According to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said this afternoon that Rickie Weeks might be activated from the disabled list during a series against the Phillies this weekend.
But he won’t return to the starting lineup right away. The plan is for Weeks to be eased back into action via pinch-hit appearances and short stints in the field.
“We wouldn’t be activating him to play second base a lot. We would ease him in. We haven’t gotten there yet.”
Weeks hasn’t played since July 27 due to a severely sprained left ankle. The All-Star second baseman has yet to run the bases, but Roenicke said that he had “a really good day” during a workout Monday, showing less hesitation before starting to run a straight line in the outfield. The main goal is to have Weeks ready for the postseason, so with the benefit of a huge lead in the National League Central, the Brewers can afford to take it slow.
Weeks, who turns 29 next week, was batting .272/.346/.478 with 19 homers, 43 RBI, nine stolen bases and an .825 OPS over 469 plate appearances prior to the injury.
Former Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi is up for grabs this offseason, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that as many as nine suitors are interested in bringing the righty aboard. While the Red Sox are eager to retain Eovaldi’s services after his lights-out performance during their recent postseason run, they’ll have to contend with the Brewers, Phillies, Braves, White Sox, Padres, Blue Jays, Giants, and Angels — all of whom are reportedly positioned to offer something for the starter this winter.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the 28-year-old in 2018, however. After losing his 2017 season to Tommy John surgery, he underwent an additional procedure to remove loose bodies from his right elbow in March and didn’t make his first appearance until the end of May. He was flipped for lefty reliever Jalen Beeks just prior to the trade deadline and finished his season with a combined 6-7 record in 21 starts, a 3.81 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, and 8.2 SO/9 through 111 innings.
Despite his numerous health issues over the last few years, Eovaldi raised his stock in October after becoming a major contributor during the Red Sox’ championship run. He contributed two quality starts in the ALDS and ALCS and returned in Games 1-3 of the World Series with three lights-out performances in relief — including a six-inning effort in the 18-inning marathon that was Game 3.
A frontrunner has yet to emerge for the righty this offseason, but Cafardo points out that the nine teams listed so far might just be the tip of the iceberg. Still, he won’t be the most sought-after starter on the market, as former Diamondbacks southpaw Patrick Corbin is expected to command an even bigger payday following his career-best 6.0-fWAR performance in 2018.