A couple of weeks ago, I tweeted out that I had some really cool personal news to pass along. I haven’t done so yet, but if you were listening to the best Brewers post game show in the market hosted by Tim Allen and Steve “Sparky” Fifer on Sportsradio 1250 WSSP on Sunday evening then you already know…
I was offered a weekly segment on the post game show which they decided to call “Rounding the Bases”. It’s set to air every Wednesday on the post game show in the second hour (or last half hour depending on how long the show goes). Well, the first week was a bit of a mess due to Tim Allen being off and the station having to basically run two abbreviated post game shows with both the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks and the Brewers both having Wednesday evening games. Then, as bad luck would have it for me, the Brewers were rained out this past Wednesday and no game means no show.
Fortunately, the guys decided that getting the first segment in was more important than waiting until Wednesday and so we got it done on Sunday. The segment was about 10 minutes long and brings us to the point of this blog.
Each week I’ll be blogging about the topic that was discussed on my segment following the post game show. This will allow for my thoughts to reach more eyes and will provide a spot for discussion about the topic for those that heard it and those that somehow missed it.
That said, let’s get to the point.
On this week’s segment, I felt I had to point out one of the brightest spots of this 2013 season early on, the play of Jean Segura.
Segura began the season batting down in the 8th spot in the batting order. With his skill set he was somewhat suited for the tough job of clearing the pitcher or giving that last bit of hitting before the much easier out at the tail end of the lineup.
Well, all Segura did down in the 8th spot was hit. He hit to the tune of .455/.500/.455 in 12 plate appearances. It was just five hits in 11 at-bats with a walk, but it was enough to raise eyebrows. Then, after Aramis Ramirez re-injured his knee, Segura was eventually moved up to the second spot in large part because he was hitting and so many guys weren’t. Rickie Weeks was hitting incredibly well in the two spot, but Ron Roenicke felt he needed Weeks to bat cleanup to continue to force teams to pitch to Ryan Braun. Weeks has fallen off drastically since the switch, but Segura has flourished even more. That has led to a delicate situation which Roenicke is still trying to figure out.
But Segura’s spot nestled between Norichika Aoki and Braun seems to be secure, at least as far as any player’s spot in a lineup is secure anyway. As Segura continues to hit, he’ll continue to be a featured part of Roenicke’s batting order.
Well, entering Sunday’s game, Segura was hitting a robust .406/.441/.625, including two doubles, a triple, and a home run. And on Sunday? Oh, just your run-of-the-mill 2-for-4, BB, R entry in the box score. Ho hum.
It’s not all about batting average of course, and Segura left three on base and struck out once, but his infield single in front of Braun’s drought-ending home run in the eighth inning of Sunday’s eventual win over the St. Louis Cardinals was significant in its timeliness if nothing else.
But despite his success this season, there’s more to this story. Segura was acquired, of course, at the end of July 2012 when the Brewers traded Zack Greinke to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He was initially sent to Double-A Huntsville (he had been at Double-A with the Angels before the deal) and hit .433/.500/.533 in 30 at-bats before getting called up to Milwaukee the first week of August. He started slowly, hitting just .209/.250/.239 in 67 August at-bats, but September was a different story as Segura heated up as the Brewers made the post-season push. Segura hit .309/.378/.407 in 81 at-bats with nine walks and just 11 strikeouts.
That was just the beginning as Segura went on to Winter League success, winning the batting title in the Dominican League. Spring Training in 2013 kept it rolling as Segura hit .367/.377/.550 in 60 Cactus League at-bats. It’s truly a case of riding the hot hand for Roenicke and the Brewers brain trust.
Will Segura be the first player since Ted Williams to hit .400+ for an entire season? Of course not. But this hot streak is something that the Brewers offense sorely needs right now and it makes sense to ride it out as long as they can.
On the air, Tim Allen asked me what I would do with Weeks if Segura keeps up a batting average over .300 with an on-base percentage of around .340 when Aramis Ramirez finally returns. While I said that I didn’t think Segura would quite keep up that pace, my reply was that it certainly would be nice if Segura was able to make Roenicke have to make that decision.
For now though, enjoy this young, talented, and most importantly capable shortstop as he blossoms in front of our eyes. Then knock on some wood and thank whomever you feel is deserving that we as fans as done having to suffer through everyday starting shortstops the likes of Cesar Izturis, Edwin Maysonet, Cody Ransom, and others of their ilk.
The Brewers are fortunate to have Jean Segura hitting like he is right now. They are fortunate to have a talent who still has room to develop and still has potential to fulfill. If he reaches the heights which some scouts project him to? Well, that’d be just fine too.
Yes, it’d be just fine.
Reminder: “Rounding the Bases” is scheduled to air every Wednesday on the “Rupena’s Baseball Post Game Show” on Sportsradio 1250 WSSP. Listen in! To hear my segment from Sunday’s show, click here: http://podcast.sportsradio1250.com/wssp2/3947773.mp3 (Go directly to 43:25 for my segment.)