On May 26th, Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun was placed on the 10-day DL with a left calf strain. However, he has been on the DL for much longer than 10 days, and he has played in just 30 out of 73 games this season. It was announced that Braun, along with Jonathan Villar, will be going on a rehab assignment on June 22nd. He should return sometime around June 27th.
While the Brewers have done fairly well, and own a record above .500 in Braun’s absence, they need him back in the lineup. The return of Braun will make this young, exciting team that much more fun to watch. This is also a key addition to a team that remains at the top of the NL Central standings over the surging Chicago Cubs.
Ryan Braun is one of the best players to ever wear a Brewers uniform. At age 33, he is not slowing down. He is an important veteran leader to this very young team. His presence in the lineup will be huge for the development of the younger guys.
Before going on the DL, Braun was putting up respectable numbers, despite dealing with multiple injuries. In only 30 games played, he’s batting .262 with seven home runs and 27 total hits.
How Will Braun’s Return Impact The Rookies?
Braun’s return to the team will, however, have some consequences, and some challenging situations. The Milwaukee Brewers have a crowded outfield. Braun needing time off has allowed the Brewers to put many different players out there. Other than the days Braun will need rest, the left field spot is locked up as long as he stays healthy. Which leaves only two spots for Domingo Santana, Keon Broxton, Lewis Brinson, and others who can play the outfield.
One of the key names in that bunch is Lewis Brinson. Brinson is a young player who hasn’t had a ton of success in his first week and a half at the Major League level, but he has shown flashes of his talent. He needs more at-bats in order to grow and develop. Putting Brinson on the bench is not going to help his development. While he doesn’t need to start every day, he does require regular at-bats. Brinson is the top prospect in the organization for a reason, and he needs to play in order to develop.
Braun’s return will be a huge improvement to the Brewer’s lineup, but adding him comes at a cost of playing time for some of the younger outfielders. Lewis Brinson is a young prospect needing at bats, but Domingo Santana and Keon Broxton are very young as well.
It will be tough for Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell to decide who gets playing time next to Braun. The return of Braun will add a veteran presence and a big bat into a lineup with a lot of firepower, but it will remove opportunities for the younger outfielders on the roster.