Villar went 3-for-4 with a double, run scored and stolen base in Sunday's 13-6 loss to the Cubs. It was nice to see Villar succeed back in the leadoff spot, but the fact remains that he's hitting just .220 on the season with an ugly 28.9 percent strikeout rate and only nine steals in 190 plate appearances. His power is also down, and he'll need to increase his .286 on-base percentage in order to have any chance of matching the whopping 62 thefts he provided fantasy owners in 2016.
Villar is starting at second base and hitting sixth in the order Saturday against the Cubs. The slumping Villar continues to get shuffled around in the order, moving even further from his once-established leadoff spot. His .210 average this month certainly hasn't helped his case for getting more at-bats, but the recent relegation may further compromise his ability to rack up stolen bases. After swiping a career-high 62 bags last season, Villar is on pace for just 30 this year. Eric Sogard will continue to man the leadoff spot for now.
Villar is back in the Brewers' lineup Friday, batting third and playing second base, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Villar is back at it after a two-day break. The 2016 breakout star has scuffled in the early going (.213/.279/341 in his first 180 plate appearances), though he has launched five home runs and stolen eight bases. Villar's move down the order could play more to the slugging part of his game, though if he sticks there, it could hurt his ability to steal bags, the chief reason he earned an expensive draft-day investment in many fantasy leagues. It's likelier, however, that Ryan Braun (calf) will man the No. 3 spot upon his return.
Villar is not in the Brewers' lineup Thursday. The infielder started off this series 0-for-9 and will not appear as a starter for the second straight day. Eric Sogard mans second base instead. Villar could be back Friday, but stay tuned in case the Brewers want to spell him for longer so he can work on his swing. He's batting .215/.281/.344 in 179 plate appearances, but Villar does have five homers and eight stolen bases.
Villar is not in the lineup Wednesday against the Padres. Villar finally started showing signs of life at the plate over the past couple weeks, but after starting off the current series 0-for-9, he'll get the night off. Eric Sogard will pick up a start at the keystone in his place.