Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 3/24/12
Prince Fielder and his 230 career home runs took up residence in Detroit over the offseason. Corey Hart turned 30 years old Saturday. Ryan Braun and Rickie Weeks have both been fixtures in Milwaukee's lineup for about five years now. The clock is ticking for the Brewers' remaining leaders. Weeks, for one, is acutely aware of this. Now, it sounds like Milwaukee's 29-year-old second baseman is ready to assume more of a leadership role in the clubhouse. "I think we pride ourselves on having a great, tight clubhouse," Weeks said. "I have been here for a while, so there's certain things that I might say sometimes that people might have to listen to." Weeks also knows he has to share the role of clubhouse administrator with the likes of Braun, Hart and incoming veterans like Aramis Ramirez. Thus, the second baseman is also eager to lead by example -- from the leadoff spot. "Being a leadoff (hitter), you're there to set the table for the rest of the lineup," Weeks explained, "and try to add that impact punch for the rest of the team." Weeks -- who hit .269 with 20 home runs in 118 games during a 2011 season that included an All-Star selection but ended with a slow recovery from a serious ankle injury -- isn't overly vocal by nature. But he's slowly starting to realize his value as one of Milwaukee's leaders. With age comes wisdom. "As you get older, things come more smoothly," Weeks explained. "You get a lot more confident about where you're at." Gonzo for Gonzalez: The early returns are in on first-year Brewers shortstop Alex Gonzalez, and manager Ron Roenicke likes what he sees. Gonzalez, a 35-year-old native of Venezuela, entered Saturday hitting .364 during Cactus League play. The Brewers like the surprising amount of power that could be provided by Gonzalez, who hit 23 home runs in two separate major-league seasons (2004 and 2010). "He's not an on-base guy. He's been a power hitter," Roenicke said Saturday. "I love the energy and the way he plays. "I think Alex can be a good offensive player -- I think he has that in him." The Milwaukee Brewers provided interviews for this story.
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