Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun was removed in the third inning of Sunday's game because of continuing soreness in a right thumb that has bothered him for weeks and robbed him of his power.
Braun batted just once, striking out in the first inning.
The removal of Braun suggests he may be headed for the disabled list because it came just hour after manager Ron Roenicke noted Braun's thumb situation has become troublesome. Some days his star left fielder appears OK and others you can see him struggling with his swings.
"We've got to figure out what to do there," said Roenicke. "We've got to start going in the right direction with him, and sometimes it's not (going that way).
"I'm hoping we don't have to (put Braun on the disabled list) but we start making gains and he says, 'Yeah, I feel really good today,' and then all of a sudden it's a bad day and a setback.
"We keep going back and forth with this. He's out there playing, hitting third for us, and I expect the Braun that I've seen for the last two years, and he's not the same. He's still getting hits, he's still helping us win games, but he's not that guy that can carry a team like I know he can."
Braun indeed has been impacted by the ailing thumb at the plate. He is batting .304 with nine home runs and 36 RBIs, certainly not awful numbers. But Braun has had to adjust his swing to compensate for the sore thumb and has not hit a home run in his last 65 plate appearances.