Ryan Braun has returned to the Brewers’ lineup after exiting Saturday’s game and then sitting out two straight games with back spasms. And in a little twist, manager Ron Roenicke has Braun batting fifth in the order.
Braun has hit exclusively second (37 times) or third (32 times) in the lineup this season and has a grand total of just three career starts in the fifth spot, all of them coming 2008.
Roenicke indicated that part of the reason for the change is that Braun has missed lots of time with injuries and he’d prefer not to have to juggle the top of the lineup constantly.
Braun has hit .291 with 11 homers in 69 games for an .853 OPS that would be the lowest of his eight-year career.
Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post reports that the Nationals will promote middle infield prospect Carter Kieboom to the majors ahead of Friday’s game against the Padres. The Nationals are currently dealing with injuries to shortstop Trea Turner and third baseman Anthony Rendon, so the club hopes Kieboom can help the team tread water at the very least.
Kieboom, 21, was selected by the Nationals in the first round (28th overall) in the 2016 draft. MLB Pipeline currently rates him No. 2 in the Nationals’ system and No. 37 overall. Kieboom has played both second base and shortstop this season after exclusively playing shortstop previously in his professional career.
With Triple-A Fresno to start the 2019 season, Kieboom hit .379/.506/.636 with three homers, 18 RBI, and 14 runs scored in 83 plate appearances.