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Brewers' Hart needs knee surgery - to miss start of 2013 season

The Brewers, who have lost several players over the last year to free agency, were dealt a different kind of blow Friday.

ESPN revealed that slugger Corey Hart needs knee surgery and that he will miss spring training and potentially a month or two of the regular season.

Hart is expected to replaced in the Milwaukee lineup by Mat Gamel who missed a big chunk of the 2012 campaign with his own knee injury. Hart hit .270 last season with the Brewers, hitting 30 home runs and driving in 83.

The Brewers won't be completely helpless without Hart. They still have cheating left fielder who won a tainted MVP award in 2011 and was a contender for the honor last season. They also have the aging Aramis Ramirez at third base. But they're going to have to score a lot of runs because they've lost an awful lot of pitching, not the least of the subtractions being Zack Grienke.

Grienke may have been a clubhouse challenge. But he was still and ace. The Brewers have quantity in pitching, but much less quality than they had in 2011 when they faced the Cardinals in the National League Championship series.