09/16/12 2:36 PM ET
Crew's top prospects fill instructional program
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
Hart doubtful for Tuesday return to Brewers
MILWAUKEE -- An unsuccessful baserunning session on Sunday morning cast serious doubt on outfielder Corey Hart's hope of returning to the Brewers' starting lineup by Tuesday in Pittsburgh.Hart missed a sixth consecutive start on Sunday with a left foot injury. He has a partial tear of the plantar fascia, the connective tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot. "I'm definitely aiming for Tuesday, I just wish it would have felt better today than it did," Hart said. "It's a little frustrating. Today was the first day I tried to run the bases, and it didn't go as planned." Running in a straight line was fine, but the trouble came when Hart ran along the arc along the outer edge of the infield dirt. Travis Ishikawa started in Hart's place again on Sunday and "has been awesome" while filling in, Hart said. He pondering whether to force a return to the lineup or whether the team is better with Ishikawa and Taylor Green splitting first-base duty. "It's tough, because I want to play," Hart said. "I've played through a lot of injuries, but it's one of those things where if I'm on first, I'm not going to be able to score on a double. If I'm on second, it's going to be iffy to score on anything. Is it worth it to these guys? I feel like I wouldn't be able to do everything I need to do." The last resort, Hart said, is an anti-inflammatory injection. The club's medical officials on Sunday were mulling the pros and cons of that step. The Brewers miss Hart in the lineup, where he has provided protection all season for cleanup hitter Aramis Ramirez. Manager Ron Roenicke has tried a number of different permutations with Hart out, and started Ishikawa in the five-hole on Sunday. Asked about the possibility Hart might not be able to play the rest of this season, Roenicke said, "That's always a possibility." "I think we're still going to shoot for Tuesday, but I don't know that that's probably a possibility," Roenicke said. "I don't know. In two days, I don't know." Roenicke added: "Maybe we'll be surprised. Maybe he'll come out Tuesday and be OK."
Milwaukee will stick with Marcum in rotation
MILWAUKEE -- Right-hander Shaun Marcum, struggling in September for the second straight season, will remain in the rotation, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said Sunday."As far as I'm concerned right now, yes," Roenicke said. "We haven't even talked otherwise." Marcum has pitched into the sixth inning once in five starts since he returned from a two-month stint on the disabled list with elbow and shoulder discomfort. He cited circumstances in explaining Friday's four-inning stint; the Mets scored their three fourth-inning runs on a squeeze bunt and two well-placed run-scoring hits that just eluded Brewers defenders, and the club removed Marcum in favor of a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the inning and were rewarded with five runs and the lead. "I feel great," Marcum said after the team's 9-6 win. "Today was probably the best I've felt [since] prior to the injury. The ball was coming out really well today." But Marcum is 0-1 with a 5.70 ERA and a .323 opponents' batting average since coming off the DL. Roenicke noted a drop in velocity over the first four starts, though he was encouraged by an uptick on Saturday. Marcum's pace has also been uncharacteristically slow, Roenicke said, leading the manager to believe, "There's a lot of thinking going on." "He's not pitching like we hoped he would, like he hoped he would," Roenicke said. "I know what he's like when he's right. The encouraging thing yesterday -- his velocity was back. I was hoping that that, along with command, that he would get by and give us those innings he usually does. And his command wasn't good." Last year, after opening September with a seven-inning gem against the Astros, Marcum went 1-3 with a 6.66 ERA in his final four regular season starts, then went 0-3 with a 14.90 ERA in three postseason games. Asked whether Marcum's elbow was OK, Roenicke said, "I don't know if it's elbow or shoulder, but as far as I know, he's fine." The Brewers also have no plans to remove rookie right-hander Mike Fiers, Roenicke said. Club officials have been monitoring Fiers' innings.