Corey Hart will bat second for just the second time this season tonight against the Dodgers, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
Hart is batting just .236/.263/.327 with five doubles and one RBI over his first 57 plate appearances since returning from an oblique injury on April 26, but has eight hits in his last 25 at-bats (.320) and has hit safely in each of his last six games.
Brewers’ No. 2 hitters have combined to bat just .220/.274/.317 so far this season, so Hart has the potential to provide a huge boost offensively if he’s right. The 29-year-old outfielder was the primary No. 2 hitter for the Brewers last season and finished with a career-best 31 homers and 102 RBI. He has primarily batted sixth and seventh since returning from the DL.
Carlos Gomez, who has batted second in 30 games this season, was dropped to the No. 8 spot for tonight’s game.
Jon Heyman reports that the Nationals are closing in on a deal with catcher Matt Wieters. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that it’s a two-year deal. UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is for two years, at $21 million. There is an opt-out for him after year one. He will get $10 million in 2017 and, if he returns in 2018, he’ll get $11 million.
Wieters was not expected to go this long without signing, but his market, which many thought would be robust, never materialized. The Nats had been rumored to be interested for months, but they were apparently waiting to swoop in late and get what one presumes will be a bargain.
Wieters, 30, finished last season hitting .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI in 464 plate appearances. The Nationals currently have Derek Norris and Jose Lobaton, so who falls where in the catcher fight in Washington is unclear, but one presumes that Wieters getting a two-year deal puts him at the top of the depth chart.
Ken Rosenthal has an interesting story up about Sergio Romo as he begins spring training with his new team, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
There is some fun stuff about his family, all Dodgers fans from southern California, but the more notable stuff is about Romo himself, who has dealt with a lot more than has been reported over the past couple of seasons. The loss of three of his four grandparents is a big one, as it has thrust the mantle of head of the family on Romo in ways that he was not fully prepared for. There are also allusions to personal and psychological problems Romo has experienced — there is a vague suggestion of alcohol or maybe just late nights out and perhaps depression, but he is not specific about it — which he worked on with the help of friends and teammates on the Giants and which he now has overcome.
There’s always more going on the lives of baseball players than we as fans know.