If you’d have told Ron Roenicke, whose squad was reeling with injuries at the end of spring training, that the Brewers would be playing .500 ball on the verge of getting Zack Greinke and Corey Hart back, I’m sure he’d have said, “I’ll take it.”
Hart and Greinke, two key cogs in the Brewers’ postseason aspirations, are slated to return at the end of April. Hart began his rehab assignment Tuesday at AAA Nashville, going 0-2 with a strikeout. The Brewers expect that he will need about 20 at-bats before he is ready to come off the DL. Greinke has also been moved to Nashville after facing one over the minimum in three innings of scoreless ball at Class A Brevard County.
The Brewers have plenty of other injured players, though. Sergio Mitre still has not pitched after being hit by a line drive on April 18, though he should be back soon. Nyjer Morgan was placed on the DL today after a thigh bruise he sustained in an unnecessary collision with Pittsburgh catcher Ryan Doumit failed to heal; Brandon Boggs has been recalled from AAA to take his place. Manny Parra (back) is improving and is expected back in late April, as is offseason acquisition Takashi Saito (hamstring).
The pitching injuries have left the Brewers a bit short, but, by and large, the replacements have performed spectacularly. Marco Estrada is 1-0 in two starts with a 3.46 ERA. And aside from one mistake pitch to Shane Victorino that cost the Brewers a win against Philly, Brandon Kintzler has performed admirably (1-1, 3.86 era, 6:1 k:bb).
The Brewers (9-9) are currently third in the Central behind St. Louis (10-9) and Cincinnati (10-9).
The Crew starts a three-game home series tonight against the Astros (7-12) featuring ace Yovani Gallardo (1-1, 4.62 era, 13:9 k:bb) versus righty Nelson Figueroa (0-2, 7.31 era). Gallardo has struggled mightily in his past two starts, but looks to get back on track tonight against a weak offensive lineup. Gallardo has never lost to the Astros in Milwaukee, so lets hope the trend continues.