Corey Hart is eligible to come off the disabled list on May 30, but Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that the Brewers first baseman won’t be ready to return from right knee surgery by then.
However, he has progressed enough to take batting practice yesterday and doing some running on the field. There’s still no timetable yet for Hart to begin a minor-league rehab assignment, so he’s likely at least 3-4 weeks from potentially rejoining the Brewers.
In his absence Brewers first basemen have hit just .200 with four homers in 42 games for a .560 OPS that ranks 28th among 30 teams, which is what happens when you’re so low on depth that you have to start weak-hitting middle infielders like Yuniesky Betancourt and Alex Gonzalez at first base.
Despite dealing with back trouble for five years, Adrian Gonzalez of the Dodgers recently made his first ever trip to the disabled list. Then he made another trip there. All of it has him contemplating his future. As he tells Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, his baseball future may be a short one if his health doesn’t improve:
“I want to get back this year to help the team and for me to be healthy,” Gonzalez said. “But I’m thinking more long-term about being able to play more years.
“Because if I have to deal with this next year again? That’ll probably be it. My contract will be over, that’ll probably be it. I won’t play any more. If I can heal it and my body feels good? Now I can go out there and do the things I can do. Then I’ll keep playing.”
Backs are one of those things that don’t get better as you get older. At least not without a lot of work and effort and good luck. Gonzalez is 35 now, so he’ll need all of that to keep playing beyond his current deal.
Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.
Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.
The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.