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Whats is Rickie's problem? Is he hurting or confused?


Kpanz20
I know its all really speculation, but one can't help but wonder if this recent slump is due to more wrist problems. He is 1 for his last 19, after a somewhat hot start coming off the DL. He's shown a bit of a surge in the past when coming off extended rest... and now it seems like the time where he regresses again. A comment from the IGT yesterday suggested that Rickie has shown the least production of all the young brewers prospects. I would have to agree for the most part. So which is it? His hitting approach? Or wrist problems?
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It seems like he's just swinging at everything but part of the problem could be that he's had some pretty inconsistent playing time the last couple of months. Who really knows, though. It's hard to get much out of 19 AB. He could go 3 for 4 with a walk tonight.
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It does seem like he's swinging at everything... and that really doesnt have anything to do with the wrist itself, but moreso the inconsistant playing time as you suggested. I think they really need a healthy Rickie for the second half. I like graf and counsell so much better when they come off the bench.

 

also... it seems like rickie is one of those guys that would rather just play through the pain (if there still is some) and try to keep it quiet rather than go back to the team and say he can't play with it.

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Blah, blah, blah, no offense RLuzinski...I enjoy reading what you write, but you sound like the a-typical Rickie Weeks apologist.

 

The bottom line is he will never be the player we think he could be. He may have one "mushroom season" where his average spikes into the area surrounding .300, it will undoubtedly be a season where he plays about 125 games as well.

 

He'll always be a free swinger who makes poor contact, hits poorly with RISP, strikes out a ton, and gives high effort. He just has woeful plate discipline.

 

I'm done listening to people like you who talk about sample size, playing time, and the other myriad excuses. He is what he is, I can see it, I don't need stats, or Yost prosteltizing on the condition of his wrist.

 

I admire his effort and physical skill set but the difference between a kid who you can just see knows how to hit, ala Braun is stunning. Sorry, he'll never be Brandon Phillips or Josh Barfied those guys he came up with and was compared against.

 

He's certainly not Joe Morgan (good grief remember that comparison!) My best notion is that they use the belief that some GM's may have that he has such a ceiling and trade him while the iron is hot, otherwise we'll have a nice 2B who will hit in the .260's with slightly above average power, maybe spiking to 20HR's a time or two.

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"also... it seems like rickie is one of those guys that would rather just play through the pain (if there still is some) and try to keep it quiet rather than go back to the team and say he can't play with it."

 

That's true, although if he's already experiencing pain that is affecting his swing after that prolonged layoff, that would be a bummer. Hopefully he's just a little rusty from the layoff. As Russ says, too small a sample to be truly concerned - yet.

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Blah, blah, blah, no offense RLuzinski...I enjoy reading what you write, but you sound like the a-typical Rickie Weeks apologist.

 

How could I ever take offense to a comment that starts with, "Blah, blah, blah"?

 

The bottom line is he will never be the player we think he could be.

 

Is it possible to have a post about Weeks without someone venting about his unrealized potential? You call me an apologist, which sounds so damn silly to me, considering I don't really get hung up about expectations to begin with. All I judge is what he's done as a professional hitter.

 

So, let's talk about Weeks' recent slump in this thread and you can start a new thread where you blast Weeks for not living up to your expectations, OK?

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"I enjoy reading what you write".

 

Not too insulting...

 

Keep up the posting, I enjoy it.

 

Oh and what he has done as a pro hitter is: K, K, and more K and hit like dung with RISP, in addition to posting a solid OPS and a low BA. He certainly looks like an above average 2b offensively (if that's what people are to be happy with). Sorry I veered it off course.

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Sorry, he'll never be Brandon Phillips or Josh Barfied those guys he came up with and was held against.

Huh? At least put the effort into checking stats before you make claims like that.

 

Josh Barfield

Career OPS - .700

2007 OPS - .624

 

Brandon Phillips

Career OPS - .696

2007 OPS - .787

 

Rickie Weeks

Career OPS - .748

2007 OPS - .764

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The problem, as I see it, is that Rickie is not aggressive until after he has a couple strikes on him. Thus, he strikes out on a lot of bad pitches.

 

Here are the career numbers:

 

Rickie swings at 18% of first pitches compared to a league average of 27%

Rickie swings at 66% of strikes thrown, compared to an average of 72%

Rickie makes contact on 74% of his swings compared to an average of 80%

34% of the strikes on Rickie are looking compared to an average of 28%

18% of Rickie's strikeouts are looking, compared to an average of 26%

 

That tells me he takes too many strikes early in the count and then swings at too many pitches late in the count. He doesn't have the contact skills or the power (you need one of those) to succeed that way. I think he just has a bad approach. He needs to tailor his approach to better fit his abilities, imo.

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19 at-bats is too small of a sample.. no doubt about it. BUT he has shown this same pattern before after coming off a period of rest.

 

I'd rather not comment on his future trade value or career number projections... but whether or not he is currently being hampered by the wrist.

 

wrists are a very sensative thing to deal with especially for a major league baseball player. can you imagine trying to hit a ball with a soar wrist... it can't be easy. that being said... i'd reallllly love to see rickie swing at less balls. It deceiving because of his high obp but it sure does seem like he swings at a lot of balls.

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This is probably the Rickie we get this season IMO. It's not uncommon for someone to struggle the year after surgery/injury. It's similar to Sheets last year. Just be glad Hardy isn't going through it as well. I've been one who has said Weeks production has been disappointing so far and I stick to that statement. I also believe he can live up to his potential. It's just probably not going to be this year. I wonder how much pain effects things like plate disipline, pitch selection, ect. I'd imagine it has to leek into other aspects of the hitting.
There needs to be a King Thames version of the bible.
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That tells me he takes too many strikes early in the count and then swings at too many pitches late in the count. He doesn't have the contact skills or the power (you need one of those) to succeed that way. I think he just has a bad approach.

 

The stats you put up there are great stuff there JoeHova.... that makes perfect sense to me. Thats why he has a decent amount of walks because if they don't get 2 k's on him he lays off. Then he probably tenses up a bit and gets to anxious with 2 strikes and swings at pitches he probably shouldn't swing at. Thus striking out a bit more.

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Blah, blah, blah, no offense RLuzinski

This is borderline, but it does register on the condescension meter.

That’s the only thing Chicago’s good for: to tell people where Wisconsin is.

[align=right]-- Sigmund Snopek[/align]

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The bottom line is he will never be the player we think he could be.

 

Do you realize he is just 24 years old? Very few players are maxxed out at 24, escpecially not players with his batspeed. Did you think Bill Hall was maxxed out at 24?

 

Quote:
Sorry, he'll never be Brandon Phillips or Josh Barfied those guys he came up with and was held against.

 

Have you looked at what Barfield had done in his career? Weeks is infinetly better. Weeks had been every bit as good as Phillips, even though Phillips is 2 years older. Speaking of Phillips, what if you gave up on him when he was 24? He was left for dead before last season, his career had looked as it had stalled out in AAA. Now he's a solid player, though his OBA is too low for my taste.

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His problem is the spot he's hitting in the order.

 

They can afford to throw him breaking pitch after breaking pitch with the pitcher batting behind him.

 

I still say he should hit second, Hardy should hit 6th, and Estrada should hit 8th.

 

Put Weeks ahead of Braun and Fielder and he will catch fire in no time.

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His problem is the spot he's hitting in the order.

 

They can afford to throw him breaking pitch after breaking pitch with the pitcher batting behind him.


 

 

I don't think that's the problem. I think they can afford to do that no matter where he is htting in the order because he is susceptible to it. He needs to change his approach (possibly including his godawful batting stance) if he is ever going to live up to some of those comparisons we heard when he was drafted. During a season may not be the time to do that though.

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That's a pretty big assumption, briggs, and one that messes with an order that has been working nicely, thank you. You would sacrifice run scoring potential just to make Rickie more comfortable? JJ has fallen off his insane pace from earlier in the year, but I wouldn't mess with the first 4 in any way.

I will say that of the big 5 homegrown kids, Weeks seems to be the one who has yet to demonstrate much consistency.

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"You would sacrifice run scoring potential just to make Rickie more comfortable"

 

On the contrary litesrn, it would increase run scoring potential to get Weeks going. The top of the order has been productive because Hart and Braun have been on fire. But they probably will cool some.

 

Despite his struggles, Weeks has an OBP that is equal to Hardy. Get him more fastballs to see, and his OBP will surpass JJ. As for breaking up a lineup, wasn't Rickie leading off through the 24-10 stretch that opened the season? Why ever break up that lineup?

 

Weeks speed is wasted in the 8 hole too. He has 1 SB since moving down there. Imagine the pressure having the speed of Hart followed by Weeks at the top of the order?

 

As for Hardy moving to 6th, he would see a more RBI opportunities in that spot and he's been better than Estrada. To me JJ is not all that well suited to hit second. He's a dead pull hitter. His walk rate isn't all that high either. May I point out that since June 1, JJ has just 5 RBI.

 

One thing that can hurt this team is complacency. Sure they've been hot and scoring a lot of runs. When that happens it doesn't really matter where guys hit or that one guy (Weeks in this case) is struggling. But there are games where manufacturing a run here and there are important and having all the speed at the top and power down lower has always been the best formula.

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I still say he should hit second, Hardy should hit 6th, and Estrada should hit 8th.

 

I can see your point, JB, but Weeks wasn't exactly lighting it up when he was hitting leadoff and Hardy was on fire. Not sure I'm comfortable putting a guy that is stuggling so badly that high in the order wasting ABs. But I'll admit it may be a chicken or egg thing.

 

I said this in the chat room the other day, I think Weeks is just not seeing the ball well at all. He picks it up late in the pitcher's delivery and is WAY out in front of everything. Even a few of his doubles he hit when he came back from the DL were just wrist flicks to slug them to the wall - he was still off balance. To me, he may be trying to pull everything and needs to concentrate on going the other way to keep his weight back. He played well in the second half last year until his injury and maybe he just needs to play more in order to get comfortable at the plate. Time will tell. One thing for sure, he's not going anywhere and to completely write him off at age 24 is really premature.

"Dustin Pedroia doesn't have the strength or bat speed to hit major-league pitching consistently, and he has no power......He probably has a future as a backup infielder if he can stop rolling over to third base and shortstop." Keith Law, 2006
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Rickie has definitely struggled this year, no doubt. But it's not like he has hurt the team considering our other options at 2nd. He still gets on-base at a good clip considering the poor batting average he does carry.

 

I would like to see him swing at the first pitch more often and give up a little of his patience at the plate. It seems like he is ALWAYS down in the count 0-2, and the first pitch is the only fastball he sees the whole at-bat.

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But it's not like he has hurt the team considering our other options at 2nd.

 

Hey, Graffy had a 1.000+ OPS in June!

"Dustin Pedroia doesn't have the strength or bat speed to hit major-league pitching consistently, and he has no power......He probably has a future as a backup infielder if he can stop rolling over to third base and shortstop." Keith Law, 2006
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I'd definitely put weeks 1st, hart 2nd on days when jj (or braun) has a day off, rather than have counsell bat 2nd. Hart should be a good 2nd batter, and with weeks 1st, that provides a lot of speed at the top.
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