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Ryan Braun could play first and second base in 2018

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Given the recent additions of Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich, the Brewers are looking at a fairly crowded outfield as they gear up for the 2018 season. One solution, according to club GM David Stearns, might be to shift veteran left fielder Ryan Braun to the infield. It’s not a new idea — speculation that Braun could see time at first base surfaced as early as October — but one that seems to have gained more traction this weekend, as Braun is apparently also considering trying his glove at second base:

It’s probably worth noting that Braun hasn’t played middle infield since college, and he hasn’t seen a major league infield (or a minor league one, for that matter) since his rookie season in 2007, the first and last time he played a full year at third base. He didn’t exactly take to it, finishing the year with the third-worst defensive rating in the league and 26 errors in 112 games — more than any third baseman had accumulated in a single season since Casey Blake’s 26-error run with the Indians in 2004.

While it’s not yet clear how serious the Brewers are about stashing Braun at second base, Stearns said Friday that he doesn’t envision Braun’s move to the infield as a permanent or full-time change. The most likely scenario still seems to be one in which Domingo Santana is traded, freeing up space for Braun to retain his position in the outfield, but the club doesn’t appear to be entertaining any serious offers just yet.

Manny Machado, batting second, playing shortstop in his Dodgers debut

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The biggest news of the All-Star break — even bigger than the All-Star Game itself — was the trade of Manny Machado to the Dodgers. We talked about it for days, but now the talking is done: Machado is playing shortstop and is batting second in his Dodgers debut this evening against the Brewers in Milwaukee.

Machado is expected to play a little third base for the Dodgers, too, but with Justin Turner still out with a bum hop, Machado will play his preferred position. It’s not the one he plays as well, but that’s another topic altogether and is, eventually, going to be Dave Roberts’ problem.

Machado is hitting .315/.387/.575 with 24 homers and 65 RBI on the year. Those numbers all get set back to zero now that he’s in the National League, however. Tonight he begins compiling new numbers.