Hall suffers Crew's first spring injury
The Brewers did not get through Day 1 of Spring Training without the first injury news of the year.
Bill Hall, the frontrunner at start at third base, was diagnosed with a partial tear of his left calf muscle on Friday and will be sidelined 4-6 weeks for rehabilitation. Hall was injured while doing conditioning work before the start of Spring Training.
Assuming his rehab progresses on schedule, Hall still could be ready in time for the Brewers’ April 7 season-opener in San Francisco. Hall underwent offseason Lasik surgery and was hoping for a bounce-back season after two down years. His best season was 2005, when Hall mostly played shortstop and belted 35 homers while hitting .270 and driving in 85 runs.
Third base is a position of relative depth for the Brewers, who have Mike Lamb back for 2009 as well as utility man Craig Counsell, who started 38 games at third in 2008. Both bat left-handed, as does prospect Mat Gamel, though the Brewers may prefer to send Gamel to Triple-A Nashville to continue work on his defense. The top right-handed option is Casey McGehee, an offseason waiver claim from the Cubs.
UPDATE at 1:48 p.m. CT: Just got off the phone with assistant GM Gord Ash, who said Hall felt a “pop” in his calf during a working Thursday at a private training facility in the Phoenix area. He called head athletic trainer Roger Caplinger and underwent an MRI scan on Friday morning.
Asked about Hall’s availability for Opening Day, Ash said this: “We’ll know better about that [Saturday] when we see him for his physical. He’s recovered fast from injuries before, but to recover enough from this injury to get onto the field could be 30-45 days, so he might be touch and go.”
As for Plan B should Hall miss the start of the season: “We have a lot of choices. … These things will sort themselves out. You don’t like to start camp with an injury, but it is part of the game, no question, and we’ll adjust.”
Ash said Hall was the team’s only health concern that came to light ahead of Saturday’s physicals.