Ryan Braun rejoins the Brewers lineup batting fifth for the first time since 2008

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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.

Athletics release Santiago Casilla

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Athletics have released reliever Santiago Casilla. The club had designated him for assignment on Saturday.

Casilla, 37, posted a 3.16 ERA with 22 strikeouts and 20 walks in 31 1/3 innings of relief for the A’s in the first half. The ERA is certainly not bad, but the strikeout and walk rates are subpar and point to a pitcher who won’t be successful going forward without changing. Additionally, Casilla’s fastball velocity, at 92.9 MPH on average, is the lowest of his career.

Casilla is owed the remainder of his $5.5 million salary for the 2018 season. If he should sign elsewhere, the A’s would be on the hook for the remainder minus the prorated major league minimum salary.