After keeping the Brewers on their toes since he hit home run No. 299 on Monday, Ryan Braun finally pushed through to the 300-homer mark on Friday night. The milestone dinger came on an 0-1 pitch from the Cubs’ John Lackey in the first inning, postmarked to dead center field as Braun plated a pair to give the Brewers an early 2-0 lead.
By Statcast’s calculations, the ball traveled an estimated 410 feet, the longest home run by a Brewer since Travis Shaw‘s 412-footer against the Reds on Tuesday.
Braun still holds the franchise record for most home runs, with Robin Yount’s 252 career homers a distant second. Friday’s home run entered him in another exclusive club, as he became the sixth player to record at least 300 homers and 180 stolen bases in his first 11 big league seasons, joining the likes of Willie Mays (368 HR, 240 SB), Reggie Jackson (313 HR, 188 SB), Barry Bonds (334 HR, 380 SB), Sammy Sosa (336 HR, 224 SB) and Alex Rodriguez (381 HR, 205 SB).
Per MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, the blast also gave the club their 200th home run this season, just 31 shy of the franchise record they established back in 2007. The Brewers currently lead the Reds 2-0 in the top of the fifth inning.
Not all players coming in to spring training are in The Best Shapes of Their Lives. Some have put on a few pounds, such as Miguel Sano, notes Twins GM Thad Levine:
Sano has been given medical clearance to engage in all baseball workouts with his teammates, his surgically reinforced left shin now completely healed, though the Twins intend to lighten his schedule to prevent any new injuries.
They’d like to lighten something else, too: His “generous carriage,” as General Manager Thad Levine delicately put it last week. Sano’s conditioning understandably lags, after a winter largely spent incapacitated by the surgery.
Sano’s conditioning has often been a topic of conversation among the members of the Minnesota press corps, though not always in good faith. For example, last year when Sano injured his shin by fouling a ball off of it, one member of the The Fourth Estate found a way to make a column out of blaming the freak injury on Sano’s conditioning. At least in this instance his colleague is correctly noting that the poor conditioning is a result of the injury and not the cause.
Still, it’s just another issue facing Sano this spring. He’s out of shape, coming off of an injury, and — not that he’s due any sympathy for it — he’s facing a likely suspension arising out of the allegations of sexual assault leveled against him late last year.
So this spring we’ll be seeing more of Sano, it seems. At least until that time we’ll be seeing less of him.