Ryan Braun given go-ahead to swing a bat

Ryan Braun should know soon if he is finally able to swing a bat properly again.

The Brewers’ rightfielder returned Monday for a follow-up visit with physician Vernon Williams, who performed a cryotherapy procedure on Braun’s ailing right thumb last Thursday at the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic in Los Angeles.

Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash said Braun was given the go-ahead to swing a bat by Williams but didn't think he would try to hit until later in the week.

Braun and the Brewers hope the procedure, in which subzero temperatures were introduced via needle into a damaged nerve at the base of his right thumb, will allow him to move past an issue that has bothered him since early in the 2013 season. When Braun does swing a bat again, he expects to be able to gauge if his pain tolerance has improved to any significant extent.

Braun’s production decreased considerably after the thumb issue prevented him from gripping a bat properly with his top hand. Combined with the season-ending suspension he received for his PED involvement with the Biogenesis clinic, Braun was limited to 61 games of action last year, batting .298 with nine home runs and 38 RBI.

The thumb continued to be a problem in 2014 and worsened as the season progressed. After batting .298 with 11 home runs and 52 RBI over 73 games before the break, Braun slipped to .226 with eight homers and 29 RBI in 62 games in the second half. Over the final month, when the Brewers fell out of the playoff race in a horrible collapse, Braun batted .210 with one homer, five RBI and .603 OPS.

Braun finished with a .266 batting average, 19 home runs and 81 RBI. His .324 on-base percentage and .453 slugging percentage were far below his previous norms.

Bookmark and Share
blog comments powered by Disqus