MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers spent Spring Training concerned about the Opening Day status of Corey Hart and his surgically-repaired right knee.
Turns out they were worried about the wrong guy.
As of Sunday, Hart was the Brewers' only Opening Day position player who had not missed a regular-season game with an injury. First baseman Mat Gamel and shortstop Alex Gonzalez were lost for the season to knee injuries. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy is out six weeks with a fractured hand. Center fielder Carlos Gomez spent two weeks on the disabled list in May with a strained hamstring. Second baseman Rickie Weeks missed a few days after being struck on the left hand by a pitch. And left fielder Ryan Braun (Achilles) and third baseman Aramis Ramirez (quadriceps) were both out of the lineup Sunday with ailments the Brewers believe will be short-term setbacks.
Hart, meanwhile, has had two days off, both simply to rest. He made his 52nd start on Sunday.
"The knee hasn't been a problem for a while," said Hart, who had surgery March 6 to repair a torn meniscus. "I've had some aches, and the colder weather days were worse. But we got off to such a rough start with injuries that it never really came into play."
In other words, he has not had the luxury of taking days off. The Brewers have needed his bat.
"I think I started a trend in Spring Training, a bad trend," Hart said. "It's been very unfortunate here so far, [but] guys have been stepping up."