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.