6/27/2014 3:34 A.M. ET
Hot hitting not altering Gennett's platoon status
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
MILWAUKEE -- The National League's top slugging second baseman hit a grand slam and logged five RBIs in Wednesday's win over Washington yet found himself on the Brewers' bench for most of Thursday night's 7-4 win against the Rockies.
Was Scooter Gennett even a little bit surprised?
"No," he insisted.
Gennett said he knew Rickie Weeks would start instead because the Rockies had a left-handed starting pitcher starting Thursday night in Christian Friedrich. All season, Weeks has started against left-handers and Gennett against right-handers, matchups that have helped Gennett compile a .308 batting average and .473 slugging percentage that led NL second basemen entering Thursday. Only the Tigers' Ian Kinsler had a better slugging percentage among Major League second basemen.
Gennett knew Weeks would get the nod, and he was there to greet Weeks in the dugout when Weeks led off the bottom of the first inning with a first-pitch home run against Friedrich.
"As an everyday guy, like we've both been in the past, you never not want to play," Gennett said before the game. "But if that's our role, that's something we've just got to deal with -- just like having to deal with the traffic leaving the park."
Weeks is in the final season of his contract, and manager Ron Roenicke has said recently that, at some point, Gennett will get the opportunity to prove he can hit left-handed pitching.
In limited opportunities this season, mostly against relief pitchers, Gennett has a .129/.156/.161 slash line in 31 at-bats. Against right-handers, he was hitting .335/.371/.519 in 206 at-bats entering Thursday, when he hit a pinch-hit home run off right-hander Tommy Kahnle in the eighth inning. Weeks, meanwhile, entered the night hitting .243/.329/.400 against lefties.
If the platoon remains in place -- and Roenicke gave no indication Thursday of nearing a change of plans -- then Weeks will start three of the Brewers' four games in the current series against Colorado. Gennett's lone start would be Saturday against right-hander Jhoulys Chacin.
While conceding that Gennett was the better defender of the two, Roenicke suggested room for improvement.
"Offensively, he's done a really good job, but he needs to be better out there [on defense]," Roenicke said of Gennett. "He does. If he was playing unbelievable on defense and doing what he's been doing offensively, this would probably be a different conversation.
"There are a lot of double plays that we haven't gotten two. When you have double plays, you have to turn them. Last year, I really liked the way he played second base. We need to get him more consistent. I think it's a learning process of figuring out the league."
Gennett is remaining patient.
"I would rather play and maybe struggle against a lefty than not play at all," he said. "But if that's what the team can benefit most from, then I'm happy with it at the same time."
Weeks making impression in limited role
MILWAUKEE -- Considering Rickie Weeks' limited playing time, it was a surprise to see his name among the top five National League second basemen in the latest round of All-Star Game ballot results.
Weeks ranked fourth, perhaps thanks to a Brewers hot streak that helped Milwaukee players invade the leaderboard at every position. Aramis Ramirez was the leading vote-getter among third basemen, while Jonathan Lucroy was second among catchers and Jean Segura second among shortstops. Carlos Gomez was third on the list of outfielders, from which the top three are named All-Star starters.
Weeks, an All-Star in 2011, is much more focused on producing in a platoon role. Starting only against left-handed pitchers, he delivered a leadoff home run against the Rockies on Thursday as part of a three-hit night in a 7-4 Brewers win.
"I wouldn't say adapted, but you have to do what you have to do," Weeks said. "It's one of those things where I'm a professional, so I have to do my job and go out there and perform."
Weeks' leadoff homer was the 26th of his career, trailing only Paul Molitor's 33 in Brewers history. It was also Weeks' first home run in more than a month, since he went deep against the Cubs on May 18.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 11:59 p.m. ET. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15 on FOX.
Padres get Falu from Brewers on waiver wire
MILWAUKEE -- The Padres claimed utility man Irving Falu off waivers from the Brewers on Thursday, opening a spot on Milwaukee's previously full roster.
"We're going to need a spot here shortly," said Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash, who declined to elaborate.
Falu went 0-for-10 during a brief stint with the Brewers this season but batted .306 with a .364 on-base percentage in 43 games at Triple-A Nashville while playing second base, third base and shortstop.
"It was certainly good for him, but I was a little surprised by it," Ash said, "given his status as a Minor League free agent [during the offseason] and that anybody could have had him. But everybody's situation has changed, and they had a need. We're well covered in that area."
Ash said infielder Hainley Statia would move from Double-A Huntsville to Nashville to fill Falu's utility role.