Last year Brewer camp was a MASH unit with injuries, but largely came together before Opening Day. This year the team hasn't even made it to spring training before the first injury, and one key member of the team is already slated to open the season on the DL.
Moments ago Mike Vassallo tweeted that Corey Hart will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery on Tuesday and is expected to be out 3-4 months. Even if his recovery time is only three months, that would hold him out of the lineup until April 22.
You may recall that Hart also required knee surgery last spring, but was able to rush back to start on Opening Day and have one of his best seasons. Certainly, the timing on this is going to raise some eyebrows: If this surgery had taken place even a month ago Hart likely would be ready to play when the Brewers open the 2013 regular season on April 1.
With Hart out, Mat Gamel becomes the most likely option to play consistently at first base to start the season. Gamel also opened the season as the Brewer first baseman in 2012 but appeared in just 21 games (hitting .246/.293/.348) before tearing his ACL and finishing the season on the DL. Brewer assistant GM Gord Ash told Cash Kruth of MLB.com that Gamel is 100% physically and will be ready for spring training.
2013 will be the final season of Hart's three-year, $26.5 million contract extension signed in 2010. He's due to become a free agent this fall.