Did Corey Hart Come Back Too Soon?

A week ago at this time, a lot of us were pretty excited about Corey Hart's pending return to the major leagues. Having Hart back in the lineup would return some semblance of order to the Brewer lineup, or at least mean the team could stop trotting the likes of Mark Kotsay and Erick Almonte out to right field.

Hart's first week back has been pretty underwhelming, though. He's hitting .222/.222/.222 through five games, and I'm wondering if his slow start has led anyone to question the decision to activate him this quickly.

As you're likely well aware, Hart missed nearly all of spring training with an oblique strain. While most of the Brewer regulars got 40-50 or more plate appearances in Arizona to get ready for the season, Hart was unable to play. Instead, he got a few batting practice sessions with the team and 15 plate appearances in AAA Nashville. His numbers in that rehab stint (.133/.133/.267) would suggest he might not even have been ready for that level yet.

Ron Roenicke all but acknowledged that Hart is still in spring training mode when he started Mark Kotsay in right field on Sunday. Here's what he said to reporters:

"I don't want Corey to play nine innings every day yet," said Roenicke. "We wouldn't do that to guys in spring training. He's going to be playing nine innings every day soon. He's batting up there, getting some hits. His timing is still a little off but he's playing well in right field. We feel by him being out there, it makes us better."

At this point, I'm not sure Hart's performance is actually making the Brewers a better team. A combination of Brandon Boggs and Mark Kotsay would likely outhit him at this point. I'm curious to see what you think.

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