Tag: Corey Hart

New York Mets’ 3 Biggest Missed Opportunities of the Offseason

The New York Mets have had a productive offseason in many respects, but they still missed out on a number of opportunities that would have improved their team in both the short and long term

The Mets addressed many needs this offseason, especially with their signings of Curtis Granderson and Bartolo Colon to bolster their outfield and starting rotation respectively. While filling these holes was necessary, the Mets missed on a number of opportunities to improve the team, especially since the signings of Granderson and Colon were geared to improve the team in the short term.

In early January, I laid out four areas in which the Mets needed to make further acquisitions, and they successfully completed two. They added cheap, veteran arms for their bullpen by signing Kyle Farnsworth and Jose Valverde, and they added veteran depth to their starting rotation with the acquisitions of Daisuke Matsuzaka and John Lannan.

The team clearly doesn’t have the funds or desire to approach big-money players such as Shin-Soo Choo, Robinson Cano or Masahiro Tanaka, so I do not classify the failure to sign players like them as a missed opportunity.

Looking back at the offseason, here are the Mets’ biggest missed opportunities, although some of them could still be fixed.


All statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference.

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5 Realistic Moves the New York Mets Should Have Made This Offseason

Playing armchair general manager is often met with skepticism. In an ideal world, the New York Mets would have outbid the Seattle Mariners for Robinson Cano’s services, subsequently adding one of the premier offensive threats at a notoriously light-hitting position.

But given the Mets’ small-market approach, inking Cano was never in the realm of possibility—even if the team did buy him lunch (per the NY Post’s Ken Davidoff).

Yet, there were a number of low-cost, high-reward acquisitions other teams executed that the Mets could have also made.

For instance, despite posting comparable three-year averages to many of the highest-earning starters this offseason, Paul Maholm only garnered a one-year, $1.5 million contract. Given the mediocre Plan B rotation options behind Jenrry Mejia, the Mets should have invested in Maholm.

Read on to see the five realistic moves the New York Mets should have made this offseason.


All statistics and payroll information sourced from Baseball Reference, FanGraphs and Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

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Six Big Deals That Could Still Go Down at the 2013 Winter Meetings

The action was modest through the first two days of the Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., with a couple of secondary-type signings taking place, as well as the interesting three-way trade between the Angels, Diamondbacks and White Sox.

There figure to be at least a few more transactions before the Meetings disband, however, as the Orioles were reportedly on the verge of making a notable free-agent signing on Tuesday night, while the Marlins were reportedly motivated to make a trade and were getting plenty of interest from potential suitors.

Here are six moves that I could see going down before the all the sun bathing wraps up and everyone heads back to the cold-weather regions being pounded by snow and rain. Not that I’m jealous or anything.

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2014 MLB Free Agency: Best Bargains Still Available on the Market

Of the free-agent signings thus far, there are certainly a couple that could turn out to be bargains. If Josh Johnson (San Diego Padres) and Chris Young (New York Mets) return to form, they’ll be well worth the one-year deals at the cost of $8 million and $7.25 million, respectively.

Same for David Murphy, who signed a two-year, $12 million deal with the Cleveland Indians, and LaTroy Hawkins, who will cost the Colorado Rockies no more than $2.5 million to at least start the season as their closer.

Here are five more potential bargains still available on the free-agent market. 

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5 Rehabbing MLB Stars Who Will Have the Most Impact Upon Their Return

A number of MLB teams are not at full strength at this point in the year because some of their players are still recovering from offseason surgeries and spring injuries.

These players can provide a big boost once they return, and they can help change a team from one that is struggling to one that is fighting for a playoff spot.

Sometimes, the impact is more than what the player does on the field. In certain cases, their leadership ability is invaluable.

The following players will have a big impact on their team’s performance once they return.

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How Corey Hart’s Knee Injury Impacts the Milwaukee Brewers

The Milwaukee Brewers salvaged what was a disappointing 2012 season by playing themselves into the NL wild-card race by the end of the season. 

The Brew Crew went 18-10 in September. That surge pushed Milwaukee to within 1.5 games of the St. Louis Cardinals for the NL’s second wild-card spot, as of Sept. 21. 

However, that’s as close as the Brewers got before falling back and eventually finishing five games behind in the wild-card race and 14 games out of first place in the NL Central.

Part of the Brewers’ late-season success can be attributed to Corey Hart‘s second-half performance.

After the All-Star break, Milwaukee’s first baseman hit .292 with an .875 OPS, 14 home runs and 45 RBI. Along with Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez, the Brewers had a formidable offensive trio in the middle of their batting order. 

Unfortunately, Milwaukee learned on Friday (Jan. 18) that it will be without Hart for at least the first six weeks of the 2013 season. As reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel‘s Tom Haudricourt, Hart will undergo surgery on his right knee to repair what was described as “a defect in the joint surface.”

Hart required surgery on the same knee a year ago to repair cartilage damage, but was able to recover soon enough to play 149 games last season. 

Overall, he hit .270 with an .841 OPS, 35 doubles, 30 home runs and 83 RBI. His home run total was second on the Brewers’ roster to Braun, who led the NL with 47 homers. 

Hart experienced swelling in the right knee during his offseason workouts. An MRI exam revealed what Brewers team doctors compared to “a pothole in a road that must be filled in.”

Further description of the work that has to be done on Hart’s knee includes debriding the joint surface (removing dead, damaged or infected tissue) “to make it bleed and heal in,” along with repairing a small meniscal tear that was also discovered. 

That sounds like a pretty significant repair to his knee. While Hart considers himself a fast healer—and showed himself to be one last year—this procedure might take longer to recover from. He won’t be able to put weight on the knee for six weeks. Hart will need three to four months to recover from the surgery and is expected to be out until at least May. 

While that means the Brewers could still have Hart contributing to their lineup for four months, not having a player for one to two months is a rather significant loss.

Some might argue that missing games in April—and possibly May—is better than missing them in August and September, but losing games that the Brewers could have won with Hart in the lineup could affect their place in the standings, regardless of when they’re played. 

How will the Brewers fill first base until Hart returns? The first option will likely be Mat Gamel, who was slated to replace Prince Fielder at the position last year. Gamel played in only 21 games, however, before tearing the ACL in his right knee and missing the rest of the 2012 season. 

Gamel‘s injury forced the Brewers to move Hart from right field to first base. 

While Gamel hasn’t had sustained success in the majors yet, he’s been productive in the minor leagues. His career average in the minors is .304 with a .376 on-base percentage and .873 OPS. He’s also slugged 105 home runs with 503 RBI in seven seasons. 

Gamel, 27, would also provide a left-handed bat to a lineup that’s almost exclusively right-handed, except for right fielder Norichika Aoki.

Of course, until Gamel proves he can be productive, the Brewers are a better team with Hart in the lineup, regardless of which side of the plate he hits from. 

Another option the Brewers could explore—though perhaps not so early in the season—is first-base prospect Hunter Morris. Morris is Milwaukee’s No. 4 prospect, as ranked by Baseball America.  Last year with Double-A Huntsville, he hit .303 with a .920 OPS, 40 doubles, 28 home runs and 113 RBI in 571 plate appearances. 

However, the consensus on Morris as explained by experts—such as Minor League Ball’s John Sickelsis that Morris still needs to work on his batting skills and cut down on his strikeouts. He would very likely benefit from a full season in Triple-A. 

With those two players, the Brewers will likely be able to get by at first base without Hart for a couple of months. The team needs to find out whether Gamel can be a major league hitter anyway. 

But Hart’s injury could hurt the Brewers in another fashion—if the team isn’t able to contend this season. Hart is in the final year of his contract and could be an appealing trade candidate for any team looking for power from first base or a corner outfield spot.

That is, if those teams aren’t concerned about a player who’s suffered two serious knee injuries in two years. 


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Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Corey Hart Is Milwaukee Brewers’ Best First Base Fix

It’s been a rough start to the season for fans of the Milwaukee Brewers. With the offseason departure of Prince Fielder and long-winded Ryan Braun saga, the start of the 2012 season appeared to be a welcome sight.

A little more than a month into the season, that hasn’t been the case.

Plagued by injuries, the Brewers are struggling to stay out of the NL Central cellar. Most recently, Fielder’s replacement at first base, Mat Gamel, was lost for the season due to an ACL tear. Not only does this delay the answer to the question of whether or not Gamel is a long-term solution at first, it also poses a major question for what options they have for the rest of 2012.

The answer is Corey Hart.

In the games since Gamel’s injury, Travis Ishikawa has seen the majority of starts at first and is listed as the starter on the depth chart. This is not an acceptable fix. Ishikawa is a fine player off of the bench but has no business being a starting first baseman. Especially not when a better option is available.

Hart has a build that would be well suited for first, but really, that’s not why he should be there. Since becoming the starting right fielder for the Brewers, Hart’s defense has been, to put it nicely, frustrating.

In 719 games in right field, he’s committed 16 errors. That number might not be high, but anyone that’s watched the Brewers play enough during Hart’s tenure can attest to the numerous times he’s misplayed balls or fumbled his handle on a ball in the corner.

Not to mention, for a guy of his stature, an awful lot of balls seem to get hit over his head. Is some of that due to positioning? Sure. That doesn’t change the fact that Hart has never really gotten good jumps on balls hit his way.

Switching to a more positive tone though, Hart has the pop in his bat that’s necessary for a first baseman. One could argue that aside from Braun, Hart is the best power hitter the team has. Putting him at first would give the Brewers a legit bat at one of baseball’s power positions.

When asked recently about possibility pursuing free-agent first baseman Derek Lee, general manager Doug Melvin dismissed the idea. This likely means that the Brewers are content on looking for help within the organization. If that’s the case, Hart presents the best possible solution.

The one thing preventing this move from happening is the injury to Carlos Gomez. Upon his return, Gomez would return to center field, sending Nyjer Morgan to an everyday position in right. Morgan has spent all or part of 33 games in right during his career and has yet to commit an error. Morgan’s bat as been dreadful this season, but with more consistent playing time, that might change.

Even if Morgan isn’t a solution in right field, corner outfielders are a dime a dozen and the free-agent market would likely yield more options at a lesser cost than bringing in a first baseman would.

Going forward, something needs to be done with first base. Platooning Brooks Conrad, Taylor Green and Ishikawa is not going to propel the Brewers to the postseason. They need a legit bat at the position, and if they’re staying within the organization, Hart is the only answer.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Milwaukee Brewers: Corey Hart to Have Knee Surgery, Understanding Meniscus Tears

ESPN and the Associated Press are reporting that Corey Hart will undergo arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.

The meniscus in the knee functions as a shock absorber. It is located between the femur, and the tibia and fibula. Whenever we take a step, the meniscus is what stops the femur from directly rubbing against the tibia and fibula.

With the amount of impact that baseball players put on their legs, the meniscus becomes a critical part of the anatomy. Without proper function of the meniscus, the player will be in constant pain every time they take a step.

During arthroscopic surgery, surgeons will insert instruments into the knee, through three small holes. One of these instruments will be a camera.

The surgeon will locate the torn piece of the meniscus and either cut it off completely, or stitch it back together.

Recovery from this type of procedure is relatively quick compared to other knee surgeries.

With the loss of Prince Fielder, the Brewers can’t afford to have a player like Hart out for an extended length of time.

Luckily for him, pro athletes have some of the best training and recovery staff in the country.

Hart will miss up to four weeks while rehabbing from this injury and surgery.

Louie Babcock has over five years experience in emergency medicine, and is studying Biology and Health Science at the University of Minnesota.

Follow me on Twitter@lcbjr3000

Love me or hate me, just as long as your read me.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

The Milwaukee Brewers Are Going to Be Just Fine Without Prince Fielder

Life moves on.

I’ve now had a month to come to terms with the heartbreaking end to what was arguably the best season in franchise history for Milwaukee. I have come to terms with the fact that the Brewers have a lot of work to do if they want to win 96 games next season, that we are losing one of our best coaches to one of our bitter rivals and perhaps most importantly, I have come to terms with the probability Prince Fielder will not be wearing a Brewers uniform in 2012.

Sure, there is still a possibility that Prince can return next year, especially with what appears to be a very small market for his services, but it is becoming apparent that Mark Attanasio, Doug Melvin, and the rest of the Brewers brass are making plans to build a team without Prince Fielder for the first time since 2006.

It is a bitter pill to swallow, and the task the Brewers face heading into the offseason may seem insurmountable on the surface.

We’re losing one of the most feared hitters in baseball, and on top of replacing his production, the Brewers must now figure out how to protect Ryan Braun so his production can remain prolific.

For a week now, I have been trying to figure out an article about how to replace Prince Fielder. Initially, I was going to write about five potential players that could fill his hole at first base, but to say that one player will replace the production and the presence of Prince Fielder is ludicrous.

I also tried writing a five step process that could help the Brewers replace Prince, but even that just didn’t seem to do the trick.



The simple fact of the matter is that the Brewers simply cannot replace Prince Fielder… and I have come to terms with that.

Signing Jose Reyes, Aramis Ramirez or any other big name free agent would not be enough. Both of those players would be great additions to the Brewers, but realistically, neither will happen. Even if they did, Prince’s presence would still be sorely missed.

The good news is that even without Fielder in the clubhouse in 2012, the Brewers are going to be just fine.

Sure, there is a lot of work to be done this offseason. With no organizational shortstop ready to move to the big leagues, and no major league shortstop currently on the roster, the Brewers must make a move to fill the most difficult position in the infield.

Whether that’s a big ticket guy like Jose Reyes or Jimmy Rollins, a reliable veteran like Clint Barmes or Rafael Furcal or even bringing back Yuniesky Betancourt, the decision must be made soon to provide some sense of stability to this team.

Finances are an issue for this team, but the big men in the office for the Brewers have made it clear that they are not afraid to spend some money to make this team competitive.The trick for the Brewers this offseason is not going to be dumping a ton of money into big ticket free agents.

Most people talk as if Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun are the only superstars on this team. Even with Fielder gone, the Brewers still have Rickie Weeks (providing he has an injury free year) and Corey Hart, both of whom are coming off great seasons and  have the potential to be superstars.



Mat Gamel has given us back to back great seasons in AAA, and it is time to give him a chance. Some people try to argue that he has been given a chance, but let’s get real… he’s had under 200 at bats in the majors, and has not been given a chance to compete every day. If coached properly, he could give the Brewers 20+ homers and 80+ RBIs, as well as solid defense.

Casey McGehee is coming off a horrible season, but he has every chance to bounce back—if he can get back to the way he played in 2010, that will be another great bat. If he doesn’t, young Taylor Green has proven that he is capable of great play in the majors.

And of course, the pitching. The whole starting rotation will be back (and possibly extended), and while the bullpen will need work with three of the best arms possibly leaving, I have great faith that the Brewers will be able to make the bullpen a strong point again next season.

John Axford is anchoring the pen as the closer, and anytime you have a shutdown pitcher like Axford (2011: 1.95 ERA, 46 SVs, 73.2 IP, 86 Ks) finishing games, you are in good shape.

The Brewers do not need to try to “replace” Prince Fielder’s insane production. It would be a waste of time, effort and very likely, a colossal waste of money.

What the Brewers need to do is focus on building a team that plays better defense, has speed on the bases, gets through the game without giving up big innings and gets on base.Those are goals that are possible without Fielder, and if the Brewers do that they will be in great shape going into 2012.


Projected 2012 opening day line-up (2011 stats)

1 – Corey Hart (.285, 26 HR, 63 RBI)

2 – Nyjer Morgan (.304, 4 HR, 37 RBI)

3 – Ryan Braun (.332, 33 HR, 111 RBI)

4 – Rickie Weeks (.269, 20 HR, 49 RBI)

5 – Casey McGehee (.223, 13 HR, 67 RBI)

6 – Mat Gamel (.310, 28 HR, 96 RBI) – AAA stats

7 – Clint Barmes (.244, 12 HR, 39 RBI)

8 – Jonathan Lucroy (.265, 12 HR, 58 RBI)

9 – Yovani Gallardo/Starting pitcher

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Philadelphia Phillies: Top 10 Players To Fill Holes In Outfield After 2011

I know that it is way to early to be thinking about the 2012 season, as the 2011 season has not even started yet, or is it? Some teams as of right now know that they will not have a chance for the World Series, and some of those teams are probably already eying players who are due to hit the free agent market after the conclusion of the current season. It is wise for all teams to look at this point in time at the holes that may be left in their current roster after this season and see who will fit into that hole.

This offseason, the Philadelphia Phillies lost Jayson Werth to free agency, which has left a big question mark in the Phillies lineup to see who will replace Werth. Initially, there was talk about seeking the free agents to fill this hole. Names like Matt Diaz, Jeff Francoeur, and, the much coveted, Carl Crawford. The potential for all of these players sifted away when the Phillies signed Cliff Lee, which is perfectly fine with me and most Phillies fans.

In this coming offseason, Raul Ibanez is due for his contract to expire. Ibanez may be turning 39 years-old in June, but he still proved to be within the top three offensive producers for the Phillies in 2010, with the second highest on-base percentage following the All-Star break. So will the Phillies resign him or let himgo and find an in house replacement or seek free agency.

This list will contain outfielders that are due for free agency or are within the Phillies organization already that could fill the hole in the outfield.

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