Narveson to miss 4-6 weeks
Brewers left-hander Chris Narveson expects to miss 4-6 weeks with the sprained middle finger that send him to the disabled list Monday.
He was injured throwing a curveball in the bullpen before a one-inning outing against the Rockies on Saturday. Narveson got through that inning, but his finger swelled up afterward.
“I felt a pop, just like a knuckle pop,” he said. “It started stiffening up and I couldn’t really grip anything that whole inning. The last inning I pitched I was sitting there like, ‘This isn’t right.’ So I got back, said something to the trainers and they thought maybe it was just inflammation.”
An MRI scan on Monday morning revealed the sprain — technically a slight tear to a ligament in Narveson’s finger.
“It’s one of those freak things,” Narveson said. “I guess they find it a lot in rock climbers.”
They also found it in Ben Sheets’ right middle finger back in 2007. He exited a July 14 game against the Rockies saying he was unable to grip the baseball, and did not return until Aug. 29.
The injury represents tough luck for Narveson, who made only two starts last season before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury. He underwent a procedure last May 1 to repair a torn labrum and torn rotator cuff and was healthy this spring. The Brewers opted to put him in a long relief role to begin the season so he could ease the shoulder back into action.
“That was the thing, it was just getting to the point where you’re getting comfortable, getting ramped up,” Narveson said. “And the next thing you know, something like that happens. Who knows? Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise. It kind of gives you a little bit of a rest.”
More from Wrigley Field on a frigid Tuesday afternoon:
— We just talked to John Axford, who has been removed from the closer’s role for the second straight season. Was he surprised to get the news on Monday morning?
“Not entirely, no,” Axford said. “The way things have gone, it’s a difficult position for Ron [Roenicke, Milwaukee’s manager] and Rick [Kranitz, the pitching coach] to be in, especially with where our team is at and going 1-5 coming into yesterday. it’s difficult to have somebody at the back end of the game who hasn’t really had success in the three outings he’s had so far. He might as well try to get that person back to where they need to be, back in the right state of mind, back in the right state out there on the mound, and get someone in who’s had some success in the last three games … and get things back on track.
“I’m not mad about the situation. It’s my situation that I put myself into. Obviously, it would be better if the results were better and I didn’t have to be in this position, but it was three games in a row. It wasn’t like it was like 2011 — at the beginning of that year it was about a month that I struggled, but there would be a few good games followed by a bad game, and then things started clicking and everything was good. This was two bad games, then kind of a good inning [on Sunday against the Rockies] followed by a bad inning. Three outings in a row. It’s a difficult spot to put myself in and the coaches in.
“Obviously, I’m mad at myself. I expect a lot out of myself. I expect more out of myself. I also expect myself to overcome this and pitch better than what I have.”
More on Axford to come in the Brewers.com notebook.
— A lot of you asked, so I clarified once again on Tuesday and, yes, Corey Hart’s assignment to the 60-day disabled list is, by rule, effective March 31, and he is not eligible to return until May 30.
Here’s new information from assistant GM Gord Ash: Hart probably won’t be ready before that, anyway.
“Given what he is saying now about his recovery, [the 60-day DL] seems to be more appropriate,” Ash said. “I talked to him [on Monday] and he concurs that’s a reasonable timeframe, which is what the doctors said all along. The doctor indicated he felt the end of May, and now Corey is saying the same thing. We didn’t want to make that move initially, just in case, but obviously now we have to [because the team needed the 40-man roster spot].
“He had the surgery the end of January, and it was to be four months. And then when I was reading the injury report last week, he was talking about it being late May/early June himself. So when it became obvious we needed a roster spot, my suggestion to Doug [Melvin, the team’s general manager] was to talk to [Hart], make sure he’s on board with it, which he was.”
Hart is still strengthening his surgically-repaired right knee. He has yet to get on a treadmill.
— Infielder Taylor Green has had another setback in his return from a left hip labrum injury.
“He hopefully was going to play [Wednesday], but it doesn’t look like it’s going to be the case right now,” Ash said.
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