The Milwaukee Brewers will be without the services of Corey Hart for at least two weeks after he undergoes a laparoscopy.
The procedure, which removes the appendix, will not allow the Brewers' RF to have any activity for one full week. The timetable is at least 2-3 weeks, but it is more likely that he is out until September.
The Brewers have stated that they are going to recall Bill Hall and play him in right field for the time being.
Bill Hall has always hit left handed pitchers well and is most likely going to receive the bulk of the starts when the Brewers face one. If Hall is allowed to bat against right handed pitching however, the Brewers could suffer even more from this injury. Hall has struggled this season against righties hitting .180/.261/.305/.566 in 128 at bats. What seems even more frustrating than that terrible line to fans is how bad Bill has looked in some of those at bats. I can remember too many times Bill Hall coming up and striking out on three balls outside of the strike zone.
It will be interesting to see if the Brewers are going to give the other starts to Frank Catalanotto or Jody Gerut.
Brewers manager Ken Macha has a comfort level with Catalanotto and generally uses him as his first option off the bench. Jody Gerut has struggled mightily in his brief time with the Milwaukee Brewers, but has proven that he is a solid hitter over his career.
This news also puts a lot of pressure on both Mike Cameron and Casey McGehee. Hart was being used to protect Prince Fielder in the five spot the majority of the time over the last couple of weeks. It will be very important for those guys to step up if Prince is going to continue to see pitches.
With Corey going down, this is a big chance for Bill Hall to somehow regain his form for a couple of seasons ago and help the Brewers going forward. If he plays well over the next month, the Brewers may be able to find a taker for the final year of his contract. Hall is scheduled to make $8.4 million next year. The Brewers hold a 2011 option on Hall worth $9.25 million that is certainly not going to be picked up.
Even if Hall plays well, it is highly unlikely that a team with take on his entire salary. Even if the Brewers have to eat some of next year's contract, getting some money back would be huge for this team. Financial flexibility is key in a market like Milwaukee. The Brewers can just hope that Bill somehow puts it together and gives them that option to make this offseason.
Either way you look at it, Hart's injury is a devastating blow to the already slim playoff chances for the Brewers.