SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Nyjer Morgan manned right field for the Brewers on Monday night, and figures it will take a team effort to cover that position while Corey Hart recovers from right knee surgery.Hart will miss at least 3-4 weeks, meaning he's questionable for Opening Day. Morgan looks to be the primary Plan B and newcomer Norichika Aoki will also see action in right field this spring, leaving Carlos Gomez, a top-flight defender, set in center field. If Hart is on the disabled list to start the season, it would open a spot for a prospect like Logan Schafer or Caleb Gindl. "[Management] has put pieces here that if one of the soldiers falls down, there's another soldier who can pick him up," Morgan said. Morgan said he'd already communicated to manager Ron Roenicke that he is happy playing any of the three outfield positions. Morgan played some right field last April while Hart was on the disabled list with a rib-cage strain. Aoki, a center fielder in Japan, said he was comfortable at all three outfield spots. He said he played right field in college. "In terms of Corey Hart, I know it puts the team in a tougher situation. He is definitely a central player to our team," Aoki said through his translator. "As a team, we have to cover for him." The more difficult decision will relate to the starting lineup, where Hart was slated to hit fifth. If he misses a modest number of games, then Roenicke will leave second baseman Rickie Weeks in his preferred leadoff hole and find someone else to temporarily hit fifth. If Hart's absence is extended, Roenicke would have a decision to make. "We'd probably have to think about moving Rickie," Roenicke said. "Right now, I plan on having Rickie in the leadoff spot and figure out that fifth spot as we go." Weeks deferred to Roenicke when asked about the potential of a change. He said earlier in camp that he would be happy with "anything other than five" in the lineup.
Weeks eases back to action
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks returned to action Monday as Milwaukee's designated hitter, a day after he was scratched from the starting lineup with a sore throwing shoulder, and hit a double over the center fielder's head to lead off a 7-3 win over the Giants.Weeks took grounders at Maryvale Baseball Park before the team traveled across town for a night game at the Giants' spring home, but said he would refrain from throwing for a couple of days. Weeks cited an aggressive weightlifting session on a cool day last week for the stiffness in his shoulder, and he characterized the setback as very minor. The Giants and Brewers agreed to employ a DH in a National League game for the second straight day. "It feels good now," Weeks said of his shoulder. "I could have played [Sunday], but I was kind of scared about on certain throws when I had to change my arm angle." When manager Ron Roenicke heard that, a decision was made to scratch Weeks from the starting lineup. Eventually, Roenicke wants Weeks to settle into a two-days-on, one-day-off spring schedule. Shortstop Alex Gonzalez would follow the same plan, allowing the Brewers' new double-play tandem to bond before the start of the season.
Marcum shut down with stiff shoulder
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- There were new concerns in Brewers camp Monday about right-hander Shaun Marcum, who is still bothered by a stiff shoulder and will be shut down for the next 2-3 days.Assistant general manager Gord Ash said he was not at liberty to say whether Marcum had a cortisone injection. Typically, players must rest for a few days after getting a shot. Marcum had the same issue last spring, and neither Ash nor Brewers manager Ron Roenicke expressed a high level of worry, though it is clear Marcum will not be ready to make his Cactus League debut on Saturday, as originally planned. That means he will not get a chance to get fully "stretched out" in Spring Training. Roenicke said the delay does not necessarily rule out Marcum for the season-opening starting rotation, and said he still has time to begin the season ahead of where he was last year, when Marcum 6-1 with a 2.37 ERA in his first 10 regular-season starts. "He won't be stretched out to 90 pitches, but if we get him to 75 pitches, we feel pretty good about him going into the season," Roenicke said. Marcum played catch on Sunday and Monday and reported continued stiffness. Dr. William Raasch examined Marcum's shoulder on Monday, and Roenicke was unaware of any further scheduled tests. Should Marcum have further setbacks, the Brewers' backup plan includes right-hander Marco Estrada, who made seven starts last season, and prospects Wily Peralta and Michael Fiers.