both Friday and Saturday, when they were shut out for the fourth time this season. They've averaged just 3.5 runs per game over their last 10, a span in which they've scored more than five runs once and are 5-5.
Roenicke said his club's quiet offense against the Cubs is a combination of both the quality of pitching it has faced (Jeff Samardzija and Edwin Jackson) and his hitters' lack of patience against the duo, who feast on over-aggressive hitters. He can live with the aggressive nature of his hitters, but when paired with general offensive struggles, the results aren't pretty.
"That's when it's tough, and we knew we'd go through these things with this lineup," Roenicke said. "You just hope when you're going through it that a couple guys are still hot enough that you can get some runs."
Enter Rickie Weeks, who is hitting .358 with a .414 on-base percentage in 58 at-bats. The former No. 2 overall pick in the 2003 draft has been relegated to a platoon with Scooter Gennett and likely would have started against lefty Travis Wood regardless of how well he's hitting. Either way, his approach could be a big boost to the Crew's scuffling lineup and is the reason Roenicke hit him leadoff on Sunday.
"Well, we'll see, but we like him there because he gets on base," Roenicke said of Weeks. "He is one of the few guys on this team that does look at pitches and he'll take walks if they're not going to throw him strikes, and he's swinging the bat really well.
"Hopefully, with [Carlos Gomez] out, we can get him going and then follow it up with some good things, whether it's just getting on base or driving them in -- but we need to make it a little tough on the other pitchers."
Weeks delivered the Brewers' biggest hit in Sunday's 4-2 loss to the Cubs when he launched a two-run homer, his second of the season, in the fifth inning.
Gomez sidelined with stomach virus
CHICAGO -- The good news for Carlos Gomez is his back finally feels good enough to play. The bad news is that he contracted some sort of stomach ailment Saturday night and was consequently held out of Sunday's rubber match with the Cubs.
Gomez said he was up all night vomiting and hadn't eaten anything since breakfast Saturday.
"I'm hoping more food than it is flu because we don't need the flu going around," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said.
Gomez was a late scratch from Saturday's lineup due to lower back tightness that's been bothering him since Tuesday. Roenicke said Gomez was "probably" fine to play, but that it was ultimately best to give him an additional day of rest. Gomez said he was ready to play yesterday, but understood his manager's decision to play it safe.
"They decided to give me another day to feel better. It's better to miss one day than two weeks," Gomez said. "You saw my BP. I hit the ball good. I hit the ball out and [with] power.
"I mean, I was running yesterday and had the full practice yesterday. I expected to play today."
Henderson's bullpen session goes well
CHICAGO -- Injured reliever Jim Henderson threw a 25-pitch bullpen session that was by all measures a positive step forward.
"It went well. Pain-free," said Henderson, who was placed on he DL May 2 with shoulder inflammation. "It was awkward just not being on the mound for 12 days or whatever it's been. Mechanically, probably just need to clean up some things. We're still another bullpen and two to three rehab appearances away, so there's still some strengthening that needs to be done in the shoulder. But fix up the mechanics, and it's back to normal."
Henderson said it was a particularly good sign he didn't feel any pain when throwing his slider. He'll throw his next bullpen session on either Tuesday or Wednesday. Depending on how that session goes, the Brewers can plot Henderson's Minor League rehab assignment and determine how many appearances he'll need before rejoining the Brewers.
"We haven't completely set how many, but he's going to need a couple, for sure and then we'll see what he needs," said Brewers manager Ron Roenicke. "Probably depends on where he is, too. You can plan on something, but if he comes out and it's not quite there, you may want him to go longer."
Ramirez not rushing recovery from hamstring strain
CHICAGO -- It's been about a week since Aramis Ramirez was put on the DL with a strained left hamstring, and he hasn't started doing any baseball activities -- though it looks like that's around the corner.
Ramirez said he will likely do some light jogging on Monday in Atlanta and will have a better idea of his progress after that. From there, he hopes to start running. The weather in Chicago vs. the weather in Atlanta also contributed to the timing.
"We were going to do some here, but it's too cold, and we didn't want to take a chance with the cold weather," Ramirez said. "Atlanta's going to be nice and hot and we're going to do some baseball stuff there."
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke noted that Ramirez played catch before Sunday's game and was able to extend his leg while walking in a normal fashion without feeling any discomfort, a positive sign. The Brewers have no intention to rush their All-Star third baseman back, however.
"You do because you can't do it again," Roenicke said of taking a cautious approach with hamstring injuries. "If you do it again the next time, it's a month or more, so you really have to be careful."
• Entering play Sunday, Ryan Braun is five RBIs shy of tying Geoff Jenkins (704) for fourth on the Brewers' all-time list.
• Given Gomez's back tightness and stomach ailment and Ramirez's injury, utility man Elian Herrera has been a valuable fill-in player. He is 4-for-15 (.267) since he was recalled from Triple-A Nashville on Tuesday.
Joe Popely is an associate reporter for MLB.com.This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.