Ryan Braun, who’s spent the past month on the sidelines with a thumb injury, is back in the Brewers’ lineup tonight against the Reds.
Braun played through the injury for quite a while before the Brewers finally decided to shut him down in early June. Milwaukee’s lineup still isn’t close to full strength, however, as Aramis Ramirez basically took Braun’s spot on the disabled list with a left knee injury.
Despite playing through pain for much of the season Braun hit .309 with nine homers and an .890 OPS in 57 games before the DL stint, including seven hits in his last 17 at-bats.
Kyle Seager had the worst year of his big league career in 2018. He hit .221/.273/.400 (86 OPS+) and saw his home run total decline for the second straight year. In response, Seager has reported back to camp in Peoria . . . in the best shape of his life.
This story about it in the Seattle Times has it all: the poor production and nagging injuries that led to a change of habits in the offseason. A new diet, new exercise routines, a focus on flexibility, the epiphany that an injury was the result of conditioning and, as the payoff, the scene on the first day of workouts when his uniform was too baggy and he had to get a new one.
The proof, of course, will not come from the eating, but in the production.