Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun will be in the lineup for the first time this spring training after undergoing back surgery over the off-season, the Brewers official Twitter account posted earlier today.
Today's lineup vs. the White Sox:
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) March 16, 2016
“If Opening Day was three weeks ago, I would have been ready,” Braun said. “I’ve been ready. I feel good. I feel fine.”
Braun, who turned 32 in November, batted .285/.356/.498 with 25 home runs and 84 runs batted in for the Brewers last year. The six-time MLB all-star also stole 20+ bases for the 4th time in his career.
In 2016, Braun will make $19 million in the first year of a five-year $105 million contract the slugger signed back in 2011 when he was the National League’s MVP. Braun will also be shifting back to left field after spending his last two seasons in right field to help the Brewers play to the strengths of 23-year-old Domingo Santana.
Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections have Braun slashing .280/.345/.480 with 23 home runs to go with 90 runs batted as well as 18 stolen bases. Keon Broxton looks like the favorite to win the Brewers center field job right now, meaning the Brewers outfield of Braun-Broxton-Santana will combine for 41 steals.
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