Ryan Braun left Thursday’s game with tightness in his right side, a concerning development after his recent DL-stint due to an oblique injury, but Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that he’s back in the starting lineup this afternoon against the Marlins.
Interestingly, Braun will hit second today. This will be the first time that he has batted anywhere other than third since September 10, 2010. It’s unclear whether Brewers manager Ron Roenicke plans to keep him there for an extended stretch, but many believe that teams should employ their best hitter out of the No. 2 spot. It should be an interesting situation to watch.
Braun, 30, is batting .289/.328/.529 with seven home runs and 19 RBI over 31 games this season.
Cubs starter Yu Darvish suffered a setback during Sunday’s rehab start with Low-A South Bend, The Athletic’s Jon Greenberg reports. Darvish threw just 19 pitches in the first inning and felt fine. However, when he took the mound to warm up ahead of the second inning, Darvish “felt something” in his injured right elbow. He exited the game to undergo an MRI.
Darvish’s condition isn’t yet known, but it’s obviously bad news. Darvish signed a six-year, $126 million contract in February and has made just eight starts this season. He owns a 4.95 ERA with 49 strikeouts and 21 walks in 40 innings and hasn’t pitched since May 20.
Darvish said he hopes to return before the end of the regular season to help the team. Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein is realistic about the situation. He said, “It’s a process. We’ll see how he feels. It’s been a long road back, so there’s no point in rushing it now. We probably have one chance given where we are on the calendar to get this right, so that’s the priority.”
Mike Montgomery has pitched out of the rotation in Darvish’s place but he is also currently on the disabled list. Tyler Chatwood, with a 5.22 ERA and 93 walks in 101 2/3 innings, was booted from the rotation at the end of July after the Cubs acquired Cole Hamels. The Cubs, entering Sunday 20 games over .500 and fewer than five games ahead of the Cardinals and Brewers in the NL Central, need some reliability at the back of the rotation.