Ash on Weeks: 'Obviously, we're concerned'
From the desk of the Director of the Obvious: The Brewers would not have made the quick decision to send second baseman Rickie Weeks to see a specialist 1,400 miles away if he had nothing more serious than a sore left wrist.
But “sore wrist” was the only diagnosis on Sunday, when Weeks was injured on a swinging strike three in the first inning in St. Louis. After the game, he already had a flight booked to Phoenix to see the same doctor — Don Sheridan — who performed surgery on Weeks’ right wrist in 2005 and the base of his left thumb in 2006.
Weeks will visit with Sheridan today. Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash, the point man on injury issues, said the team would make an announcement as soon as Weeks gets a more complete diagnosis and an idea of what comes next.
“Do you think we wake up and decide to send somebody across the country if it wasn’t serious?” Ash said. “That’s about as obvious as can be. … Obviously, we’re concerned. Obviously, there might be a problem, and rather than wait around for five or six days to see what happens, let’s see now.”
Club officials made that decision very quickly as, or shortly after, the Brewers batted around and scored four runs in a first inning that began with Weeks’ strikeout. Shortly after Craig Counsell moved from third base to second and Bill Hall entered the game at third, a club spokesperson announced the nature of Weeks’ injury. Head athletic trainer Roger Caplinger consulted with team physician William Raasch and Ash, and decided to send him to Phoenix. The club’s traveling secretary booked Weeks’ flight before the end of the game.
The injury is especially unfortunate since Weeks is having a fine season. He is batting .272 with a .340 on-base percentage and, along with first baseman Prince Fielder, leads the team with nine home runs. Weeks is tied with Corey Hart for the team lead in runs scored, with 28.
The rest of the Brewers remained in St. Louis on Sunday and will play a make-up of Friday’s rainout on Monday night. That means the team is about a four-hour drive or a short flight from Nashville, home of their Triple-A affiliate.
Ash was asked if any players made the trip to St. Louis just in case it becomes clear Weeks will head to the disabled list.
“No. You can’t do it,” Ash said. “I know clubs do it, but it’s against the rules.”
Options at Nashville would include Hernan Iribarren, a left-handed hitter who played stints with the Brewers last season and is hitting .311 in the Minors this year while playing exclusively at second base. Nashville is also home to slick-fielding shortstop Alcides Escobar, but with third baseman Mat Gamel promoted to the Majors last week, it’s unlikely the Brewers would want both of their top prospects sitting on the big league bench.
With right-hander Kyle Lohse starting for St. Louis on Monday, left-handed hitter Counsell will probably play second base. The Brewers will then travel to Houston to face two left-handers — Mike Hampton and Wandy Rodriguez — in those games, so righty-hitter Casey McGehee is an option. McGehee played a lot of second base in Spring Training and replaced Weeks there on April 21 in Philadelphia after Weeks collided with shortstop J.J. Hardy.