Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 3/19/12
Just 13 days after undergoing surgery to repair torn meniscus in his right knee, Milwaukee Brewers right fielder Corey Hart took batting practice Monday in Arizona. Hart, a two-time All-Star, was expected to miss three to four weeks after the March 6 surgery, and his status for opening day had been in question. But he seems to be recovering on schedule if not ahead of it. "Big step, yeah," manager Ron Roenicke said. "He got three rounds (of batting practice) today, so that's really good. I'm surprised by how fast he's coming along. He's not even two weeks post-op." Hart's progress while playing in minor league games starting this weekend will determine how quickly he can return to the Brewers' lineup. "We'll see how the B.P.s go (first)," Roenicke said. "If he's sore the next day at all, I'm sure he'll have to sit it out. But if he's not sore he can continue to hit every day, and it shouldn't take long." Cutdown day: On Sunday, the Brewers optioned six players to Class AAA Nashville, sent two more to Class AA Huntsville and assigned one to minor league camp. Roenicke was asked Monday if those cuts had any effect on the focus of the players remaining on the major league roster. "I think the players start to realize we're getting a little bit closer," he said. "We start getting the group that we know is going to be with us for when we start our season. The difference will be that we'll probably still have to borrow some players minor league players to make sure we're covered in the late innings, but we haven't had to do much of that so far, so that changes that a little bit. We're getting to the point where we need to start getting after them maybe a little bit better. I know I've had some players that have told me they want to start playing some more -- Aramis (Ramirez) wants to, (Alex) Gonzalez wants to -- so that's telling me that they're feeling it." Interviews courtesy of the Milwaukee Brewers.
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