Milwaukee Brewers right fielder Ryan Braun sat out of Saturday night’s win over the Boston Red Sox due to a right thumb injury. This is an injury that first surfaced last season for Braun, who was forced to play designated hitter on Friday in Boston because of the discomfort caused by gripping a baseball.
Braun has gotten off to a painfully slow start to his 2014 season, and it seems likely at this point that the injury is playing some role in his early struggles. Of course, four games is not much to go on, but Braun does have a meager one hit in his first 16 at bats. In addition to these difficulties, he has now been forced to sit out in only the fifth game of the season for the Brewers.
It appears the injury originally manifested itself early in the 2013 campaign prior to Braun’s season ending suspension due to his involvement in the Biogenesis drug scandal. The injury is being categorized as a nerve issue, which is creating numbness in Braun’s right thumb and causing issues both in the field and at the plate. Because of the numbness, Braun is unable to feel the strength of his grip on the bat or the ball.
At this point, Braun is not likely to miss significant time, but surgery could potentially be a necessary option if the issue does not improve on its own. The ailment appears to be robbing Braun of his power, just as it did last season before the suspension. Another concern for Braun and the Brewers is the fact that rest does not seem to improve the injury in any tangible way.
In the meantime, Braun will probably be back in the lineup soon, where he will likely continue to be greeted harshly by opposing fans. After they finish up in Boston, the Brewers will be headed to Philadelphia where a less-than-warm welcome surely awaits.