By RICH ROVITO, Associated Press
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, who has struggled with a strain in his left calf for several weeks, will be evaluated daily for the reminder of the season, manager Craig Counsell said before Saturday night’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies.
“I think enough has happened as we’ve gone through this that it’s day-to-day for the rest of the year,” Counsell said. “We’ve had a couple of recurrences of it. I think it’s something we are going to have to deal with for the rest of the year.”
Braun has been on the disabled list twice this season with the calf issue. He left the team’s game on July 8 against the New York Yankees with cramping in the calf and sat out the final game before the All-Star break as a precaution.
Braun, who smacked a grand slam in the Brewers’ 9-6 win over the Phillies on Friday night, reported no ill effects after the game, but Counsell said the team is taking a cautious approach with the veteran slugger nonetheless.
“He’s fine, but it’s come back before,” Counsell said. “I’m never going to say we are in the clear with that one. It’s just one of those things we are going to have to deal with and he’s going to have to be careful with it, and we are too. We are going to have to give him some breaks and get him out of some games.”
Counsell stressed that the team has played well during stretches with Braun absent from the lineup. Braun, who was in the starting lineup on Saturday, has played in 42 of the team’s 93 games this season. Entering Saturday, he was hitting .259 with 11 home runs and 27 RBIs in 165 plate appearances.
He pointed out that Jesus Aguilar, who has a .292 average with nine homers and 34 RBIs in 191 plate appearances, filled in admirably for Braun during an extended absence in May.
“No offense to Ryan, but there was no difference in their production,” Counsell said.
“Jesus Aguilar has produced at a pretty good level. We certainly want a healthy Ryan Braun but we’ve had success with this team because of depth and we’ll continue to rely on that if we have to.”