For the second consecutive series, Ryan Braun is out of the starting lineup for the final game of the series.
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) April 4, 2018
The 34-year-old outfielder and platoon first baseman has been a staple in the Milwaukee lineup since 2007, but with the acquisitions of Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich, Braun's opportunities are scheduled to see a steady decline.
While rest makes sense for the aging former MVP, some Brewers fans don't seem to be enjoying his days in the dugout.
I have no idea why Braun isn't playing today. 2 hits last night.
— Brewers 2018 World Series Champions (@Brew22Crew35) April 4, 2018
Where’s Braun? Makes zero sense for him to not be playing. 😱
— Carol Weise (@carol_weise) April 4, 2018
i know,, but tbh i’d rather have braun at first rather than Thames in.
— #GibbyforVezina (@alysss_a33) April 4, 2018
In two of his five games this year, Braun has played hero for the Brewers.
In their second game against the Padres, he launched a three-run homer in the top of the 9th to lift the Crew past the Friars and Tuesday's game ended in miraculous fashion after he and Yelich hit back-to-back jacks to save a game that looked hopeless.
But after both of those performances, Braun has spent his next day on the pine.
Venturing a guess, it's safe to assume no player in MLB history has hit two game-winning home runs within a four-game span and spent the next day on the bench after both.
According to the Journal-Sentinel's Tom Haudricourt, Brewers manager Craig Counsell informs Braun the day before an off-day that he'll get the next game off.
When Haudricourt asked if he'll schedule 40 off days in exchange for 40 home runs, Counsell said, "I'll take 30."
That could provide a hint as to how many off-days Braun is scheduled to have in 2018.
While there are plenty of upset fans, there some that understand the move.
Braun doesn’t need to be in the lineup every day/game. That’s the great thing about the depth they have. Better to give him regular rest and keep him healthy.
— TC Banks (@TcBanks) April 4, 2018
If it’s not “where’s Braun” it’s “where’s Domingo” 😂😂 depth people! Get used to it
— TSMITH (@tyjsmith9) April 4, 2018
Depth is always valuable to have, especially when injuries starting cropping up later in the season. Plus, keeping a veteran like Braun fresh for dog days of the season in late August could be big for a playoff push.