Brewers looking hard at 2B market
How badly will the Brewers miss injured second baseman Rickie Weeks? An early indication came Thursday, when veteran Craig Counsell, hitless in his last 38 at-bats over 48 days, won a spot in the starting lineup.
Weeks severely sprained his left ankle reaching for an infield single and will miss 2-6 weeks.
As of Thursday morning, the Brewers had four days to work the second base market ahead of Sunday’s 3 p.m. CT nonwaiver trade deadline. They had already shown interest in the Dodgers’ Jamey Carroll, though Los Angeles has not been moved by offers so far. The Brewers could also pursue Houston shortstop Clint Barmes, Rockies second baseman Mark Ellis (who has already been traded from Oakland to Colorado this summer), Marlins utility man Omar Infante or Mariners second baseman Adam Kennedy.
Kennedy was with Brewers manager Ron Roenicke in Anaheim from 2000-06, and is batting .253 this season with seven home runs, 32 RBIs and a .297 on-base percentage. Among Seattle’s wants are catching help or a hitting prospect.
“We don’t really know the second base market,” Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio said Wednesday night. “Doug and his team, really, they look at every iteration possible. I’ve got to say, we haven’t really looked for second basemen because Rickie is an All-Star. It would be like looking for a left fielder or a first baseman.”
But Melvin’s staff is certainly prepared to jump into the market. The team gathered its pro scouts at Miller Park earlier this month to study the Major League and upper-level Minor League rosters of all 29 teams.
Roenicke and Melvin discussed available players on Wednesday night and again Thursday morning.
“He was making these calls anyway,” Roenicke said, “and now that you have a second baseman go down, now these other teams think it’s a dire need and they ask for more. It kind of makes it tougher when something like this happens. I don’t know if [asking prices] will go up, but I don’t think they’ll come down.”
He added: “All of these things may be answered in a few days.”
The immediate in-house option is Farris, who arrived at Miller Park about an hour before Thursday’s game.
The Brewers also discussed Nashville third baseman Taylor Green, who is having a comeback season at the plate. But “he’s a third baseman who has played a few games” at second, Roenicke said.
“I’m kind of at a loss for words at the moment,” Farris said after arriving. “I’m trying to get it all together. It’s been a mad 12 hours for me. I’m trying to get acclimated and have a little fun.”
— Adam McCalvy