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Hart to Return Tuesday; Second Wave of Call Ups Near?

September 5, 2009 Leave a comment

Adam McCalvy reports that Corey Hart was 0-1 with a walk in his first rehab start last night.  Hart is working his way back from an appendectomy in early August, and as McCalvy notes, if all goes well this weekend, Hart should return to the big league club on Tuesday.

Hart will return to a team in a drastically different situation than the one he left.  After losing two of three to the Cardinals and losing the series opener to San Francisco last night, the Brewers’ elimination number is down to 14, effectively putting them out of the race. 

That’s not to say this month won’t be important for Hart.  It would provide plenty of optimism for next season (as well as increase the numbers on his paycheck this offseason), or perhaps raise his possible trade value.  It’s a shame that the Giants will be out of town by then, because like David Hannes noted earlier, Hart may be a player they’d be interested in. 

Hart may not be alone in returning to the club on Tuesday.  Nashville’s season will end Monday afternoon if the club doesn’t make the PCL playoffs (they’re currently 1.5 games behind division leading Memphis), meaning the likes of Mat Gamel, Hernan Iribarren, Angel Salome, Tim Dillard, and Mike Burns could be flying into Milwaukee with Hart.

Hart Has Appendix Removed; Out Until September

MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy is reporting that Corey Hart was scheduled for an appendectomy Sunday night in San Diego after playing last night’s game with stomach pains.  Hart was not in the lineup for Sunday afternoon’s 6-1 win over the Padres, and is expected to miss the rest of the month as he recovers from the procedure.

While Hart had his struggles to start the season, he was finally starting to come around at the plate and showing glimpses of what made him in All-Star after a hot first half in 2008.  As McCalvy notes, Hart was hitting .329 in his last 22 games, meaning the Brewers’ offense will take yet another hit with him out of the lineup.  He was especially hot in his past 10 games, raising his OPS by 21 points.
With Hart moving to the DL, the Brewers are already recalling Bill Hall from Triple-A Nashville. Hall reportedly played in right field for the Sounds on Sunday night in preparation for possibly seeing playing time there in Milwaukee. McCalvy guesses that Frank Catalanotto — who started this afternoon — will see a bulk of the playing time the rest of this month, but Hall is likely to get a chance against left-handed starters.  Considering the Dodgers throw Clayton Kershaw tomorrow, it’s a good bet he’ll be in the lineup to start the LA series.
Hall was probably the easy (and right) decision to make when it came to calling someone up to replace Hart, but part of me is wondering what Brendan Katin could do in right field if given the chance.  Granted, his Major League equivalent stats are pretty ugly (think Russell Branyan without the ability to walk), but perhaps he’d provide more pop than Hall.  Calling up Katin would probably involve some shifting on the 40-man roster, though, so for the time being Hall was the easier choice.  
Of course, Hart’s situation creates some interesting questions when it comes to possible waiver trades.  Does Doug Melvin go out and find a short-term solution, like he did with the Felipe Lopez and Claudio Vargas trades?  While the team has played like crap for two straight months, they’re still only 4.5 games out of first place in a very winnable division.