MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun left Sunday’s 9-1 victory over Philadelphia in the bottom of the third inning with right thumb soreness.
With the Brewers leading 4-0, Logan Schafer pinch hit for Braun in the third inning. Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said before the game that Braun’s right thumb injury is really bothering him.
“It’s the same thing I’ve been dealing with,” Braun said. “It never really got much better. There were a couple of days where we had a minimal amount of progress, but basically it’s been the same thing over a decent amount of time. I think from the very beginning I should have taken more time off and gotten it right, but just continued to fight through it, play through it. It’s at the point where it doesn’t feel very good.”
Braun said it was “a possibility” that he sits out Monday’s series opener in Miami, but he wasn’t sure what the team’s plan was moving forward. Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said he’d sit down with general manager Doug Melvin on the flight to Miami to figure out a plan.
“We need to get this thumb right,” Roenicke said. “If he needs a day or two days, we’ll do it. Or if he needs a day on either side of the off-days, we’ll do it.”
While the injury is officially listed as right thumb soreness, Braun said the pain and soreness is felt throughout the whole hand and is caused by a nerve issue.
“It’s the hand, it’s not my thumb,” Braun said. “It’s kind of the whole hand, but between the index finger and my thumb, there’s a nerve that’s irritated. So every time I swing the bat, I have the ability to make it worse, and it’s impossible to play this game and not swing the bat.
“We’ll just deal with it, continue to try and get treatment. We’ve done all kinds of different things as far as trying to figure out padding on the glove or on the bat, just all kinds of different things. Maybe we’ll figure out something that works.”
As the thumb injury lingers, could Braun be headed to the 15-day disabled list?
“I’m hoping we don’t have to (place him on the disabled list), but we start making gains and he says, ‘Yeah, I feel really good today,’ and then all of a sudden it’s a bad day and a setback,” Roenicke said before Sunday’s game. “We keep (having) this back and forth.
“He’s out there playing, hitting third for us, and I expect the Braun that I’ve seen for the last two years, and he’s not the same. He’s still getting hits, he’s still helping us win games, but he’s not that guy that can carry a team like I know he can.”
After striking out in his lone at-bat Sunday, Braun is hitting .304 with nine home runs and 36 RBI, but he hasn’t had a home run in 65 plate appearances and has admitted to having to change his swing because of the painful thumb.
The Brewers are in a tough spot with their number three and four hitters playing, but not themselves because of nagging injuries. Third baseman Aramis Ramirez needs time off every few days as his sprained left knee isn’t 100 percent.
“I don’t think I’ve really made much progress the whole time, so I just continue to irritate it,” Braun said. “It seems like every time I’ve swung the bat over the last month or whatever since I’ve done it, I can feel it. So it hasn’t gone away.”