Weeks won't be limited by leadoff label

Weeks won't be limited by leadoff label

MILWAUKEE -- Looking at his statistics, you would probably never guess Rickie Weeks was the Brewers' leadoff hitter.

Weeks is tied with teammate Corey Hart for eighth in the National League with 22 home runs, while also ranking sixth in the NL with 67 RBIs and fourth with 204 total bases. Among his teammates, Weeks is tied with Hart for second in home runs and is second behind Hart in RBIs.

But with the personnel that makes up the Brewers' offense, Weeks remains in the leadoff spot.

"That's just the way things fit here right now," Brewers manager Ken Macha said. "Could it change? Yeah, if we had someone else to lead off. But not at this moment."

Although his numbers might not look like those of a typical leadoff hitter, Weeks gets on base more than anyone in the Major Leagues. Entering Wednesday's game, Weeks led the Majors with 483 plate appearances and 182 times on base.

Weeks' production has him on pace for 35 home runs and 106 RBIs on the season. The latter would make Weeks just the second player to drive in 100 or more runs from the leadoff spot, and the first in the National League.

In 2000, Darin Erstad collected 100 RBIs for the Angels batting at the top of the order. What would make Weeks' feat even more impressive is the lack of a designated hitter in the NL.

"I don't think he cares where he hits," Macha said. "He takes every at-bat as a challenge in itself. I don't think where guys are on base or any of that will affect anything he's doing.

"I said once, 'I'm going to drop you to two here. I'm thinking of leading [Joe] Inglett off someday.' He said, 'No problem. As long as I'm in the lineup.'"