Ryan Braun sitting out fifth straight game

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Ryan Braun has avoided the disabled list so far, but tonight the Brewers right fielder is sitting out his fifth consecutive game with a strained oblique muscle.

Elian Herrera subbed for Braun in right field for the first four of those games, but the Brewers just demoted him back to the minors and will apparently use first baseman/third baseman Mark Reynolds in right field now. Not only has Reynolds never started a game in the outfield, he has a grand total of four career innings there. So that should be pretty interesting to watch.

As for Braun, a disabled list stint seems likely if only because players with oblique injuries rarely are able to return within two weeks. He was last in the Brewers’ lineup Saturday.

Miles Mikolas open to extension with Cardinals

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Though he has only accumulated just over two years of service time in the major leagues, Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas can become a free agent after the 2019 season due to language in his current two-year, $15.5 million contract. He is open to signing a contract extension with the Cardinals, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Mikolas said, “It’s something that the Cardinals and my agency have to work out – if the numbers work out and everything turns out to be it’s absolutely something that could happen.” His agent, from Octagon, has had discussions with the Cardinals about a framework for an extension.

Mikolas, 30, spent the 2015-17 seasons pitching for the Yomiuri Giants in the Japan Central League. He had great results, which he was able to leverage into a contract back in the U.S. Last season, his first in the majors since 2014, he finished sixth in NL Cy Young balloting and earned a spot on the NL All-Star roster. The right-hander went 18-4 with a 2.83 ERA and a 146/29 K/BB ratio in 200 2/3 innings.

This coming season, Mikolas will be part of a starting rotation that also includes Carlos Martínez, Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha, and Adam Wainwright.