Hart to return from foot injury on Friday
Right fielder seeking consistency at the plate
MILWAUKEE -- Corey Hart expects to be back in right field on Friday, when the Brewers begin their final series before the All-Star break against the first-place Dodgers.That's the short-term goal for Hart, who has missed consecutive starts since fouling a pitch off his left foot on Tuesday night. The long-term goal is to find some consistency. "You just try to find it," Hart said. "Sometimes you can't explain what feels good and what doesn't feel good. I'm trying to find something that's comfortable." Hart is hitting .256 this season with nine home runs and 35 RBIs, and like so many of his teammates not named Prince Fielder, has done his damage in bunches. Hart was hitting .250 through April 18, then batted .353 over his next nine games with three homers, then hit .206 over his next 34 games with only three more home runs. That stretch was followed by a 10-game hitting streak in which Hart batted .395 with three home runs and 10 RBIs, then another 13-game cold streak in which he hit .174. Hart hoped to build off a three-hit night on Tuesday, but he fouled a ball off the top of his foot and has been hobbled since then. X-rays were negative, but Hart's foot was still tender on Thursday and manager Ken Macha didn't think he could play the field. "We have two guys who have basically carried us," Hart said, referring to Brewers All-Stars Fielder and Ryan Braun, "and now Casey [McGehee] is coming on strong. We're right in the hunt, [even though] a bunch of guys aren't doing what they want to do. It could be a lot worse. We're all going to get better offensively. You figure it's got to turn around. We'll put up numbers when we get that consistency going." The gold standard for consistency has been Fielder, who has played in every Brewers game this season and still hasn't gone more than four games without an RBI. Macha prefers that slow and steady production. "If you're a player, why would you want to go home one night after four hits feeling like you're on top of the world, and then go 0-for-12?" Macha said. "All of a sudden you're 4-for-16, hitting .250, and you don't feel good." For Hart, a healthy foot would help. "I think I'll be fine [on Friday]," Hart said.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.