Weeks could be closer than we thought

Brewers officials have had very preliminary discussions about the merits of activating injured second baseman Rickie Weeks to serve as a bench bat before he’s ready to resume play in the field.

Weeks has been sidelined since he severely sprained his left ankle on July 27 and is not expected to be ready for full duty until the middle of the month. He has been taking jaw-dropping batting practice for two weeks, but remains limited to straight-ahead running drills.

With expanded September rosters, the Brewers could activate Weeks from the disabled list to pinch-hit, then replace him with a pinch-runner if he reaches base.

“It’s real tempting,” manager Ron Roenicke said.

But there are issues that give the Brewers pause. For example, would Weeks, who is known for his all-out style of play, have the presence of mind to take it easy when he lines a hit to an outfield gap? And is the benefit of his bat worth the risk of a setback?

“If we’re setting him back from being a full-time guy, then I don’t think it’s smart to do it,” Roenicke said. “If that isn’t setting him back at all, then that’s a possibility. It doesn’t hurt us to activate him at any time. We’re not really at that point where I’m thinking about it yet. I watch him when he’s out there running, and he has to get better at what he’s doing before I would think about that.”

Until Weeks’ ankle allows him to run the bases and make cuts in the field, he will not be cleared for regular duty.

“That has to get better before there are too many things that he can do,” Roenicke said. “He’s still getting a little better with that, but when he takes off, he still has that feel that he can’t explode like he wants to. How long that takes, I have no idea.”

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