Ryan Braun decides to rest his ailing right hand

Miami — While there's been no definitive decision, there's a chance Ryan Braun will be held out of all three of the Milwaukee Brewers' games against the Miami Marlins to open the team's nine-game, 11-day road trip.

"It's possible," Braun said Monday. "I don't think anything's set in stone. But it's possible."

Braun left Sunday's win over the Philadelphia Phillies at Miller Park in the third inning after aggravating his injured right hand, with Logan Schafer replacing him both in that game and in Monday's 6-1 victory at Marlins Park.

There is precedent for Braun being held out of a chunk of games. He did so in the second series of the season when he was dealing with neck spasms. The Brewers went on to lose all three of those games.

If he took off all three games in Miami, the Brewers then have Thursday off before opening a weekend series in Cincinnati.

"We've talked about it," manager Ron Roenicke said about Braun possibly being held out for the series. "We'll kind of see how it goes. There's a chance that to get him right, we may have to do that."

Braun was available to pinch hit but ultimately was held out Monday. To use him, Roenicke will have to weigh risk vs. reward to try and keep the hand from flaring up.

"It becomes a decision whether I think the one at-bat has a chance to set him back and how important the at-bat is," Roenicke said.

Braun said pinch hitting in previous games has aggravated his hand.

"There have been a couple times where I've taken a day," he said. "But the first time I had a day off, I pinch hit. The next time I took a single day. I'm not going to take BP today. I'm going to try to not do anything that irritates it, and we'll see where we're at tomorrow and over the next couple days.

"But it's definitely at the point to where we need to get it back to close to being healthy, and I need to get to the point to where I can take a regular swing."

Has the disabled list been discussed as a possibility?

"We'll wait and see what happens," Roenicke said. "We haven't talked about doing that yet. Hopefully it won't come to that."

Braun was asked when exactly he injured his hand.

"It happened about a month ago," he said. "I don't remember the game, but it was a specific instance on a swing. When it originally happened, my thumb was numb for like a week, week and a half. I eventually got the feeling back.

"It's not just my thumb. It's my hand. There's a nerve and a ligament in my hand. The majority of it has been between my index finger and the thumb."

Braun said to this point, nothing he or the team's athletic training staff has tried has helped greatly aside from taking time off.

"We've discussed the last month, off an on, trying to figure out the best way to deal with thing," he said. "We've tried all kinds of different treatments, then we tried different stuff in the batting glove and on the bat to try and relieve some of the pain.

"But it's at the point where I'm going to take a little time to try and get it right."

Braun's swing has become markedly different while he has dealt with the injury.

While he's hitting .304, his ability to drive the ball has been almost non-existent.

Braun has nine home runs, tying him for second on the Brewers with Jean Segura, but has just one extra-base hit in June and only two in his last 13 games.
"I've tried to change the way I've held the bat, tried to change my bat path, tried to do a lot of different things to compensate for the pain and get it to the point to where it doesn't hurt when I swing," said Braun.

"But I haven't been overly successful doing it. So it's at the point to where I need to take the time to get it back to close to being healthy so I can take a regular swing and hold the bat the way I regularly hold the bat."

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