Should Brewers let Weeks or Wang go?
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On Saturday, the Milwaukee Brewers' baseball bosses will be faced with the decision of what to do when outfielder Logan Schafer is eligible to come off the disabled list.
The team will need to either release or send down someone to make room for him.
On the surface, the choices are pretty clear cut. The two least useful players on the roster thus far in this season have been second baseman Rickie Weeks and reliever/dance craze-starter Wei-Chung Wang, and thus one of them seems likely to be gone as of Saturday.
The main question is who?
The case for releasing Weeks:
Few players have been as divisive over the last decade in Wisconsin pro sports as Rickie Weeks. There was a time when he was somewhat underrated, but it’s been close to three seasons since he was last a positive contributor.
Given the fact that he’s limited to second base and doesn’t seem to have the kind of approach that translates well to pinch hitting, it’s hard to see much of a role for him on this team if it’s contending in the second half.
Frankly, he probably wouldn’t be on the team at all in the first place if it wasn’t for his $11 million salary.
The main downside of releasing Weeks is the possibility of injury.
If Scooter Gennett does suffer a serious injury, the team has very little depth behind him. Given the chance to play everyday again, there is a glimmer of hope that Weeks could find the power stroke and patience that once made him one of the better second basemen in the National League.
It’s getting to be a pretty small glimmer, though.
The case for sending Wang back to Pittsburgh:
Due to the fact that Wang was taken in the rule-5 draft, the Brewers are not allowed to send him down to the minor leagues.
They must either carry him on the big league roster, put him on the disabled list or offer him back to the Pirates.
The Brewers are trying to hide Wang on the roster as best as possible right now to hopefully get something out of him down the road. He clearly is a talented young man, but it’s just as obvious that he’s nowhere near ready to pitch in meaningful situations in the big leagues right now.
In another season, where the team wasn’t contending, it might make sense to try and get through a whole season with Wang on the roster as a future investment.
The Brewers are contenders, though, and it’s hard to see how they’ll be able to play essentially a man down in the bullpen all season.
We’ve already seen multiple occasions where the team refused to turn to Wang to hold leads of four, five and six runs, situations that often call for the team’s “inning eater” to save the best relievers for closer situations.
It’s becoming harder and harder to blame them for that after watching him get hit hard in two of his four appearances.
Basically, if the Brewers don’t let Wang go now, they’ll probably just have to do it later in the season anyway unless the team just collapses. I don’t think anyone particularly wants to plan around that at this point.
The team could also choose to further delay the seemingly inevitable with these two, probably by choosing to send reliever Rob Wooten back down to the minors. There is also the off-chance that they could put Matt Garza on the disabled list with the injury he sustained in Wednesday’s start, though that would only be if he wasn’t ready to start on Monday.
One way or another, it’s hard to see either Rickie Weeks or Wei-Chung Wang making it through the whole season on the roster.
Will the Brewers elect to try a little longer to stay with the upside of Wang or continue to hope for some sort of rebound from Weeks? What do you think they will or should do?