Hall, Milwaukee's reigning club MVP, was in center field and left Thursday's game when he landed awkwardly after leaping for Ryan Doumit's home run. X-rays were later negative for a fracture, and the team notably did not term the injury a more-serious "high" sprain Friday.
Hall batted .307 in June and had moved back up the lineup after slumping for parts of April and May. For the year, he is hitting .271 with nine home runs, 24 doubles and 38 RBIs.
"It's big, but of all the positions, if anything was to happen, that's the spot because we're covered," said Corey Hart, who started in center field Friday against Nationals left-hander Mike Bacsik. "It's tough losing Billy, but we have three other guys and now Tony's coming back, and we all know Tony is a good player."
Gwynn will likely slide into the everyday center field role beginning this weekend, though manager Ned Yost had yet to decide where to bat Gwynn in the lineup. Leadoff hitter Hart extended his hitting streak to 22 games with a second-inning triple and, according to Yost, "Corey's fine where he's at right now."
Gwynn was with the Brewers from Opening Day through June 18 and batted .301. He was in a 4-for-24 (.167) slump when he left the Brewers but batted .333 in his 14 starts.
Getting the call:
Triple-A Nashville Sounds teammate Calix Crabbe told Gwynn about Hall's injury before the team's game in Oklahoma City on Thursday. But Crabbe, Gwynn and the rest of the team believed the Brewers were poised to promote left-hander Manny Parra, who was held out of his scheduled start.
"I tried not to worry about it," Gwynn said. "I tried to go out and work on the things I was working on. After the game, I was told it was me. Then I could be happy about it."
Parra started for Nashville on Friday. By that time, Gwynn was in Washington with the Brewers, hoping to make the most of his second stint.
"It's another opportunity for me to hopefully get to stick the rest of the season," Gwynn said. "I'll try to hold the fort down until Billy gets back."
'Like riding a bike:'
That's how Yost described Hart's move from right field to center, where he made 17 appearances last season including 13 starts. Almost all of Hart's Minor League outfield experience was in the corner spots, but he nonetheless expected a smooth transition.
"It would be harder if I were moving to left," Hart said. "It's not as big a change. I can actually see the ball a little better in center."
All-Star shortstop J.J. Hardy ranked fifth in the National League with 18 home runs entering Friday, but was not asked by Major League officials if he would like to participate in the State Farm Home Run Derby next week. That's just fine, Hardy said.
"It would have been hard, but I probably would have said no," Hardy said. "I don't think that's really my thing."
With 40 percent of the online fan vote, Hardy continues to be the leading vote-getter in the Brewers' We Energies High Energy Player of the Year Award. The award goes to the Brewers player who "best personifies the characteristics of hard work and an aggressive approach to playing the game." Prince Fielder was second, with 24 percent of the vote, and fellow All-Star Francisco Cordero was running third with 10 percent.
Through Sept. 14, fans can cast their vote
at Brewers.com and be entered in a sweepstakes.
Fans who received a voucher for a Charlie Moore bobblehead on Friday, April 6, may now redeem it at Miller Park ticket window No. 6 during regular business hours on non-home game days only. On Monday through Saturday home game days, fans may also redeem vouchers at guest relations but only after gates open to the public. Bobbleheads will only be distributed to fans who present vouchers.
Jeff Suppan (8-7, 4.90 ERA), who has a 6.61 ERA over his last 11 starts, will start Saturday night against Nationals righty Jason Simontacchi (5-6, 6.27 ERA). Suppan has a 3.14 ERA in eight career starts against the Expos/Nationals.