Results tagged ‘ Bill Hall ’

Injury updates galore

Lots of injury news today, and much of it is not very promising:

- Both assistant GM Gord Ash and manager Ken Macha raised the possibility that Braden Looper’s oblique injury will force the right-hander to the disabled list for the start of the season. The team plans to shut him down for two weeks, meaning Looper will have to start from scratch about a month after the start of camp.

- Eric Gagne developed shoulder soreness late last week, throwing a wrench into his chances of making the club. He can opt out of his Minor League contract if he’s not placed on the 40-man roster by that date, but he has to pitch before the Brewers can make a decision.

“The date is his call,” Ash said. “If he wants to depart, he can. If he doesn’t want to depart, he doesn’t have to. Clearly, and I spoke to him this morning, he’s running out of time.”

- Tony Gwynn Jr.’s shoulder injury might be more serious than originally thought, though Ash declined to offer details until head doctor William Raasch reads the results of Monday’s MRI scan. Raasch will be back in camp on Thursday and will also examine Gagne.

- The Brewers are encouraged by Bill Hall’s recovery from a slight left calf tear, but he will not play in a Cactus League game until late next week at the earliest. Hall took part in some running drills on Tuesday.

- Reliever David Riske, who underwent surgery last fall to remove a bone spur, is scheduled for another live batting practice session on Thursday and then should be ready to appear in games.

- Third base prospect Mat Gamel returned to camp this week after going home for the birth of his first child, but he continues to rehab a sore throwing shoulder. Gamel was to appear as a pinch-hitter against the Rockies on Tuesday and will also get at-bats in a Minor League intra-squad game on Wednesday.
  

Let the games begin

The main stadium is finally filled with ballplayers today for an intrasquad game that precedes Wednesday’s Cactus League opener. Some particulars about those games, starting with Wednesday’s tilt against the A’s:

- Pitchers on the list to throw Wednesday include starter Jeff Suppan, who will throw two innings or 30 pitches, followed by Dave Bush, who will work an inning in advance of his first start on Sunday. Trevor Hoffman is scheduled for his unofficial Brewers debut, followed by Eddie Morlan, Lindsay Gulin, Nick Green, Todd Coffey and Jorge Julio.

- Macha did not unveil his lineup in advance, but the Brewers’ regular starting position players will be at their spots with the exception of third baseman Bill Hall, who is cautiously working back from a partially torn calf muscle. Mike Lamb will likely start at third on Wednesday.

- A’s skipper Bob Geren called Macha on Monday to see if the Brewers were interested in employing the designated hitter. Macha declined, saying he wanted his pitchers to practice bunting.

- As for Tuesday’s intrasquad game, it’s Eddie’s Elite, managed by first base coach Ed Sedar, against Fischer’s Fanatistics, the home team managed by third base coach Brad Fischer. The game was scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. CT, and position players will bat once or twice before a Minor Leaguer takes over. 

Here are the starting lineups:

Eddie’s Elite
1. Corey Hart  RF
2. Craig Counsell  2B
3. Ryan Braun  LF
4. Prince Fielder  1B
5. Mike Rivera  C
6. Mat Gamel  DH
7. Vinny Rottino  3B
8. Alcides Escobar  SS
9. Chris Duffy  CF
Scheduled pitchers: LHP Chase Wright, RHP Tim Dillard, LHP Chris Narveson and LHP R.J. Swindle

Fischer’s Fantastics
1. Rickie Weeks  2B
2. Jason Kendall  C
3. Mike Cameron  CF
4. J.J. Hardy  SS
5. Trot Nixon  LF
6. Brad Nelson  RF
7. Casey McGehee  3B
8. Mike Lamb  1B
9. Tony Gwynn, Jr.  DH
Scheduled pitchers: RHP Braden Looper, RHP Mark
DiFelice, LHP Sam Narron and RHP Omar Aguilar

UPDATE at 1:45 p.m. CT:  It was nine up, nine down for Brewers pitchers before Hardy began 2009 the way he ended 2008. Hardy hit an 0-and-1 pitch from Dillard for a home run to left-center field leading off the bottom of the second inning. It’s 1-0, Fantastics.

And the regulars are already hitting the showers. Hart, Counsell, Braun, Weeks, Kendall, Cameron, Fielder and Rivera all left the game after one at-bat, making way for Minor Leaguers on loan from the other half of the complex.

UPDATE at 2:14 p.m. CT: With so many defensive changes in this game, it looks like Lamb has the MVP award locked up. Lamb made a diving stop at first base in the top of the second inning and shoveled to DiFelice for a tough out against Mat Gamel, then drove in the Fantastics’ second run in the bottom of the second inning with a sacrifice fly. That made it 2-0, but Scott Thorman got one run back in the top of the third inning with an RBI single.

UPDATE at 2:58 p.m. CT: Didn’t get this in before we had to meet Macha on the field, but 2-1 was the final score, with Lamb’s sacrifice fly representing the winning run for Fischer’s Fantastics. Time of game was 55 minutes, prompting calls for four-inning games throughout Spring Training. 
 

Hall hits, but he's doubtful for Cactus opener

The Brewers have accelerated third baseman Bill Hall’s rehabilitation from a left calf injury, but it appears he won’t be ready to play when the Cactus League schedule begins on Wednesday. 

“I suppose there’s always a possibility,” Hall said. “But Roger [Caplinger, Milwaukee's head athletic trainer] doesn’t want me to rush back in. We’ve got a lot of games down here, and if I miss one week I don’t think it’s going to be that detrimental.”

Hall took swings in the batting cage Friday for the first time since he partially tore his calf muscle last week during a private workout before he reported to camp. An MRI scan revealed the tear, but by the weekend Hall and club medical officials were encouraged that it was not as bad as initially thought. That meant Hall would probably make it back well ahead of the original schedule, which predicted a 4-6 week layoff.

Besides the “soft toss” in the batting cage Friday morning, Hall ran on a treadmill and then took part in stretching and throwing drills with the rest of the team.

“It’s going really well,” he said. “I don’t feel anything in there now; it feels pretty normal.”

Hall expects speedy comeback

The official estimate remains 4-6 weeks, but Brewers infielder Bill Hall believes he will return much more quickly from a left calf injury.

“I think two weeks,” Hall said. “It’s definitely not going to be 4-6 weeks.”

Hall suffered a partial tear to his left calf muscle during a private conditioning session on Thursday. He was strapped with resistance bands for sprint drills, and at first thought one of the rubber bands had snapped and hit the back of his leg.

An MRi scan on Friday revealed the damage. Hall is already throwing, and could be taking ground balls by the middle of the week. Because of the extra strain it puts on his calf, hitting will probably come last.

Same story for Hall; Gwynn slowed by shoulder pain

Five players, including third baseman Bill Hall and outfielder Tony Gwynn, Jr., will be restricted from activity when Brewers pitchers, catchers and the handful of position players already in camp take part in the team’s first Spring Training workout on Sunday.

A rundown of the injury updates that emerged from physical exams on Saturday:

- Head team physical William Raasch confirmed the original diagnosis for third baseman Bill Hall, who has a partially torn left calf muscle and will be sidelined about 4-6 weeks. Club spokesperson Mike Vassallo said Raasch was “encouraged” by Hall’s improvement from Friday, when Hall underwent an MRI scan.

Hall was injured on Thursday while working out at a private facility in the Phoenix area. If he progresses on schedule, he could be fully rehabilitated by Opening Day on April 7.

- Gwynn, a left-handed hitter but a right-handed thrower, is  restricted from throwing because of a right shoulder impingement . Gwynn is out of Minor League options and has a great chance of making the Opening Day roster for the second straight season, assuming he gets healthy.

- Speedy utility man Jason Bourgeois is restricted from activity because of a fracture of the fifth metacarpal of his left hand. In other words, he has a broken left pinkie.  The 26 year-old spent most of the 2008 season at Triple-A Charlotte in the Chicago White Sox system, hitting .286 with a .335 on-base percentage, nine home runs, 83 runs scored and 30 stolen bases in 41 attempts.

- Right-hander Alex Periard, who was just added to the 40-man roster over the winter, is restricted from throwing because of tightness in his right shoulder. Periard, 21 and one of the Brewers’ recent Canadian imports, was a 16th round pick in 2004 who almost certainly will begin the year in the Minors. During the 2008 regular season, Periard was 11-10 with a 4.06 ERA in 26 starts and one relief appearance between Class A Brevard County and Double-A Huntsville.

- Right-hander Mark Rogers and left-hander Chris Capuano, as expected, will begin camp on closely-monitored throwing programs.

Rogers, another recent addition to the 40-man roster, has missed the past two seasons because of shoulder issues and Capuano, who is back with the Brewers on a Minor League contract, is rehabbing from his second career Tommy John surgery. The Brewers hope Capuano is ready to pitch by May 1 or so.

Because so many Brewers position players have reported to camp early, only nine players will have to undergo physicals on Wednesday, prior to the team’s first full-squad workout.

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.

 

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