Brewers' Green Looks To Put Wrist Injury Behind Him





MARYVALE, Ariz.—Third baseman Taylor Green cringes a bit when recalling the 2009 season.

"It was a tough year," he said.

The 23-year-old had surgery in January 2009, a procedure that involved a bone graft, when a wrist injury from the previous season didn't heal with rest. It was a tricky procedure, putting the lefthanded hitter on the shelf until mid-May.

The Brewers' minor league player of the year in 2007, Green soon discovered that his wrist wasn't strong enough to allow him to swing the bat with abandon.

"I just wanted to get back as quick as I could," he said. "I'm not going to make excuses. You can't do that. But it wasn't as strong as it is now.

"I'd hit balls I thought I hit pretty good, but they'd die at the warning track."

Green batted .258/
.330/.356 with five home runs in 87 games for Double-A Huntsville. He got extra at-bats in the Arizona Fall League, but his swing was still a bit off.

While frustrated at times with the ball not jumping off his bat, Green said the biggest test during his comeback from surgery was not physical.

"The mental part is the toughest," said Green, who signed as a draft-and-follow out of Cypress (Calif.) JC in 2006. He grew up in British Columbia. "I had always heard that, and I found out it's true.

"The main thing you learn is to keep battling. I could have done a lot better. I tried to separate the two but it wasn't easy."

Green's agent, Josh Kusnick, was proud of the way his client handled himself in those trying times.

"Taylor has that old-school hockey mentality where nothing physically can really hold him back," Kusnick said.

Green opened this season with Huntsville, even though third baseman Mat Gamel began the year on the disabled list instead of with Triple-A Nashville, as originally planned.

"I'll go where they send me and do the best I can," Green said. "Everything will take care of itself, as long as you play well."

MICROBREWS

• The Brewers released righthanded reliever Mike Burns at the end of spring training. The 31-year-old veteran logged a career-high 52 innings in the big leagues last season.

• The Brewers released righthander Juan Sandoval, who saved 20 games for Huntsville in 2008. He struck out 49 and walked 29 over 59 innings last year, reaching Nashville for seven games.