When the Brewers basically lost a game on Sunday because they ran out of position players, the consensus was that the team needed to make a move for the Cubs series to ensure something similar would not happen again. Ideally, that move would be removing one of the 13 pitchers from the 25-man roster in favor of another bench bat — the only problem was finding a reliever they could remove without exposing to waivers.
So in a way, another injury ended up being a stroke of luck. Chris Narveson injured the middle finger on his pitching hand, which explains why he was deemed unavailable in that fateful Sunday game, leading to John Axford pitching a second inning. On Monday the Brewers placed Narveson on the 15-day disabled list, opening the door to add a bench player later in the day.
Despite the clamoring for Hunter Morris, that bench bat will be C/1B Blake Lalli, whose main role will likely be “guy who makes Ron Roenicke feel better about playing Martin Maldonado at first base” as the third catcher and, therefore, likely the last man off the bench. The biggest news out of all of this, though, is that the make room for Lalli on the 40-man roster, the Brewers moved Corey Hart to the 60-day DL.
That means that Hart won’t be permitted to return until May 30, not the “early-to-mid-May” timeframe that many people seemed to be hanging their hopes on.
Lalli, a career minor leaguer who turns 30 this year, made his MLB debut last season with the Cubs. He’s hit .296/.356/.416 in 8 minor league seasons, and nearly made the club out of spring training, ultimately losing out on a roster spot when Betancourt was added during the last week of camp.
Lalli will be fine for his role, but for whatever reason, the Brewers seem determined to not use Hunter Morris at the big league level while Hart is out. For now, it looks like two full months of Alex Gonzalez/Yuni Betancourt/Martin Maldonado at the position.