Results tagged ‘ Corey Hart ’

Gomez out with stiff back

Center fielder Carlos Gomez is the latest Brewers regular to show up on the injury report. He was supposed to start Monday’s game against the Giants, but complained of a stiff back so Brandon Boggs is playing instead. 

It’s a minor setback, but those have been piling up for the Brewers. Of the nine projected Opening Day starters, seven have lost at least a handful of Cactus League innings to a medical issue. Pitcher Zack Greinke (cracked rib), catcher Jonathan Lucroy (fractured finger) and right fielder Corey Hart (rib-cage strain) have not played at all because of more serious injuries, and second baseman Rickie Weeks (groin), shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt (right quadriceps), left fielder Ryan Braun (rib-cage strain) and now Gomez have come out of a game early or missed a start as a precaution. Plus, closer John Axford got a late start because of food poisoning.
First baseman Prince Fielder and third baseman Casey McGehee have been able to stay on their schedules. 
Perspective is in order, because none of the setbacks in Brewers camp have threatened a player’s season. Betancourt left Sunday’s game early, but he could be back in action as early as Tuesday. Braun returned to the lineup Monday after exiting Saturday with his rib strain. Weeks’ groin issue seems to have passed. Hart is making significant progress in recent days and was to begin swinging a bat on Monday. Lucroy will have the pin in his finger removed next week and is on track for Opening Day. 
Maybe the Brewers are just getting their injuries out of the way early. Better now than during the regular season. 
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Medical round-up: Lucroy, Hart, Gamel, Hawkins

Some medical updates from Brewers camp:
— Ron Roenicke confirmed that catcher Jonathan Lucroy could be ready for Opening Day if all goes according to plan in his recovery from a fractured right pinkie finger. A metal pin in Lucroy’s finger will come out on March 21, and Lucroy can begin hitting after that as the pain tolerates. 
“He threw to bases [on Saturday] without the splint on, and was good,” Roenicke said. “So really it’s just going to be a matter of gripping a bat, trying to get the flexibility back in his finger. That’s going to take a while. But everything else is good. He’s catching bullpens so his legs will be in shape.”
— Right fielder Corey Hart has been making significant progress in the past few days in his recovery from a left rib-cage strain, Roenicke said. Hart played catch, took grounders in the outfield and did core strengthening exercises on Saturday without issue.
“They’re going to try to step it up a little bit and put more on him, and see where he is,” Roenicke said. “He’s coming along pretty good. … In a couple of days, they’re hoping he can swing.”
— Third baseman/utility man/hitting prospect Mat Gamel was scheduled to take live batting practice for the first time on Sunday in Minor League camp. If it goes well, he could do it again Monday before slotting into Cactus League games. 
Gamel still has a chance to make the team, Roenicke said. But the fact he bats left-handed probably hurts his case — the Brewers already have Mark Kotsay, Craig Counsell and probably Chris Dickerson slated for bench duty — and it will be more difficult at this stage of spring for Gamel to demonstrate his defensive versatility because the regulars are playing deeper into games. 
“I know he can hit,” Roenicke said. “It’s just a matter of how he fits on our club.”
— A trio of relievers are making good progress. 
Reliever LaTroy Hawkins was “feeling great today” about his live patting practice on Saturday, Roenicke said, and will probably throw some simulated innings this week before debuting in a game. He’s coming back steadily from shoulder surgery.
Left-hander Mitch Stetter, who strained a muscle behind his shoulder early in camp, is scheduled to pitch Monday against the Giants after throwing a successful live batting practice session Friday.   
Another left-hander Manny Parra, was very close to getting back on the mound, Roenicke said. 
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Hart views birthday as big date in recovery

Brewers right fielder Corey Hart turns 29 on March 24, and views it as an important date on his way back from a rib-cage strain by the team’s March 31 season-opener in Cincinnati. 
“I told my wife, if I can get on the field by then, I’ll be on the field Opening Day,” a frustrated Hart said Tuesday. “If not, I’ll be worried. I never imagined it would take this long.”
Hart felt a muscle along his left side “grab” on Feb. 26 during an outfield drill. He tried taking fly balls on Saturday but felt it again, and has been limited to training room treatment in the days since. 
He was to be examined by a team doctor again on Tuesday. 
“It’s just not getting better,” he said. “Every time I try to do something, it feels like I get stabbed.”
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Hart set back in rib-cage recovery

Brewers All-Star right fielder Corey Hart had a minor setback during outfield drills Saturday and said he expects to miss the original two-week projection for his recovery from a strained rib-cage muscle. 
One week after he strained a muscle along his left side during a throwing exercise, Hart took fly balls at Maryvale Baseball Park on Saturday. When he made a quick turn and felt the muscle grab, he ended the session. 
“I was hoping it would feel better than it did,” Hart said. “It’s not getting worse, but it’s obviously not going as fast as I would like it to go.” 
Hart was hoping to be ready to resume hitting by this weekend, but instead will report back to the training room on Monday morning to, as he said, “start over.” 
The Brewers originally estimated that Hart would miss about two weeks of games, putting him on track to begin Cactus League play by about March 14. That would have given him plenty of time to be ready for the team’s March 31 season-opener in Cincinnati. 
Now, Hart is bracing to be out longer. 
“Two weeks would have been nice,” he said. “But I think we definitely might be a little longer. I don’t know any timetable. Those things can last two weeks or a month.” 
The Brewers will be cautious, manager Ron Roenicke said. 
“It will be a day-to-day thing to see how much we can push him,” he said. “I still think he’s going to be ready for Opening Day. Even if it’s a week playing [Cactus League] games, I think he’ll be fine.” 
If Hart misses any regular-season time, the Brewers would cover with a combination of Mark Kotsay and other back-ups. Candidates for the remaining outfield opening include 40-man roster members Chris Dickerson and Brandon Boggs and nonroster invitee Jeremy Reed.  
Infielder Mat Gamel is also sidelined by a rib-cage strain, but took 25 dry swings on Sunday without incident, according to Roenicke. Gamel will take part in soft toss before advancing to regular batting practice. 
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Brewers say Hart out two weeks

ANOTHER UPDATE postgame — Ron Roenicke’s understanding is that Hart should be back in game shape in two weeks, not that he’ll be shut down for two weeks. There’s a distinction there. The bottom line is that oblique injuries are tough to predict, so let’s just see how Hart progresses.

UPDATE at 2:10 p.m. CT — The Brewers just announced that Hart would engage in “rest and recovery” for the next two weeks, so that’s a somewhat more serious take on his injury. Here’s an update to the earlier note:
Brewers right fielder Corey Hart will miss about two weeks of exhibition games while recovering from a strained muscle along his left rib cage, the club announced Monday. 
That marked a somewhat more serious diagnosis than the one Hart gave a few hours earlier, after he was examined by Dr. Craig Young at Maryvale Baseball Park. Hart said he only expected to be shut down “a few more days.” 
“I think it’s hard to tell exactly how long it’s going to be,” manager Ron Roenicke said. “But [assistant GM Gord Ash] said there is a strain there, and he wants to be overprotective of it. I was a little bummed when I heard two weeks.” 
Roenicke’s understanding is that Hart could be back playing in games in two weeks, not that he would be entirely shut down for that entire period. 
Hart was hurt during a throwing drill Saturday. He said it was the first time he’d tweaked an oblique muscle in his career. 
“[Young] said we would probably push it a little harder if we were in the middle of the season, but there’s no reason to push it right now,” Hart said. “We’re going to try easing in so we don’t have any setbacks at all.”
Hart’s duties on Monday were limited to receiving treatment in the training room. He was among the handful players on the injury report as the Brewers kicked off their exhibition schedule:
— Relievers John Axford (illness), Manny Parra (back), Zach Braddock (blister), LaTroy Hawkins (shoulder) and Mitch Stetter (undisclosed) were not on the list to pitch against the Giants of Cubs. Axford suffered a bout of food poisoning early in camp and has slowly been working back. Parra had some minor back stiffness last week and was scheduled to throw a live batting practice session on Monday. Braddock had a small blister last week that should not keep him out long, and Hawkins remains on schedule in his return from last year’s shoulder surgery. Manager Ron Roencike said only that Stetter was being brought along slowly this spring.
— Top pitching prospect Mark Rogers was very encouraged by a throwing session on Sunday and hopes to get back on the mound by mid-week. Rogers, who has a long injury history, shut down a live batting practice session last week because of some stiffness in his right shoulder. 
“I felt great yesterday playing long toss,” he said. “It’s the best I’ve felt all spring. We’re slowly working our way back into it. I’m sure a bullpen is in the near future. I’d guess in the next few days. So far, it’s responded better than I expected it to.” 
It’s difficult to sit around with the exhibition schedule underway. 
“I’ve got the itch,” Rogers said. “I want to pitch.”
— Infielder Mat Gamel remains restricted from hitting because of his own rib-cage strain. He’s been able to take part in fielding drills during his layoff. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy is out with a fractured right pinkie finger. He has a doctor’s appointment for late this week to set a plan for rehab.
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Hart to sit a few days with sore side

Right fielder Corey Hart will miss the Brewers’ Cactus League openers Monday while a doctor determines whether his sore left side is anything to worry about. 
Hart tweaked a muscle along his rib cage in a throwing drill on Saturday, and planned to take Sunday off before a visit Monday morning with one of the team’s physicians. Hart wasn’t listed in either of the lineups for split-squad games against the Giants and Cubs on Monday.
“It’s just a precaution kind of thing,” Hart said. “There’s no bruise or anything. I just slipped when I was making a throw — my foot kind of gave and I still threw it. It was more panic than anything.”
He’s been lucky to avoid oblique injuries in his career, but has seen how that can linger. 
“I don’t want to mess with anything and all of a sudden you’re out a week or a month,” Hart said. “I got nervous and came in [to the training room]. I’m just going to hang out for a few days.”
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Braun, Hart appear on MVP ballots

Brewers outfielders Ryan Braun and Corey Hart each received at least one vote, but Reds first baseman Joey Votto was the runaway winner of the National League MVP Award on Monday. 

Votto received 31 out of a possible 32 first-place votes and 443 points to earn his first league MVP honor. He easily beat runner-up Albert Pujols of the Cardinals, who garnered the other first-place vote and 279 total points. Votto prevented Pujols from winning his third MVP Award in a row and fourth overall. 
The award was decided by 32 members of the Baseball Writers Association of America, two in each NL city, each of whom ranked their top 10 players. The tabulation system awarded 14 points for first place, nine for second, eight for third and on down to one for 10th. 
The Brewers were represented in the balloting by Braun and Hart, two of the NL’s three starting outfielders in the All-Star Game in July. Braun placed 15th with 19 total points and ranked as high as sixth on one ballot. Hart received one ninth-place vote for two points.  
Braun batted .304 in 2010 with 25 home runs and 103 RBIs and has garnered at least one vote in MVP balloting in each of his four Major League seasons. He finished third in the voting in 2008, when Braun set a career high with 37 home runs, and ran 11th in 2009, when he led the league with 203 hits and set a career high with 114 RBIs. 
Hart hit .283 last season and set career highs with 31 homers and 102 RBIs. 
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Brewers hit home stretch

You can add outfielder Corey Hart to the list of those wondering what could have been for the Brewers this season had they been able to hit and pitch at the same time. 
“It might have been different,” said Hart. 
Instead, the pitching scuffled early and the hitting sort of scuffled late, leaving the Brewers to finish another lost season this weekend in Cincinnati. Mark Rogers, Chris Capuano and Randy Wolf are your starters for the final series of the year. 
The Brewers are going out on individual high notes. In Thursday’s win over the Mets, Chris Narveson lowered his ERA under 5.00 for the first time since April, Casey McGehee and Corey Hart each reached 100 RBIs, Ryan Braun scored his 100th run and Prince Fielder matched his own club record with his 110th walk. 
Those offensive milestones all came during an 11-batter rally that put a 9-2 win out of reach. 
“[Manager Ken] Macha was really good about it because he knew what we were going after,” Hart said. “Obviously, you have team goals, but he saw we were right there and he was determined to keep us in there until we got it done.” 
McGehee played seven games without driving in a run before finally notching RBI No. 100 on a ninth-inning error charged to Mets catcher Mike Nickeas, one of three New York errors in the game and two on that same play. Fielder followed with a walk, matching his club record set last season, and Hart followed with a sharp single to right field to score Braun, giving the Brewers two milestones with one swing. Hart reached 100 RBIs for the first time in his career, and Braun scored 100 for the second straight season. Braun joined Cecil Cooper (1982-83) as the only players in franchise history to post consecutive seasons with 100 runs and 100 RBIs. 
The Brewers and Yankees are the only teams with three 100-RBI players this season. It’s the fourth time in franchise history that the Brewers have had at least three, and the first time since 1982. 
If you think this stuff doesn’t mean anything to the boys in navy blue, think again. After McGehee’s RBI, Braun pumped both of his fists in the air in McGehee’s direction. When Hart slapped his hit to right field, he pumped his right fist on the way to first base. 
“We all pretend like we don’t pay attention, but it’s impossible not to,” Braun said. “Especially because that 100th RBI is kind of the number that solidifies that you’ve had a great year as a run-producer.” 
McGehee had been working on his for a while. He drove in four runs on Sept. 22 but was blanked in the week that followed. 
In the end, he logged No. 100 on a 40-foot grounder that was misplayed by the catcher. McGehee wasn’t sure at first that he would get an RBI, but learned later that the official scorer had ruled in his favor. 
“Definitely a relief,” McGehee said. “As much as I tried not to worry about it, it was hard not to be aware of it. Really, in the grand scheme of things, I don’t know how big a deal it is. It’s just a nice, round number, really. At the same time, you’re so close to it, you might as well push to get that one more.” 
Don’t forget Narveson in this discussion, because he did just enough to lower his ERA just below 5.00, where it had stood since he was working out of the Brewers’ bullpen in April. 
He exited with two outs in the seventh inning and a runner at first base, and reliever Carlos Villanueva preserved Narveson’s ERA by striking out Jose Reyes with a runner at first base. Reyes had a dreadful night, going 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts and a pair of groundouts to the mound. Reyes also dropped an easy pop-up that extended the Brewers’ half of the fifth inning for Lorenzo Cain’s two-run double. 
“When I came out, [Dave Bush] told me, ‘You’re at 4.99,'” Narveson said. “It was pretty sweet. It was kind of a goal of mine to get there in the final month and I was able to get there.” 
Narveson’s last start was also my last game of the season covering the team from the press box. I’ll be back next week with the beginning of what should be a very interesting offseason, but wanted first to say thank you to everybody who read the blog, followed me on Twitter and dropped me e-mails throughout the season. It’s been a fun back-and-forth, and I look forward to continuing the conversation over the hot stove. 
Enjoy the final three games…
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Braun, McGehee bump up in order

Interesting Brewers lineup for the finale of a series of Citi Field, where it’s windy but still dry at the moment. The onset of these awful storms keeps getting pushed back, so perhaps we’ll get a window. 

Casey McGehee, stuck on 99 RBIs for his past seven games, is up to third in the order, ahead of Prince Fielder. I remember twice in this span that McGehee doubled with Fielder at first base and the big fella couldn’t score. But how Fielder is hitting in front of Corey Hart, who also has 99 RBIs. 
We’ll see what Ken Macha has to say about it. In the meantime, here’s the lineup:

Rickie Weeks  2B

Ryan Braun  LF
Casey McGehee  3B
Prince Fielder  1B
Corey Hart  RF
Lorenzo Cain  CF
Alcides Escobar  SS
Jonathan Lucroy  C
Chris Narveson  LHP
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Hart back in lineup, Gomez back to bench

Corey Hart returns to regular action for the Brewers tonight in Game 2 of their series against the Dodgers after missing three starts because of a tight right hamstring. Hart’s return means that Carlos Gomez, activated on Tuesday, is back on the bench. Manager Ken Macha kept his word by leaving Lorenzo Cain in center field. 

Here’s the full lineup:
Rickie Weeks  2B
Corey Hart  RF
Ryan Braun  LF
Prince Fielder  1B
Casey McGehee  3B
Lorenzo Cain  CF
Alcides Escobar  SS
George Kottaras  C
Randy Wolf  LHP
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