OK, we need to get through today's coverage of the Rickie Weeks(notes) injury fallout before Closing Time. The Milwaukee lineup is already in. As threatened, manager Ken Macha will start Casey McGehee(notes) at second base in Houston. The Brewers face lefties today and tomorrow (Mike Hampton(notes) and Wandy Rodriguez(notes)), so we'll likely see Bill Hall(notes) at third and Mat Gamel(notes) on the bench.
This is Tuesday's Brewers lineup, via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
RF Corey Hart
3B Bill Hall
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
CF Mike Cameron
SS J.J. Hardy
C Mike Rivera
2B Casey McGehee
RHP Dave Bush
Hart hasn't seen the leadoff spot much lately, but he did lots of time there in '07. Let's hope they're encouraging him to run; Hart has stolen just three bases so far this year. It's not a surprise to see Hall penciled into the No. 2 spot, since he hits well against left-handers generally (.414/.433/.724 this year) and he's hammered Hampton specifically (3-for-7, 1 2B, 1 HR).
The frustrating thing if you're a Gamel owner (or Gamel himself) is that he was actually destroying left-handed pitching at Triple-A (.425/.490/.975, 5 HR). He's not a hitter who necessarily needs a platoon. But Hall is, so there you go. Check the video of Gamel's homer last night over at MLB.com, then stick around for the unexpected defensive gem. Gamel also committed an error, prompting this comment from Macha:
"He had some firsts -- his first homer, his first major league start, his first error and my first gray hair with him."
The fantasy community would clearly like to see Hall at second and Gamel at third, though Milwaukee pitchers would not. McGehee and Craig Counsell(notes) are the current second base combo. If you were expecting more Counsell than ever, his manager has news for you:
"I don't think Craig Counsell is going to be an everyday player," manager Ken Macha said. "He's a little older, and as we saw in Spring Training, he can have some knee issues."
The Brewers have called-up 24-year-old second baseman Hernan Iribarren(notes) from Nashville, where he was hitting .308/.354/.450 with one homer and six steals. He'll get a look eventually, but don't expect a starting role. He's not a player you need to jump on in any fantasy format.
[GM Doug] Melvin said shortstop prospect Alcides Escobar would start playing some games at second base for Nashville to provide coverage at that position should something else happen.
The 22-year-old Escobar can run -- he has 18 steals this year already, and he swiped 34 in '08 -- but that's all fantasy owners can reasonably expect when he arrives. He's an NL only flier, but that's all for now.
So let's review: Weeks has wrists like spun glass, everyone feels terrible about the latest injury. Mr. Pianowski offered plenty of replacement options yesterday. No Gamel tonight versus the lefty, and not likely tomorrow. Hart leads off. No Counsell. No Escobar, not yet. Too much Hall. Some dude plays second, bats eighth. Macha is graying, unhappy.
You may now file a complaint ...
Photo via AP Images