Short version: Thumb is numb because of a nerve problem. So he can't tell how hard he's gripping the ball & has developed bad blisters.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) April 4, 2014
Braun's options: Figure a way to manage it, or surgery. Doesn't want to even talk about the latter option yet. More to come on the site.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) April 4, 2014
Braun served a 65-game suspension for his ties to Biogenesis last season, and one of the reasons he agreed to the ban was the injury. He was able to rest and let it heal during the suspension, but obviously it is once again an issue. It appears Braun will try to play through it before having surgery, which could sideline him for a good chunk of the season.
In 61 games around the thumb injury and suspension, Braun hit .298/.372/.498 (134 OPS+) with 14 doubles, nine home runs and four stolen bases in 2013. He is 1-for-11 with a single, a stolen base, a walk and a stolen base so far in 2014.