Hall injures calf, out four to six weeks
Infielder could be questionable for Brewers' April 7 season opener
The Brewers did not get through Day 1 of Spring Training without their first injury of the year.Bill Hall, the front-runner to start at third base, underwent an MRI scan Friday morning in Phoenix and was diagnosed with a partial tear of his left calf muscle. He will be sidelined four to six weeks for rehabilitation and could be questionable for the Brewers' April 7 season opener.
"We'll know better about that [Saturday] when we see him for his physical," Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash said. "He's recovered fast from injuries before, but to recover enough from this injury to get onto the field could be 30-45 days, so he might be touch and go."Hall was injured Thursday doing conditioning work at a private facility in the Phoenix area. He called Brewers head athletic trainer Roger Caplinger saying he had heard a "pop" in his calf, according to Ash. Brewers pitchers and catchers reported to camp on Friday and will undergo their annual physical exams on Saturday with team physician William Raasch. Hall will join that group. The rest of the Brewers' position players must report by Tuesday. The team's first full-squad workout is scheduled for Wednesday. Hall underwent offseason Lasik surgery and was hoping for a bounce-back season after two down years. He batted .254 in 2007 and missed time with a severely sprained right ankle, then followed up in 2008 hitting .225 with 15 home runs and 55 RBIs in 128 games. His best season was 2005, when Hall played mostly shortstop and belted 35 homers while hitting .270 and driving in 85 runs. He earned a four-year contract after that season that will pay him $6.8 million in 2009, making him Milwaukee's fourth-highest-paid player. Third base is a position of relative depth for the Brewers, who have Mike Lamb back for 2009 as well as utility man Craig Counsell, who started 38 games at third in 2008. Both bat left-handed, as does prospect Mat Gamel, though the Brewers may prefer to send Gamel to Triple-A Nashville to continue work on his defense. The top right-handed option is Casey McGehee, an offseason waiver claim from the Cubs. "We have a lot of choices," said Ash, who was not concerned that so many of those choices are left-handed hitters. "The rest of our club is so right-handed that having a left-handed hitter is not prohibitive.
"These things will sort themselves out. You don't like to start camp with an injury, but it is part of the game, no question, and we'll adjust."Ash said Hall was the team's only health concern that came to light ahead of Saturday's physicals.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.