MILWAUKEE -- It's shaping into another injury-addled start to the season for Ryan Braun, who was again confined to bench duty for the Brewers on Wednesday. Not because of his back, but discomfort in the same left calf that landed Braun on the disabled list for 39 games last May
MILWAUKEE -- It's shaping into another injury-addled start to the season for Ryan Braun, who was again confined to bench duty for the Brewers on Wednesday. Not because of his back, but discomfort in the same left calf that landed Braun on the disabled list for 39 games last May and June.
Braun had just returned to the starting lineup Tuesday from several days that saw him limited by back tightness when he felt pain in his calf during the Brewers' 2-0 win over the Reds. He was replaced by pinch-runner Hernan Perez after an eighth-inning double, but the team did not cite any injury until Brewers manager Craig Counsell was asked about Braun before Wednesday afternoon's series finale.
"It was bugging him last night a little bit," Counsell said. "We'll just treat it today and see what's going on."
Braun is off to a .200/.237/.400 slash line through 55 at-bats while starting 13 of the Brewers' first 19 games. Most of his absences have been planned, part of an effort to protect his surgically-repaired back and to prevent a repeat of last season when he was limited to 380 at-bats because of a variety of injuries.
Miley back in action
Left-hander Wade Miley, who was one day away from securing a spot on the Brewers' Opening Day roster when he went down with a groin injury during the final week of Spring Training, successfully navigated a 37-pitch start for Double-A Biloxi in his season debut Tuesday.
Miley was hurt the day before he could have requested his release from a Minor League contract had the Brewers not promised him a roster spot. Miley's agent and the Brewers negotiated a compromise in which the team paid Miley a $100,000 retention bonus and agreed to again offer his release once Miley reached the end of his rehab. Tuesday's start represented a big step toward that decision date.
Miley allowed two runs (none earned) on four hits in 2 2/3 innings for Biloxi, with two strikeouts and no walks.
"Really, 'healthy' was the report," Counsell said. "He felt fine; anxious for more. So he's in a good spot to continue on. He threw 37 pitches, and we'll ramp him up quickly. We feel like we can be fairly aggressive moving up the pitch count. We're not there yet, but I think -- we're not there yet -- but he had a good base under him, so we'll move rapidly."
Miley will advance to 55-60 pitches next time out, Counsell said. After that, the team will decide how many more Minor League starts he needs, if any.
Since the Brewers have come this far with Miley, it's unlikely they would get him healthy again only to release him. Two of the pitchers currently in the rotation have Minor League options: Brent Suter and Junior Guerra.
"It doesn't do me any good [to speculate]," Counsell said. "But that's why we agreed to this, to get him there. We have to get him healthy."
• Left-handed reliever Boone Logan threw off a mound Tuesday morning for the first time since straining his left triceps in the same game Miley injured his groin.
• Nearing two weeks into his stint on the disabled list, closer Corey Knebel said he is still feeling the effects of his left hamstring injury. He mentioned optimism about a four-week timeline the day the Brewers placed him on the DL, but he may have been referring when he hoped to get back on the mound, not pitch in a game, Counsell said.
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.