Corey Hart has been playing regularly in minor-league camp without any issues and Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that “it’s looking likely” that he’ll be recovered enough from March 6 knee surgery to be in the Brewers’ lineup on Opening Day.
Hart has been playing in minor-league games because that way if he’s not ready to begin the season the Brewers can backdate his disabled list stint, whereas if he plays in big-league spring training games that option disappears.
Hart has had a rough spring, because in addition to the knee surgery he also needed eight stitches and plenty of aspirin after smacking his head while lifting weights. He was initially expected to miss 3-4 weeks after going under the knife and it looks like he’ll hit that target.
Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.
Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.
As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.