July 2011

Braun on his MRI results, All-Star plan

An MRI scan on Wednesday provided some clarity of Ryan Braun’s left leg injury plus some peace of mind for the Brewers slugger, who said he will not start next week’s All-Star Game unless he can first get on the field this weekend against the Reds.

Asked whether he’ll meet that deadline, Braun said, “I honestly don’t know.”

“If I don’t play in these games, I won’t play in the All-Star game. That’s not fair,” Braun said. “The priority is to [the Brewers], to being healthy and staying healthy for the second half.”

Braun was the National League’s leading vote-getter, and is in line to make his fourth consecutive All-Star Game start.

He said his MRI revealed inflammation of a tendon behind the left knee, which is why Braun has felt the injury both in his calf and his hamstring. It would be a faster heal, he said, if one of the larger muscles were the source of the discomfort.

“More than anything, it’s nice to just know what we’re dealing with,” Braun said. “Make sure there’s nothing torn, there’s nothing serious, that we’re not doing any long-term damage. We have an idea of how to attack it.”

Braun was hurt breaking out of the batter’s box in Minnesota on Saturday and was examined Wednesday by the Brewers’ head physician, Dr. William Raasch. Manager Ron Roenicke said Braun would likely not play Thursday’s series opener against the Reds, but could start as early as Friday night.

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Braun still out, sent for more tests

Still experiencing soreness in his left calf, All-Star left fielder Ryan Braun saw the Brewers’ head doctor on Wednesday for a battery of tests that would include an MRI scan, manager Ron Roenicke said.

Braun missed his fourth consecutive start with an injury he sufferered breaking out of the batter’s box in Minnesota on Saturday. Braun is hoping to get healthy not just for the Brewers’ final series of the first half against the Reds, but for next week, when he is scheduled to start his fourth consecutive All-Star Game.

“We’re going to check it out and make sure everything is OK. It may be a couple more days, I don’t know,” Roenicke said. “Talking to Roger [Caplinger, the team's head athletic trainer], Roger doesn’t think it’s anything big. But sometimes it goes on longer than we expected.”

Roenicke won’t play Braun until he is pain-free. It’s extremely difficult to imagine any scenario in which Braun’s first game back is the All-Star Game.

The Brewers had hoped to have Braun back in the lineup by now. He participated in batting practice on Tuesday afternoon to test his leg but was deemed a no-go.

“I think he put a lot of effort in to see if he could go yesterday, so he feels it a little bit more,” Roenicke said. “But I think also the reason he feels it is he really didn’t do anything [Sunday and Monday]. Any time when you start up again, even BP, then it’s probably going to be a little bit sore.”

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Latest loss ends with closed-door meeting

A 7-3 loss to the D-backs on Tuesday night prompted manager Ron Roenicke to do something rare. He felt compelled to call a postgame team meeting for only the second time this season.

“It’s been a battle,” Roenicke said. “There’s a lot of guys that are frustrated. There’s a lot of staff members that are frustrated with what’s going on. We need to stop it. We need to turn this thing back around again. Coming home, we’ve played so good at home I thought we’d do it. These first couple of games got away from us, and we need to get that back.”

So, he called players and coaches together for a brief talk.

“I’m not picking out individuals, because that’s not the problem,” Roenicke said. “The problem is the whole group. The problem is me and the coaches. We’re all together in this thing, and we all need to figure it out.”

He’s hoping for either some consistency, or another hot streak. The Brewers went on one in early May, when they were baseball’s hottest team through a three-game sweep of the Cardinals from June 10-12.

“All the good things we were doing in that month, we need to get that back again,” Roenicke said.

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Positives?

 

“I don’t see us giving up. I don’t see us quitting, even when we get behind in games,” Roenicke said. “I still see an offense that’s working hard to try to get back in the ballgame.”

 

Still no Braun for Brewers

The Brewers will play another day Tuesday without Ryan Braun, who is dealing with a left calf strain. Josh Wilson will start in left field instead for the Brewers, who will try to bounce back from consecutive disheartening losses with this lineup:

Rickie Weeks 2B
Carlos Gomez CF
Corey Hart RF
Prince Fielder 1B
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Casey McGehee 3B
Josh Wilson LF
George Kottaras C
Randy Wolf LHP

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Fielder is NL player of the month

For the second time in his career, Brewers slugger Prince Fielder has been named the National League’s player of the month. He won the award for June after batting .337 with 10 home runs and 27 RBIs.

Fielder was also so honored in May 2007, the year he belted 50 home runs.

Teammate Ryan Braun won the same award earlier this season, for March/April.

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Braun’s calf feeling feeling good

Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun was feeling better than expected on Sunday morning, and not just because he’d just made his fourth consecutive All-Star Game starting lineup. Braun exited Saturday’s win over the Twins after straining his left hamstring running to first on an RBI groundout, but felt surprisingly spry 12 hours later.

“Definitely better than I thought,” Braun said. “I’m going to go get some treatment and see what happens.”

Braun avoided speculation about his availability for Monday afternoon, when the Brewers begin a three-game series against the D-backs at Miller Park. It’s the final homestand before the All-Star Game.

It was a big morning in the Brewers clubhouse. Braun, first baseman Prince Fielder and second baseman Rickie Weeks all won the right to start the July 12 All-Star Game in Phoenix and were honored in a 10:30 a.m. team meeting. One by one, their teammates lined up to offer congratulatory handshakes and hugs.

“It kind of means the Milwaukee Brewers have arrived on the national scene,” Braun said. “It’s special for all of us to go there together and represent the Brewers and the city of Milwaukee. Ultimately, it’s a reward for having a good half as a team. I don’t think there’s any way you get three starters if you don’t have a good first half as a team.”

There will be much more on the All-Star selections over at Brewers.com this afternoon, including Fielder’s plans for the Home Run Derby.

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Braun ‘definitely’ out Sunday with calf strain

Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun expects to be named to the National League All-Star team on Sunday, but he does not expect play against the Twins after injuring his left leg during an eighth-inning groundout on Saturday night.

Braun hit a run-scoring groundout but strained his left calf muscle on his second step out of the batter’s box and had to leave the game. He watched from the training table as the Brewers scored four runs in the ninth inning to stun the Twins, 8-7, with pinch-hitter George Kottaras delivering the winning hit from Braun’s usual spot in the batting order.

“It’s pretty tight, pretty sore,” Braun said. “I’m definitely not playing [Sunday]. We’ll probably see where it’s at in a couple of days.”

He said the upper part of his calf and lower part of his hamstring were both sore, and walked around the clubhouse with a noticeable limp. The Brewers’ medical staff will re-examine Braun on Sunday morning, when the All-Star teams will be announced on TBS. Braun is positioned to make a fourth consecutive start in the National League’s outfield.

He was 1-for-4 in Saturday’s game including a fourth-inning double that extended Major League Baseball’s longest current hitting streak to 22 games. Braun has started all but two of the Brewers’ games this season.

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Dillard sent down before Game 2 at Twins

The Brewers made their long-awaited roster  move about three hours before Saturday’s first pitch, opting to option right-handed reliever Tim Dillard back to Triple-A Nashville to clear a spot for Takashi Saito’s return from the disabled list. Club officials clearly agonized over this particular move, discussing it all week in New York, where general manager Doug Melvin was with the team, and Friday night in Minneapolis, where assistant GM Gord Ash joined-up.

In sending out Dillard, the Brewers opted to continue on with an 11-man pitching staff, including six relievers. They lose a bit of length in the Dillard-for-Saito swap, but are covered this weekend because Marco Estrada should be available again and Yovani Gallardo delivered the Brewers’ second consecutive seven-inning start on Friday night.

Dillard surrendered 10 earned runs and 17 hits over 18 innings for Milwaukee. Eight of the runs and 12 of the hits came in his final eight appearances, spanning 8 1/3 innings.

So position players who might have been part of the discussion, like Mat Gamel, Casey McGehee, Mark Kotsay and Josh Wilson, are safe as the Brewers continue their Interleague Series at Target Field. Gamel and Kotsay are in the lineup Saturday night:

Rickie Weeks 2B
Nyjer Morgan CF (celebrating his 31st birthday)
Ryan Braun LF
Prince Fielder 1B
Mat Gamel DH
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Mark Kotsay RF
Jonathan Lucroy C
Craig Counsell 3B

LHP Chris Narveson

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McGehee serves as DH for Twins opener

The Brewers will try to regroup tonight in smoking-hot Minneapolis, the opener of their final Interleague Series this season. Here’s the lineup:

Rickie Weeks 2B
Carlos Gomez CF
Ryan Braun LF
Prince Fielder 1B
Corey Hart RF
Casey McGehee DH
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Josh Wilson 3B
Jonathan Lucroy C

RHP Yovani Gallardo

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