Hall back with Crew faster than expected
Hart's absence precipitates recall, start in right field
LOS ANGELES -- Bill Hall made an emergency return to the Brewers on Monday for his first career start in right field and declared his brief stint in the Minor Leagues a success."I got some confidence back," said Hall, who was recalled early to replace Corey Hart, who remained hospitalized in San Diego on Monday after undergoing an appendectomy Sunday night. "Coming here, I have a new mind-set, a new mentality," Hall said. "I'm here to work and do the things I was doing down there [at Triple-A Nashville], and I feel like it's going to carry over. I feel like I can help this team. I've been saying this for a little while now, that this team is going to need me to step up, and I feel this is my time. This is my opportunity." With Hart out and left-hander Clayton Kershaw starting for the Dodgers on Monday night, the Brewers decided to bring back Hall, a right-handed hitter, rather than use one of their left-handed-hitting reserve outfielders, Frank Catalanotto or Jody Gerut. Going forward, Catalanotto figures to see his playing time dramatically increase, though manager Ken Macha wouldn't say whether he intended to install a strict platoon. Hall entered the game with a .201 batting average in the Majors and was only five days removed from announcing he would accept a demotion to the Minor Leagues to work on his swing. He wasn't getting that opportunity in Milwaukee, because he was buried on the bench. Hall went 4-for-14 (.286) in four games with Nashville. "The only thing I didn't envision was being here this fast," Hall said. "I expected to be down there at least a week, kind of get my swing back. I got off to a good start, hit the ball hard. I hit a home run, some doubles, a lot of balls to right field." Hall was originally penciled-in as Nashville's starting second baseman for Game 1 of a doubleheader on Sunday, but he was called into manager Don Money's office with orders from Milwaukee. Hart was out, and the organization wanted Hall to take a crash course in right field. Using an outfield glove borrowed from Brewers center fielder Mike Cameron, Hall played both games of the doubleheader in right, including a nightcap that went extra innings. He went 0-for-6 with an RBI at the plate but was pleased with his performance on defense. "I was pretty impressed with the showing I had in the outfield," Hall said. "The second ball of the game was hit to me in the gap. I had to cut it off and get it in." Hall wasn't sure how much he would play now that he's back with the Brewers. Macha said only that he planned to use both Catalanotto and Gerut more than he had been. It stands to reason, then, that Hall will find himself in precisely the same position that precipitated his departure. With inconsistent playing time, he was unable to find any consistency. With no consistency, he rarely earned playing time. "I'm not worried about that," Hall said. "All I'm worried about is that I went down there [to Nashville] and accomplished what I wanted to accomplish, which was hit the baseball hard again, hit it to right field. I feel like those at-bats are going to help me. ... "My plan was to go down there and have fun," Hall said. "It was my decision to go, so I went down there to get better. It wasn't as long as I expected it to be, but hopefully it was long enough."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.