This is a guest post by reader Raymond Bureau. If you are interested in contributing a guest post and having your work featured on MLB Injury News email email@example.com.
The Milwaukee Brewers got a big blow to the heart when they learned the fate of their star first baseman / right fielder. Corey Hart will miss four months after having surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. Hart had the surgery performed on January 25.
This is the second straight offseason in which Hart had surgery on his right knee. Last March, he had cartilage repaired, but he still played on Opening Day. This surgery, though, is much more extensive and will keep him out until at least the end of May. Mat Gamel will likely fill in at first base in Hart’s absence.
This is a huge blow to the Brewers. It was tough enough to compete without slugger Prince Fielder in 2012 after he signed with the Detroit Tigers, but the Brewers did it. They led the National League in runs scored with 776, an average of 4.79 runs per game. They also led in home runs with 202 and RBI with 741. Hart was a big reason why. His average was down a bit to .270, but his run production was as steady as ever. He hit 30 home runs and drove in 83. He also scored 91. Hart in the clutch Although teammate Ryan Braun gets most of the Brewers’ glory – deservedly so – the Brewers likely do not have a winning season without Hart’s contributions. His .270 average is not spectacular, but he hits in the clutch. In 2012, Hart was 6 for 11 with the bases loaded and hit .292 late in close games — .357 in extra innings. Some players falter in pressure situations, but Hart thrives.
This is also a crucial blow to Hart himself. He is in the final year of his current contract, which means free agency at the end of the season. He will already miss the first two months, so he cannot afford another setback. He will turn 31 just before the season starts, so this may be his last good chance at a huge contract. He has averaged $8.83 million for the past three years and will likely command more on the free agent market next offseason. He will have to have a tremendous return from his second knee surgery to cash in that much. Hart has the talent, desire, and ability to do just that. The Brewers can survive temporarily without Corey Hart, but any further delays in his return may prove disastrous for the team. Hart is part of the heart and soul of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Adam McCalvy, Hart to be Sidelined Four Months after Knee Surgery, brewers.mlb.com, January 25, 2013.
Major League Baseball, Corey Hart Player Page, brewers.mlb.com.
Major League Baseball, Sortable Team Statistics, mlb.mlb.com as of January 26, 2013.
See more from Raymond on Scoop Post and at his MLB blog: http://thesportscritic.com/.
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