Tag:Corey Hart
Posted on: September 30, 2011 4:29 pm
Edited on: October 1, 2011 3:22 pm
 

2011 NLDS matchup: Brewers vs. Diamondbacks

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Milwaukee made a splash in the winter acquiring Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum -- it was a signal to the baseball world that the Brewers were going for it in 2011 and anything short of the postseason would be a disappointment in what figures to be Prince Fielder's last season in Milwaukee. Well, the Brewers responded by winning their first division title since 1982, when Harvey's Wallbangers went to the World Series as the American League representatives. While the Brewers were picked by many to be in the playoffs, the Diamondbacks were a complete surprise. Both teams have used pitching to get here, so expect some strong pitching performances.

TEAM INFORMATION

Milwaukee Brewers (host games 1, 2, 5)
96-66, NL Central champions
Manager: Ron Roenicke
Team batting statistics: .261 batting average (3rd in NL), .325 on-base percentage (4th), .425 slugging percentage (2nd)
Team pitching statistics: 3.64 ERA (7th), 1.240 WHIP (3rd), 2.86 K/BB (2nd)
Star player: LF Ryan Braun -- .332/.397/.597 33 HR, 111 RBI, 109 R, 38 2B, 6 3B, 33 SB

Arizona Diamondbacks (host games 3, 4)
94-68, NL West champions
Manager: Kirk Gibson
Team batting statistics: .250 batting average (10th in NL), .322 on-base percentage (7th), .413 slugging percentage (3rd)
Team pitching statistics: 3.80 ERA (9th), 1.286 WHIP (7th), 2.39 K/BB (7th)
Star player: RF Justin Upton -- .289/.369/.529 31 HR, 88 RBI, 105 R, 39 2B, 5 3B, 21 SB

SCHEDULE (Click here to view the entire postseason schedule)  

Game 1: ARI @ MIL, Oct. 1, 2:07 p.m. ET. Ian Kennedy (21-4, 2.88) vs. Yovani Gallardo (17-10, 3.52)
Game 2: ARI @ MIL, Oct. 2, 4:37 p.m. ET. Daniel Hudson (16-12, 3.49) vs. Zack Greinke (16-6, 3.83)
Game 3: MIL @ ARI, Oct. 4 Shaun Marcum (13-7, 3.54) vs. Joe Saunders (12-12, 3.69)
Game 4: MIL @ ARI, Oct. 5* Randy Wolf (13-10, 3.69) vs. TBD
Game 5: ARI @ MIL, Oct. 7* TBD vs. Gallardo
* if necessary

TEAM BREAKDOWN (Click player name for statistics)

Catcher
Milwaukee: Jonathan Lucroy
Arizona: Miguel Montero

Hands-down Montero is the better offensive threat, hitting .282/.351/.469 with 18 homers and 86 batted in. The 27-year-old made his first All-Star team this year and while he was once thought of as an all-offense catcher, his defense has improved.

Advantage: Diamondbacks

First base
Milwaukee: Prince Fielder
Arizona: Paul Goldschmidt

The rookie Goldschmidt has come up big in some important games, but he still has 222 fewer career homers than Fielder.

Advantage: Brewers

Second base
Milwaukee: Rickie Weeks
Arizona: Aaron Hill

The Diamondbacks and Blue Jays pulled off an August deal for struggling second basemen, sending Kelly Johnson north of the border and Hill going to Arizona. The change of scenery worked for Hill, who is hitting .315/.386/.492 in 33 games with the Diamondbacks. Weeks' numbers are down and he's coming off an ankle injury that limited him to 14 games since the end of July.

Advantage: Brewers

Shortstop
Milwaukee: Yuniesky Betancourt
Arizona: John McDonald

McDonald was an emergency stopgap acquired from the Blue Jays along with Hill in August, for the injured Stephen Drew. And Yuniesky Betancourt is Yuniesky Bentancourt, one of the worst all-around players in all of baseball.

Advantage: Diamondbacks

Third base
Milwaukee: Casey McGehee
Arizona: Ryan Roberts

Roberts is better known for his tattoos, but he's also had a decent season for the Diamondbacks, while McGehee has had a disastrous 2011. With a .223/.280/.346 line, McGehee's OPS+ is just 69. There's pop in that bat, but it's been hard to find.

Advantage: Diamondbacks

Left field
Milwaukee: Ryan Braun
Arizona: Gerardo Parra

Braun is going to be one of the favorites to win the MVP, Parra is not.

Advantage: Brewers

Center field
Milwaukee: Nyjer Morgan
Arizona: Chris Young

Young is one of the best defensive center fielders in the game, but has struggled a bit at the plate. Morgan is the Brewres' spark plug and resurrected his career in Milwaukee. Morgan's intangibles are huge -- and in the Brewers' favor.

Advantage: Brewers

Right field
Milwaukee: Corey Hart
Arizona: Justin Upton

Hart sometimes get lost in the shadow of Fielder and Braun, but he's had a pretty good season, as well, hitting .285/.356/.510 with 26 homers in 130 games. That said, Upton is one of the best young players in the game and will be in the top 10 of the MVP results.

Advantage: Diamondbacks

Starting pitching
Milwaukee: Yovani Gallardo, Zack Greinke, Shaun Marcum, Randy Wolf
Arizona: Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson, Joe Saunders

Both teams are strong at the top, but the Brewers have more depth, with Marcum starting Game 3 and Randy Wolf possibly starting Game 4. Of course, the three-man rotation could really help the Diamondbacks, allowing Kennedy and Hudson to pitch twice if needed. Greinke wanted out of Kansas City so he could pitch in the playoffs, and now he gets his shot.

Advantage: Brewers

Relief pitching
Milwaukee closer: John Axford
Arizona closer: J.J. Putz

Last season the Diamondbacks had a historically bad bullpen. This year it's one of the reasons they're in the playoffs. While Axford is the best of the three closers in this series (counting the Brewers' Francisco Rodriguez), the Diamondbacks have the deeper bullpen, which only improved when Kirk Gibson decided to go with a three-man rotation and put right-hander Josh Collmenter in the bullpen, where he started the season.

Advantage: Diamondbacks

Total advantage: Tie: Diamondbacks (5), Brewers (5)

PREDICTION (click here to see full postseason predictions)

CBS Experts
Evan Brunell: Brewers in 5
Gregg Doyel: Brewers in 5
Danny Knobler: Diamondbacks in 5
Scott Miller: Brewers in 4
C. Trent Rosecrans: Brewers in 4
Matt Snyder: Brewers in 4

Trent's take: I'm still not exactly sure how the Diamondbacks wound up in the playoffs. The team has been doubted from spring training to the All-Star break and even at the start of the regular season's final month. Nobody has believed in the Diamondbacks at any point of this season. So I'm pretty sure they won't be too upset to be picked against here. Milwaukee has famously "gone for it" since last season, pulling off moves big (Greinke, Rodriguez) and small (Morgan). No pitcher likes to see Braun and Fielder back-to-back in that Brewers lineup, not even a 21-winner like Kennedy. The Brewers also have the arms in the rotation to be dangerous. I like the Brewers, but it wouldn't be the first time I was wrong about Arizona.

More Brewers-Diamondbacks NLDS coverage

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Posted on: August 15, 2011 1:37 pm
Edited on: August 15, 2011 1:50 pm
 

Anthopoulous won't close door on Aaron Hill

Hill

By Evan Brunell

In the span of two seasons, the Blue Jays' Aaron Hill has plummeted from one of the best young second baseman in the game to one of the worst. Still, GM Alex Anthopoulous isn't ready to give up on Hill as the long-term second baseman, Blue Jays broadcaster Mike Wilner reports. Anthopoulous points to J.J. Hardy and Corey Hart as reasons not to give up, given each player's resurgence after experiencing a dip in effectiveness.

Problem is, neither Hardy nor Hart have fallen to the depths Hill has. Hardy has experienced a bounceback season with the Orioles, swatting 23 home runs and posting a .270/.314/.520 mark in what is lining up as a career season, although is production in 2007-08 came close before a two-year hiatus as an effective player. Hart's return to prominence, meanwhile, occurred last season after another two-year dip after a promising 2007. In both cases, Hill and Hart preceded their original breakout year with a couple seasons of futility.

That also happened to Hill, whose first two years in the majors were wanting, but acceptable for someone breaking into the bigs. He showed flashes of potential in 2007 before falling off in 2008 and rebounding in '09 with 36 home runs. Since then, though, he's fallen to depths even Hardy and Hart didn't reach, plummeting all the way to .226/.275/.312 this season with worsening plate discipline and power. Offensively, Hill has been 35 percent worse than league average by weighted runs-created plus, wRC+)  which sounds like a really imposing advance statistic, but isn't. Think of wRC+ as OPS, but done better, and scaled to league average. Thus, Hill's 65 wRC+ means he's 35 percent worse than league average. Among qualified batters, Hill is tied for being the fourth-worst hitter in the game by this metric. The White Sox's Alex Rios is in first by a wide margin, while Orlando Cabrera and Alex Gonzalez eke out Hill, tied with three others.

Hardy, meanwhile, has never fallen below 74 while Hart hasn't been below 93 with a significant major-league sample to draw from. Hardy has only been below the 100-point threshold -- exactly league average with the bat -- four times, and over it three times. Hart has been under twice and over it four times. Hill, meanwhile, has cracked the 100-point barrier just twice in a seven-year career. Hill's not necessarily cooked as a player, but he represents far longer odds than Hardy and Hart ever did to become "re-"reckoned with at the plate. Anthopoulous quoting Hardy and Hart as reasons to believe in Aaron Hill doesn't quite work -- if anything, it shows just how unlikely it is for Hill to rebound. He still has a good chance to return to being a league-average player, but anything above and beyond that at this point is just wishful thinking.

Hill has an $8 million club option for 2012 and 2013, as well as a $10 million option for 2014 that is already guaranteed not to be exercised. While Anthopoulous may not be ready to give up on Hill, it's hard to see Toronto paying $8 million in 2012 to one of the worst hitters in the game. To do so, Anthopoulous will have to really believe in the second baseman.

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Posted on: July 8, 2011 5:03 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 1:05 pm
 

Offense rules in NL Central

By C. Trent Rosecrans
2011 All-Star Game

SEE THE OTHER DIVISION ALL-STARS: AL East | AL Central | AL West | NL East | NL West

The National League Central has the most teams, some of the game's brightest stars and perhaps its best story in the Pittsburgh Pirates. How deep is the talent in the NL Central? The last two men to win the National League MVP are first basemen in the division and neither makes this NL Central All-Star team. The pitching isn't too deep, at least in terms of starters, but this lineup can absolutely mash the ball.

Ramon HernandezC Ramon Hernandez, Reds: This one is a surprise, as Yadier Molina -- perhaps the game's best defensive catcher -- is an All-Star and a deserving one at that. But the nod here goes to the guy Reds manager Dusty Baker calls "Clutch Man Monie." On opening day, his three-run homer gave the Reds a walk-off victory and he's been producing at the plate since, including a ninth-inning homer yesterday against Brewers closer John Axford and the delivered the game's winning hit in the 13th inning Wednesday night in St. Louis. Hernandez's overall line -- .316/.374/.526 -- makes up for the difference between his defense and Molina's. Molina is hitting a respectable .279/.329/.408, but Clutch Man Monie has been money, especially for a player who is still essentially splitting time with Ryan Hanigan.

Prince Fielder1B Joey Votto, Reds: Votto was the National League MVP in 2010, but Prince Fielder's been the league's MVP for the first half of this season. Fielder is hitting .302/.418/.588 with 22 home runs and 71 RBI, tied for the most in the league. Votto's been good as well, but Fielder's power numbers put him over the top. So why is Votto listed here instead of Fielder? Because as I filled out the lineup card, I looked and had Votto as DH and Fielder at first. Anyone who has seen those two with gloves on their hand know you'd rather have Votto (especially with Starlin Castro also in the infield) playing the field. So Fielder wins the spot, but Votto gets the nod, if that makes sense.

Lineup
No. Name Team Pos
1 Andrew McCutchen PIT CF
2 Rickie Weeks MIL 2B
3 Joey Votto CIN 1B
4 Prince Fielder MIL DH
5 Lance Berkman STL RF
6 Ryan Braun MIL LF
7 Aramis Ramirez CHI 3B
8 Ramon Hernandez CIN C
9 Starlin Castro CHI SS

Rickie Weeks2B Rickie Weeks, Brewers: Another Brewer nips a Red. While Cincinnati's Brandon Phillips is far and away a better defensive player, Weeks is having an incredible offensive season so far. Weeks is hitting .275/.345/.476 with 15 home runs. Phillips has 10 more RBI, but that's not all that surprising considering Weeks is used as a leadoff man. 

Aramis Ramirez3B Aramis Ramirez, Cubs: It's easy for Ramirez to get lost among the Cubs' mounting losses, but the 33-year-old is having a solid season, which may be his last with the Cubs. The Cubs hold a $16 million option on Ramirez for 2012, with a $2 million buyout. The Ricketts family may want to find a cheaper option, but Ramirez has produced this year, hitting .298/.346/.495 with 14 home runs and 49 RBI. He's also playing a decent third base, much better than his reputation would suggest. 

Starlin CastroSS Starlin Castro, Cubs: Sure, he's a mess defensively, but the kid can absolutely rake. Castro is hitting .305/.334/.428 with two home runs and 38 RBI, while stealing 10 bags as well. The 21-year-old is the player the Cubs will build around in the future, and for good cause. He also doesn't have a lot of competition in this division. The Pirates' Ronny Cedeno has been good defensively, but lacking offensively. The Cardinals' Ryan Theriot is hitting well, but was a below-average defensive second baseman and now he's playing short and then there's Yuniesky Betancourt, who has been terrible offensively and defensively.

LF Ryan Braun, Brewers: Talk about a stacked offensive division -- in left field you've got Matt Holliday and Braun. Braun, though gets the nod. He's been healthy (of course, Holliday's problems may make his numbers more impressive) and produced, hitting .320/.402/559 with 16 home runs and 62 RBI. He's also stolen 19 bases to boot.

Andrew McCutchenCF Andrew McCutchen, Pirates: If Bruce Bochy doesn't want him, I'll sure as heck take him as my starter in center. A Gold Glove-caliber fielder, plus a .291/.389/.491 slash line and 12 homers and 15 stolen bases. McCutchen should be in the MVP discussion with the season he's had. If it weren't for McCutchen, Michael Bourn would be the pick. Bourn's hitting .288/.350/.399 with 35 stolen bases. Between those two and Cincinnati's Drew Stubbs, you could put together a heck of a relay team.

Lance BerkmanRF Lance Berkman, Cardinals: Sure he's a first baseman playing in the outfield, but who cares because he's made up for his atrocious defense with an offensive rebirth. The Cardinals gambled on Berkman this offseason and have been rewarded to the tune of .287/.399/.598 with a league-leading 23 home runs and 62 RBIs. The division also has Jay Bruce, Corey Hart and Hunter Pence, so it has right fielders to spare (not to mention Jon Jay, who played right field while Berkman was playing first for Albert Pujols.)

Prince FielderDH Prince Fielder, Brewers: This is a bit of a cheat, since I initially picked Fielder at first base. The decision here was between Votto and Holliday, and in a toss-up, I went with the reigning MVP, although either has a good case. Votto's hitting .319/.434/.497 with 12 home runs and 52 RBI, while Holliday is hitting .320/.417/.570 with 13 home runs and 46 RBI. Votto's seen fewer pitches to drive than he did a year ago, but is still producing. And once I was filling out the lineup card, I went with Votto at first base and Fielder as the DH.

Johnny CuetoSP Johnny Cueto, Reds: This division doesn't have a Cy Young candidate in the bunch, but does have several good young pitchers, including the 25-year-old Cueto, who started the season on the disabled list but is 5-3 with a 1.77 ERA in 11 starts this season. The Cardinals' Jaime Garcia is 8-4 with a 3.23 ERA and one of the best young left-handers in the game and Chicago's Matt Garza has been a victim of pitching for the Cubs, going 4-7 with a 4.26 ERA and an xFIP of 2.86.

Sean MarshallRP Sean Marshall, Cubs: The Cubs' left-hander is 5-2 with a 2.40 ERA, striking out 43 in 41 1/3 innings, while walking just nine. His xFIP is 2.27 and he's induced ground balls on 60.4 percent of the balls put in play, a good characteristic for a middle reliever, who will often come into the game with runners on base. Apologies to the Reds' Bill Bray and the Cardinals' Jason Motte.

Joel HanrahanCL Joel Hanrahan, Pirates: Hanrahan leads the division in saves with 25 and hasn't blown a single save this season.  Of the eight runners he's inherited this year, none of scored. He has 33 strikeouts in 39 1/3 innings and eight walks. He's allowed just six earned runs (good for a 1.37 ERA). The division has several good starters, including the Reds' Francisco Cordero (17 saves, 1.69 ERA), the Brewers' John Axford (23 saves, 2.90 ERA) and the Cardinals' Fernando Salas (15 saves, 2.41 ERA).

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Posted on: May 24, 2011 1:13 am
Edited on: May 24, 2011 1:14 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Thome returns with pair of homers

Jim Thome

By C. Trent Rosecrans


Jim Thome, Twins
-- For all the talk of Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz and Chase Utley making their returns on Monday, it was Jim Thome who stole their thunder. Although Hamilton and Cruz each homered, Thome homered twice and upped his career total to 593. Before Monday, the Twins had managed just six homers at Target Field all season.

Corey Hart, Brewers -- Think two homers is good? Try three. That's how many Hart hit on Monday in the Brewers' 11-3 victory over the Nationals. Hart, who missed most of April on the disabled list with a  strained oblique muscle hadn't hit a homer since coming off the DL and was hitting just .237/.275/.329 with one RBI in 81 plate appearances. He was also hitless in his last 11 at-bats cooing into Monday. He broke through against the Nationals, racking up seven RBI on his three homers. His second homer gave him 100 for his career.

Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians -- If you haven't taken notice of the Indians' shortstop, you should. He may be the MVP of the first quarter of the season. After a 5-for-5 performance with two homers on Sunday, Cabrera hit another homer and then drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth to beat the Red Sox 3-2 at Progressive Field.


Bronson Arroyo, Reds -- If Edinson Volquez was sent to Triple-A for his outing against the Indians on Sunday, perhaps Arroyo should be checking out real estate in the California League. It turned out the slumping Phillies offense didn't need Chase Utley, but Arroyo, who allowed nine runs on 10 hits in 2 2/3 innings. 

Kenley Jansen, Dodgers -- Now the Dodgers closer, Jansen came into Monday's game a perfect 5 for 5 in save opportunities in his brief career. Well, as you can tell from his presence here, he's now 5 for 6. With the Dodgers leading 3-1, Jansen gave up a one-out single to Bill Hall before striking out pinch-hitter Matt Downs. He then walked Angel Sanchez in an 11-pitch at-bat and with two men on, he ignored the runners, allowing a double steal. Michael Bourn tied the game with a double before hitting Clint Barmes. Hunter Pence then singled, allowing the speedy Bourn to score and give the Astros a 4-3 victory.

Bob Geren, Athletics -- How many times does a pitcher have to fail before his manager loses confidence in him? Well, that's a good question for the A's manager. Brian Fuentes entered Monday's game having lost five of the seven tie games he entered. With the A's and Angeles tied at 1, who did Geren bring out for the eighth inning? Brian Freakin' Fuentes. He walked the first batter he faced and got Bobby Abreu to ground into a fielder's choice before being replaced by Michael Wuertz. Not the worst performance, but when Torii Hunter doubled to score Abreu, Fuentes was charged with a run and the loss. He is now 1-7 on the season and is the third reliever with seven losses in the first 48 games of a season, joining Jim Kern in 1980 and Gene Garber in 1979.

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Posted on: April 27, 2011 10:43 pm
 

Chapman impresses beyond radar gun readings

Aroldis Chapman

By C. Trent Rosecrans

It won't grab any headlines because there was no crazy radar gun readings, but Reds left-hander Aroldis Chapman had his best outing yet on Wednesday.

It wasn't just that Chapman got the Reds out of a jam in the eighth inning of the team's eventual 7-6, 10-inning victory over the Brewers, but it was more than that. It was that he pitched for the second day in a row and maintained his velocity. It was recognizing a batter (Carlos Gomez) swinging early to catch up with the fastball and giving him a slider. It was having the bases loaded and getting on of the game's best hitters to ground out weakly. And it was also his pickoff move, which stunned and froze Corey Hart on the basepaths.

It was everything. Reds manager Dusty Baker said it's the best he's seen Chapman since he came up at the end of last season.

Baker brought in the left-hander to face the right-handed Rickie Weeks with one out and two on in the eighth inning. Chapman hit Weeks, but then struck out Gomez and retired Braun to end the inning.

With two outs in the ninth, he gave up a hit to Hart in the north, but it also set up his pickoff move, something not too many have seen so far in his career. 

Up until Wednesday, there had been concern about Chapman's ability to pitch in back-to-back games, but his velocity didn't suffer Wednesday (an average fastball of 99.13 mph and a high of 100.8 mph) even though he pitched on Tuesday. Tuesday, Chapman faced just one batter, striking out Prince Fielder.

Wednesday he needed just 19 pitches to get through 1 2/3 innings, and 17 of those pitchers were strikes. He earned the win and has yet to allow an earned run this season.

"I keep saying it and I'm going to say it again: it's unbelievable," Reds closer Francisco Cordero told reporters, including the Cincinnati Enquirer's John Fay. "I'm real glad I'm here, that I get to see it. It's special. He's a special boy. Nobody else in the history of the big leagues has thrown that hard."

Cordero is still the Reds closer, but ever since Chapman's come up, Baker's been using him in higher-leverage situations that Cordero. While most value in a reliever is assumed to be the closer, Baker is doing a good job of keeping his highest-paid player (Cordero) happy and productive (5-for-5 in save opportunities), while using his best reliever in the situations where he's needed the most.

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Posted on: April 24, 2011 4:24 pm
 

Greinke can't finish 3 innings in minors

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Zack GreinkeBefore Sunday's game against the Astros, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said the Brewers wouldn't rush Zack Greinke's return to the Brewers.

Hours later, he showed why, struggling a little against the Royals' Triple-A affiliate in a start for the Nashville Sounds.

Greinke went 2 2/3 innings, allowed three hits and two runs, walking one and striking out two. He finished with 54 pitches, 32 strikes.

It was Greinke's second minor-league rehab outing. He threw 35 pitches in three innings at Class A Brevard County on Tuesday. He is scheduled to make another start for Nashville on Friday.

Roenicke said Greinke wasn't pressing the team to get back sooner than the first week in May.

"Not any more," Roenicke told Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "He was. To bring back Zack a week earlier or five days earlier and really not have his arm strength, it makes no sense to me. We need this guy for the long haul.

"When he's back here, I want him to be solid for the rest of the season, hopefully getting us into the playoffs. That's when I want him good."

Greinke retired the first five batters he faced on Sunday before giving up a double to Lance Zawadzki in the second and walking Gregor Blanco, but struck out Irving Falu to end the inning. In the third, he allowed back-to-back triples, including one to center fielder Lorenzo Cain, one of the players the Brewers gave up to get Greinke. Greinke was relieved after Eric Hosmer's sacrifice fly.

Former Brewer Jeff Suppan started for the Storm Chasers.

While Greinke is still a few starts away, the Brewers expect to get right fielder Corey Hart back as soon as Tuesday. Hart is scheduled to play all nine innings for the Sounds on Monday and then could return either Tuesday or Wednesday.

"We'll see how [Monday] goes," Roenicke told MLB.com. "If his at-bats are good and he feels his timing is there, we may try to do something."

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Posted on: April 12, 2011 6:39 pm
 

Greinke, Hart progressing for Brewers

By Matt Snyder

Even though the Brewers don't get to play Tuesday -- their game against the Pirates has been rained out -- they still got some good news.

Outfielder Corey Hart, who is working his way back from a strained left oblique, took some hacks in the indoor batting cage and it ready to go on a minor-league rehab assignment. He's targeting a return to the Brewers' lineup in Milwaukee April 22.

Greinke, the big offseason acquisition, is on his way back from broken rib. He was able to throw 25 pitches indoors and seemed to be letting loose a bit.

"He threw the ball well," said manager Ron Roenicke. "He got after it. He's trying to come real fast now. (Trainer) Roger (Caplinger) will have to look at it and determine what's best. "If he's not sore tomorrow, I'll be pretty impressed because he wasn't holding anything back." (Brewers Blog )

Greinke is expected to get back on the hill Friday for another simulated game. If everything goes as planned, he'll be joining the rotation the last week of April.

Since an 0-4 start, the Brewers haven't missed Greinke or Hart much. They've gone 5-1 in the past six games, winning on the strength of power pitching and power hitting. That will only be enhanced when the two join the squad, which sounds like it will be sooner rather than later.

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Posted on: April 4, 2011 11:58 am
Edited on: April 4, 2011 12:48 pm
 

No timetable for Hart's return

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Corey HartBrewers right fielder Corey Hart is supposed to join the team in Milwaukee today, but he isn't ready to go on a rehab assignment yet, manager Ron Roenicke told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

"We're still trying to push things and get him to 100 percent," Roenicke said. "He still feels that if he does throw [hard], there's going to be tightness. He's got to get through it. He's not 100 percent yet. … There's no timetable. We have to get him 100 percent throwing and swinging the bat. We don't think it's that far away, maybe a couple of days, but he has to get over that."

Roenicke said catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who is on the disabled list with a broken pinkie finger, will report to Double-A Huntsville to start the season and has played in minor-league games at the team's complex in Arizona.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com