Mon 06/04/2015 - 18:57 EDT

Bad News Already For Brewers As Ryan Braun Injured

You can never read too much into just one game in the long, long regular season in Major League Baseball but it's hard to see how Opening Day could have gone much worse for the Milwaukee Brewers. They not only were crushed 10-0 by Colorado but lost star and former NL MVP Ryan Braun to an injury.

Bad Omen?

Braun exited Monday’s opener against the Rockies with a ribcage strain. He went 0-for-2 with a strikeout before leaving the game. He’s scheduled to be reevaluated Tuesday, it's likely an injury that could put him down for a little while. Gerardo Parra should get most of the playing time in right field for now. Braun, 31, struggled though a thumb injury last season while hitting .266/.324/.453 with 19 home runs and 81 RBI over 135 games.

Braun says he has spent this spring cleaning up some bad habits that his injured thumb forced him into last season. Braun had a cryotherapy procedure done on the thumb just four days after the 2014 season. He opened Cactus League play 0-for-13 but finished with a flourish, going 15 for his next 25 (.600) to close out the spring at .395 with three homers and nine RBI.

But most important, Braun reported no issues with the thumb. He cut down on excess swinging — not that he ever did much of that anyway in camp. Not that Braun's spring didn't come with some challenges. Most notable among them was trying to unlearn some bad habits acquired while dealing with his sore thumb. Braun was sapped of his power because he couldn't properly grip the bat, so he often was forced to inside-out the ball to right field when in the past he would have turned on it and driven it to left or left-center.

"I knew that I had gotten myself into some bad habits mechanically just because of where I was physically in dealing with the thumb thing, so I had to really kind of rework my swing and get back to a place where I felt like I was able to repeat it consistently," he said.

The Brewers came into 2015 with very concerns about depth in the infield and starting rotation. The outfield is one place where they do have a capable backup in Parra.

Tuesday's Starters

On the mound, Milwaukee turns to right-hander Matt Garza on Tuesday. Tired of landing on the disabled list in four straight seasons, Garza worked with his younger brother over the winter to simplify his delivery. In his 17 quality starts last season, Garza had a 2.21 ERA. He has beaten the Rockies in his last two starts.

Colorado counters with Jordan Lyles. He makes his first start since June 4 when he broke his left hand covering home on a wild pitch. He landed on the disabled list June 5 and missed 54 games before being activated off the 60-day DL on Aug. 6. The development of a split-finger changeup makes Lyles a more diverse pitcher than in the past. Lyles hopes results this April are like the first month last year, when he went 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA in six starts.

The Brewers are -155 favorites for Tuesday at BetOnline.

Category : Sports Betting News

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