Ryan Braun is back in the starting lineup tonight against the Diamondbacks. He was held out of the lineup the previous two days after leaving Saturday’s game with recurring tightness in his left calf.
While this is a positive development for a lineup that was blanked by Josh Collmenter last night, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that Braun won’t play all nine innings. Instead, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke would prefer to ease him back into the lineup.
“We’re going to try to get him back where there are no setbacks,” said Roenicke. “He felt great today; he wanted to play. It may be on an off (between nine innings and shorter appearances). A lot depends on how he feels. I saw him running yesterday and he was really good. He’s way better than he was a few days ago.”
Braun has missed 10 out of the last 13 games with the injury and while he told Haudricourt that he’s “done talking” about the injury and just wants to play, this seems like a very risky thing to do with one of your most important players.
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.