Anderson, Segura and Weeks Jr. all facing former clubs for first time
By Curt Hogg
MILWAUKEE -- A trio of players faced their former teams for the first time when the Brewers and Diamondbacks kicked off a four-game series on Monday at Miller Park.
Right-hander Chase Anderson got the start for Milwaukee against the D-backs, who sent out a lineup featuring former Brewers Jean Segura and Rickie Weeks Jr. Anderson went five innings and earned the victory in the Brewers' 7-2 win, though Segura tagged him for an RBI single in his 1-for-5 night. Weeks walked twice and scored, finishing 0-for-2.
Anderson and Segura were exchanged for each other -- among other players -- in a trade between the clubs this offseason. The Brewers selected Weeks with the second overall pick in the 2003 Draft, and he spent the first 11 seasons of his career with the team.
Before the series began, Anderson downplayed any additional significance about playing against Arizona, for whom he went 15-13 with a 4.18 ERA in the first two seasons of his career from 2014-15.
"I haven't really thought too much about it," Anderson said. "Obviously, it is my old team, but I look to go out there and lead our team to a victory. That's the goal against every team we go out there and pitch. I expect nothing less."
Anderson not only faced one of the players he was traded for in Segura on Monday, but a lineup that featured multiple hitters with whom he is familiar from his time in the desert.
Segura came to Milwaukee from the Angels in 2012 in a trade involving current D-backs pitcher Zack Greinke, who is on the DL and won't pitch in the series. In his first full season in 2013, Segura broke out with an impressive first half and was named an All-Star. After that, however, Segura's time with the Brewers was marked with tragedy and frustration.
The toughest moment came on July 11, 2014, when Segura's nine-month old son, Janniel, passed away in the Dominican Republic. Things did not go well for Segura on the field, either.
From July 19, 2013, until the end of his time in Milwaukee, Segura's OPS was .610 -- the lowest in the Majors over that span for players with at least 1,100 plate appearances. Add in a contract dispute in which Segura turned down a seven-year, $40-million deal, according to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, and there was plenty of frustration to go around.
"It was a lot of problems over there," Segura said. "You guys know what happened over there with me, personal-wise, team-wise, contract styles. It got in my head a little bit, and I let that team get in my head a little bit."
Entering the series, Segura is having a career year, batting .316 with eight homers, 17 steals and 38 RBIs. The 26-year-old credits much of that to a change of scenery.
"I can't thank this team enough for giving me the opportunity to be in the top of the lineup, to be the kind of player that I wanted to be, and they're not wrong," Segura said.
Weeks Jr. is now primarily an outfielder, though he spent nearly 9,000 innings at second base and none at any other position with the Brewers. Weeks Jr. batted .249 with a .771 OPS in his 11 years with Milwaukee, and he ranks fifth in franchise history in walks (492), sixth in runs (684), 11th in hits (1,009) and 12th in homers (148).
Did any memories stand out to Weeks Jr.?
"I've got tons of them. The first that comes to mind is making the playoffs for the first time in God knows how long here in Milwaukee," he said, referencing the 2008 Wild Card team that ended a 26-year postseason drought. "Those are some fond memories that I will probably always cherish."
Curt Hogg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.