No Reds, no All-Star Game for Braun? Not so fast
The Ryan Braun watch reached Day 5 on Thursday, when the Brewers’ left fielder missed his fifth consecutive start with a left leg injury and offered few clues about his availability for this weekend’s series against the Reds and next week’s All-Star Game.
Braun is in line to make his fourth consecutive All-Star start, and maintains that he would skip the event unless he can get on the field for the Brewers first.
But manager Ron Roenicke said he would be surprised if the injury lingers that long. Roenicke would actually encourage Braun to play in the All-Star Game if he’s 100 percent healthy, even if that is his first game back.
“It is a tough thing and we talked about it earlier,” Roenicke said. “If he cannot go here and he’s trying to force it to the All-Star Game, yeah, I would not want him to do it. But if he’s 100 percent healthy, maybe that’s a good game to play. If he doesn’t play in it, and he comes back on Thursday [when the Brewers resume play in Colorado], we’re talking about 11 days without him playing a game. [Bench coach] Jerry Narron mentioned that to me yesterday. If he’s 100 percent healthy, maybe it’s a good idea to have him play in that game. At least he gets a couple of at-bats and he’s out there in the field, and now the length of time is not so great.”
Roenicke stressed that the key phrase was “100 percent healthy.”
Braun said was “headed in the right direction.” He understands the significance of becoming the first National League outfielder to start four consecutive All-Star Games since Barry Bonds started five in a row from 2000-05.
“I don’t want to be stupid about it,” Braun said. “The last thing I want to do is rush back and have a setback where it’s something that keeps me out for a prolonged period of time, or something that’s going to nag and be there for the whole second half.
“The goal is to play, but I’m not going to be stupid, I’m not going to force it and I don’t think [Brewers athletic trainers] will allow me to force it.”
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