Well, perhaps the season won’t be all doom and gloom come April 6th. As we all know, Spring Training really means nothing, so we can brush aside our 6-9 record and look toward the actual season. Now, the teams, the Brew Crew included, are making some of their final roster selections. Technically, the season begins next Wednesday when the Mariners play the A’s in Tokyo, but I digress. What’s good is that Corey Hart says that he is way ahead of schedule and that his knee is fine. The downside to this, is that Hart’s prediction, is well, merely a prediction. There’s no hard evidence saying he’ll be playing on Opening Day, but man, let’s hope he’s close.
So yeah, worst case scenario, we don’t have Hart ready for Opening Day. We know last year our breaths were held as Hart missed Spring Training completely in 2011. Fortunately, this year wasn’t as bad, granted it still was far from ‘good’. Hart’s doctors have him running on a treadmill trying to get his knee back into a working condition. On Hart’s status, skipper Ron Roenicke had this to say,
"“What it comes down to is, if he stays on this pace, physically, he will be ready to go Opening Day. But, baseball-wise, I don’t know if he will be [ready]. We’re trying to figure about how many games that we think he’s going to need.”"
Even if Hart is unable to play on April 6th, his doctors have noted that he should be ready by the 10th. Our first series is a tough one against the Cardinals, but even then, that early in the season, I’m not sure how much of a factor this whole issue will be. Granted, series inside the division are crucial and the main source of power now besides Ryan Braun, is that of Corey Hart. So, if Hart’s unable to go, who takes his place? My best guess is Carlos Gomez.
Looking at Carlos Gomez, who I expect to fill in every once in a while, he’s not a power hitter. He’s mostly a contact hitter with a lot of speed. Already in Spring Training, he’s stolen 4 bases in the 10 games he’s played. While he’s not the best replacement, he’ll certainly get the job done if Hart is still healing. If Roenicke feels that Gomez can’t get the job done, then there’s always the Japanese star, Norichika Aoki. However, this is all on the speculation that Hart will not be back on time.
Hart himself truly believes that he will be ready in time. A week ago he was still on crutches, but this previous weekend, he was able to walk on his own power. In addition to getting his mobility back, Hart has also been fielding and hitting baseball off of a tee. Rickie Weeks understands what Hart is going through as he had the same surgery and rehabilitation process 4 years ago. Let’s just hope that the actual results can turn out as positive as Hart’s attitude.
Until next time guys and gals.