Weeks slides down from leadoff spot

Weeks slides down from leadoff spot

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Brewers have dropped All-Star second baseman Rickie Weeks from the leadoff hole amid his slow start to the 2012 season.

Weeks, who had led off 24 of the Brewers' first 25 games, batted second for Friday's series opener against the Giants.

"We may leave Rickie there for a little while," manager Ron Roenicke said. "I talked to Rickie today, and we'll try to do some things to get the offense going a little bit."

Weeks entered the night with a .172 batting average overall, including .178 as the leadoff hitter, worst in the Majors for a one-hole hitter with at least 50 at-bats in that spot.

But he was tied for fourth in the National League with 17 walks, boosting Weeks' on-base percentage to .308, 16th of the 27 players with at least 50 leadoff at-bats.

Roenicke had previously expressed a reluctance to hit Weeks second, arguing that his style, when right, was not conducive to moving runners along and bunting. That outlook has changed.

"I think that he'll get pitched a little differently there," Roenicke said. "And if we start to have the leadoff guy get on and Rickie starts hitting, he'll be able to drive him in.

"You know, I'd toyed with this back-and-forth for a while. We talked about it last year some, whether you have that guy who plays small ball leading off and then you have the guy who can drive the ball batting second. There's pros and cons to both."

Roenicke plans to bat his center fielder at leadoff for the immediate future. Carlos Gomez, Nyjer Morgan and Norichika Aoki have been sharing that job.