ST. LOUIS -- Brewers right fielder Corey Hart batted seventh for the second straight night Friday and entered the game looking very much like a player who didn't take a single Spring Training swing.Hart was 5-for-27 (.185) in his first eight games off the disabled list after going 2-for-15 at Triple-A Nashville while rehabbing the left rib-cage strain that sidelined him all spring. Manager Ron Roenicke defended the Brewers' decision to activate Hart when they did. "It's always a question," Roenicke said. "His timing is just not there. ... Maybe we could have kept him down longer, but some of that has to do with the player, too. "Sometimes, they have a lot to say with this, and Corey thought he was ready. Sometimes I have to listen to the player, because I'm not inside him, I don't know what's going on upstairs." Roenicke pointed to catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who had only 11 official at-bats in the Minors before joining the Brewers (though Lucroy did play in some Minor League Spring Training games before his rehab stint). Lucroy was hitting .321 through his first 15 Major League games this season. "So, how do you know?" Roenicke said. With Hart struggling and fellow outfielder Nyjer Morgan on the disabled list, starting center-field duties and the second spot in the lineup looks to be Carlos Gomez's. Roenicke mentioned Lucroy as one down-the-road option to bat second, but he wants the second-year player to get more Major League at-bats before considering such a move. "He's got a good on-base percentage, but when I say a lot of at-bats, I mean like half a year," Roenicke said. "It's not so much getting him comfortable at the plate, it's getting him comfortable with what he's doing with the pitching staff. If you put him in the second spot, it shouldn't change the way you think and the approach you have, but it does. I'd rather him just relax."
Morgan tries to stay positive after latest injury
MILWAUKEE -- After taking out some aggression the night before, Nyjer Morgan was ready Friday to discuss his latest bit of brutal luck.The Brewers placed Morgan on the disabled list on Friday with a fractured left middle finger, suffered on an eighth-inning bunt Thursday night in Atlanta. Morgan was only two days removed from a previous DL stint, and was inconsolable in the dugout and then in the clubhouse, where he stormed about in anger. Morgan had to apologize to the visiting clubhouse crew at Turner Field after kicking a hole through some drywall. He also had a chat with manager Ron Roenicke. "It was a little too far. I've talked to him about it," Roenicke said. "He's emotional. You can't take that away from him. But sometimes you have to rein it in." Morgan was considerably calmer by Friday afternoon. "I have to keep a positive attitude," he said. "I have to root on the boys. This is still one of the best groups I've ever been with, and I enjoy competing with them every day. I didn't expect to come here and be a Band-Aid." Morgan's finger was fractured near the base of his fingertip and he wore a splint on Friday, but he will not need surgery, like catcher Jonathan Lucroy did in Spring Training. The Brewers say Morgan will miss 2-4 weeks, and the outfielder, acquired in a late-March trade with Washington, was aiming for the low end of that estimate. "I just have to hang in there," he said. "I don't know, dude. I feel like I've been living right. It's just adversity, you know? It was two little fluke plays." The first such play was April 13 in Pittsburgh, when Morgan suffered a deep right thigh bruise in a plate collision with Pirates catcher Ryan Doumit. He rehabbed at Triple-A Nashville and returned to the Brewers on Tuesday in Atlanta. Two nights later, he was hurt again on the bunt. "It's like, just give me a break," he said. "[The fractured finger is] not the break that I was looking for right here. Just let me go out there and play in my happy place. It's tough. ... They say everything happens for a reason, but I'm just tired of hearing that."
Roller-coaster season continues for Boggs
ST. LOUIS -- Brandon Boggs was still mulling a very difficult decision Thursday night when that decision was made for him.Boggs said he had until Saturday to decide whether to accept an outright assignment to Triple-A Nashville for the second time this season or opt for free agency, and he was still considering his options when fellow outfielder Nyjer Morgan fractured his left middle finger in Thursday's loss to the Braves. So Boggs accepted the assignment and them immediately was recalled to the Brewers, who placed Morgan back on the 15-day DL. Players don't have to spend the usual 10 days in the Minor Leagues if they're being brought back to the Majors to replace an injured teammate. "It makes the decision a lot easier, knowing you're going to be in the big leagues," Boggs said. "To be very honest, I hadn't made a decision yet. I was still talking to my agent [Miles Shoda], still trying to figure out exactly where the best place was. We're not going to make that decision quick, because we have to see what was all out there." He was designated for assignment on Wednesday to clear space for Zack Greinke's return from the disabled list. That left Boggs in the same position he found himself in late March, after the Brewers traded for Morgan.
The Brewers named Class A Wisconsin right-hander Austin Ross and advanced Class A Brevard County outfielder Khris Davis their Minor League pitcher and player of the month for April. Ross, an eighth-round pick out of LSU in 2010, was 2-0 with a 1.08 ERA in four April starts, with 21 strikeouts versus six walks. Davis batted .350 with five homers and 22 RBIs in 22 games. He was a seventh-round pick out of Cal State-Fullerton in 2009. ... Nyjer Morgan's fractured left finger will cost him a chance to sport some sweet new spikes in the outfield. He and right-hander Marco Estrada had bright pink shoes in their lockers, specially made for Sunday's Mother's Day game in St. Louis. The Brewers will once again wield pink bats in that game.