What we saw in 2016 was as close to the old Ryan Braun as we've seen since his 2013 PED suspension, and more relevantly, since the injuries that limited him to just 61 games in 2014. Braun finished with a .305 average and 30 home runs, the first time he reached either of those marks since 2012. While he lacks the explosive pull power that made him great in his young age, he has developed into one of the best opposite field hitters in baseball. According to FanGraphs, Braun owned a .446 batting average and .732 slugging percentage to right field, both ranking in the top 10 in the major leagues.
Braun went 2-for-5 with a double, two RBI and a run during Wednesday's win over Cincinnati. The veteran outfielder is now up to 16 RBI and sports a .289/.379/.592 slash line. With four stolen bases already, Braun is well on his way to providing another strong five-category campaign. It's also worth adding that Milwaukee is currently scoring more runs than in recent seasons, so the improved supporting cast could continue to provide a nice virtual boost.
Braun (foot) is back in the lineup Tuesday against the Reds, batting third and playing left field. The veteran outfielder left Monday's contest prematurely due to foot soreness, but it seems like the ailment healed enough overnight to allow him to play Tuesday. He'll resume his normal role in the Brewers' lineup sandwiched between Eric Thames and Travis Shaw.
Braun left Monday's game against the Reds in the sixth inning with a sore foot, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports. Braun fouled multiple pitches off his foot earlier in the game, which led it to tighten up as the night progressed. With the Brewers up big, manager Craig Counsell decided to finish the game with Jesus Aguilar at first base and Eric Thames in left field. Had the game been closer than 10-4, Braun may have stayed in the game, but in a blowout, the club decided to play it safe with their star slugger. Consider him day-to-day, but there's no indication this injury will cause Braun to miss any sort of significant time.
Braun went 2-for-4 with a solo home run in Friday's 6-3 loss to the Cardinals. It's his fourth multi-hit game in his last six starts. The trade rumors swirling around Braun haven't been a distraction at all so far for the 33-year-old, who now boasts a .304/.409/.661 slash line with six homers, four steals, 12 RBI and 13 runs scored.
Braun is not in the lineup Wednesday against the Cubs. Nick Franklin slides into left field in his absence. This looks to be a regular off day for Braun, though his struggles against Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks (2-for-14 in his career) could have been a factor. The veteran slugger has caught fire as of late, recording a .360 average with three home runs and seven RBI over the past week, so expect him back in the lineup Thursday.
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