Tagged in: spring training

Ryan Braun, longtime Milwaukee Brewers slugger, leaning toward retirement

Ryan Braun stated he’s strongly leaning toward retirement, but the Milwaukee Brewers’ home run leader isn’t ready to make any decision regarding his future.

Braun visited the Brewers’ spring training site Monday and said he hasn’t picked up a bat since the end of the 2020 season. The 2011 NL MVP became a free agent when the Brewers declined to exercise a $15 million mutual option in his contract last October.

“I’m strongly leaning in the direction of being done as an active player,” the 37-year-old Braun said. “But I think you can always push that decision back.

I’m still young enough, still working out, still in shape. If something were to change, I might as well leave that door open as long as possible.”

Braun has spent his entire major league career with the Brewers and said that “I can’t foresee a scenario in which I play for any other major league team.”

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Last campaign, Braun batted a career-low .233 with seven homers and 27 RBIs in 39 matches while dealing with a back issue. He came on strong late in the season and had a .958 OPS in September.

His back issues prevented him from playing in the Brewers’ first-round playoff loss to the eventual World Series-champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

“Once the regular season starts and I’m able to watch some games, I feel like that’s when I’ll actually miss the game itself,” Braun said.

“I’m kind of interested to see how I feel, what it feels like. Obviously, I’ve never experienced it before. Time will tell.”

Braun made his debut with Milwaukee in 2007. His 352 homers as a Brewer are the most of anyone in franchise history.

He ranks second among all Brewers in career RBIs (1,154), extra-base hits (809), total bases (3,525) and doubles (408). He ranks third in runs (1,080), hits (1,963), triples (49), stolen bases (216) and walks (586).

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Los Angeles Dodgers expect Cody Bellinger to be ready for spring training

Cody Bellinger’s pennant-winning home run in Game 7 of the NLCS proved costly. The Dodgers outfielder on Tuesday had surgery on the right shoulder he dislocated during the celebration of said home run.

The surgery was performed in Los Angeles by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, the team informed. Bellinger is expected to start rehab in Arizona next week.

Bellinger’s home run off Braves right-hander Chris Martin in the seventh inning of Game 7 of the NLCS gave the Dodgers a 4-3 lead, which a few innings later became the third National League pennant in four years for Los Angeles.

After hitting the home run, Bellinger exchanged forearms with A.J. Pollock, then did so more aggressively with Kiké Hernández near the on-deck circle. The forearm bash was so hard, Bellinger dislocated his right shoulder, something he’s done before in his career, but on defense at first base.

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After the home run, Bellinger played the final two innings of Game 7 on defense after trainers popped his shoulder back into its socket.

Bellinger and the Dodgers downplayed the injury, and he was cleared to play all six matches of the World Series. But he was just 3-for-22 (.136/.208/.273) versus the Rays, after hitting .250/.365/.545 in the Dodgers’ first 12 playoff games. That Fall Classic performance included a home run in Game 1, after which Bellinger toned down the celebration, opting to exchange toe taps with his teammates.

“I said it before the game, if I hit one today, I’m not touching anyone’s arm. I’m going straight foot,” Bellinger said at the time. A 10-week recovery time for Bellinger would have him ready by the end of January, still with some time before spring training initiates.

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Dodgers’ Walker Buehler still finding his way through spring

 Walker Buehler is looking at the bright side of his spring training status.

”As opposed to other years at least I have one,” the Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander stated after pitching four innings versus the Milwaukee Brewers on a rainy Wednesday night at Camelback Ranch.

Buehler, who was brought along slowly last year in the Cactus League, made his third start and threw 62 pitches in four innings. He gave up three hits and one run, walked three and struck out four.

Manager Dave Roberts said before the match that he hasn’t been as sharp as usual and after he came out, Buehler agreed.

”I’m not as sharp as I want to be,” Buehler stated. ”It’s a step forward. Still trying to figure some stuff out. Getting closer to that.

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”I was a little sporadic today. But I’m pleased I did get some punchouts.”

Buehler will line up as the Dodgers’ No. 2 starter, following longtime ace Clayton Kershaw to the mound when the regular season starts in two weeks.

Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, the team’s player representative, said he didn’t have any new information about any major-league baseball plans regarding the coronavirus pandemic.

The NBA suspended its season earlier Wednesday night after a positive test for the virus.

”I think everyone was a little shocked today to hear about the NBA, and when something like that happens, it could affect the other leagues and their decisions,” Turner said.

Mookie Betts was back in the Dodger lineup, leading off and playing right field. He missed a few days because of a stomach virus. ”It seems like this happens once a year,” said Betts, who said for that reason that he was not concerned about his illness being more serious.

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