Braun went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a walk in Thursday's spring game against the Dodgers. Braun did not appear in a spring game until March 8, but he has hit well since, going 6-for-20 (.300) with a home run and three RBI over eight games. The Brewers will probably try to give Braun a day off every few games in an effort to keep him fresh for the entire season, but he still figures to be the team's primary left fielder, and will likely hit third in the order whenever he's in the lineup.
Braun is expected to see minimal time at first base for the Brewers in 2019, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports. Braun worked in spring training at first base last year to help the Brewers fully utilize their outfield depth, but the emergence of Jesus Aguilar ended up limiting Braun's exposure at the position in 2018, so this comes as no surprise. The offseason trades of Domingo Santana and Keon Broxton only further entrenched Braun, Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich as Milwaukee's outfield starters for 2019, with Ben Gamel -- acquired in the Santana trade -- set to serve as the fourth outfielder. The 35-year-old Braun is coming off a 125-game campaign in which he slashed .254/.313/.469 with 20 home runs, and he's looking to re-tap into his power by working to raise his launch angle this offseason.
Braun said Sunday that he's worked with a private coach this winter to make changes to his swing in order to tap into more power, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports. Even in his age-34 season, Braun still hit the ball with authority (43.0 percent hard-hit rate), but it didn't translate to as much over-the-fence power (20 home runs in 444 plate appearances) as compared to years past. In fact, Braun has posted the four worst flyball rates of his career in the past four seasons, with the Brewers' longtime franchise player instead spraying more grounders and flyballs around the yard. Adjusting his launch angle could help Braun recover some of the home-run output he's lost in recent seasons, but simply avoiding the disabled list would probably prove more consequential to his overall fantasy value. He hasn't played in more than 140 games in any season since 2012.
Braun went 2-for-4 in the Brewers' series-clinching victory over the Rockies on Sunday. Braun had a nice series at the plate against the Rockies, going 5-for-13 (.385) over three games. With that performance coming on the heels of the .991 OPS he posted in September, expect Braun to remain a fixture in the middle of the Brewers' batting order the rest of the way.
Braun went 3-for-4 with a double and two solo home runs in Friday's 6-5 win over the Tigers. His second homer of the night, and 20th of the season, proved to be the game-winner as he drove a 2-2 pitch from Victor Alcantara over the right-field fence. It's Braun's second two-homer game of the week and fifth long ball in the last four games, and the long-time Brewer is doing everything in his power to push his team past the Cubs and into an NL Central title.
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