The Milwaukee Brewers have placed first basemen Corey Hart on the 15-day disabled list; Not exactly how Hart wanted to start the 2013 Major League Baseball season. Having surgery on Jan. 25 to repair torn cartilage was going to push his start to this season back anyway. But Hart had surgery on the same knee last year causing him to miss most of 2012’s spring training, leaving questions about his long-term playing status.
Hart was an All-Star with the Brewers in 2008 and 2010 playing right field. Injuries last year to starting first baseman Mat Gamel moved Hart to first base. He excelled at first in fielding percentage, .995, and he only committed 4 errors. There is no question now that Hart has firmly landed as the everyday first baseman.
The Brewers not only need him at first — they need his bat. Milwaukee has been his home for his professional career. He has a career .276 BA, .334 OBP, .491 SLG, with 154 HR and 508 RBI in nine years. But last season the move to first gave him 30 HR and 83 RBI. That was almost at the All-Star level in 2010.
They will fill his position for now with much-traveled Alex Gonzalez. Gonzalez has spent most of his career at third and doesn’t have the offensive production Hart has. That’s why they moved Hart to the disabled list. It allows the Brewers some time, so Hart can be ready. Now they say it will be sometime in May before that happens.
If Hart can come back from his knee troubles, the Brewers will be competitive in the NL Central. One thing is sure: he is a class act and a man of character. He will be missed on and off the field. Let’s hope Hart comes all the way back.