Braun returned for Tuesday night's game against the Chicago Cubs
after missing two starts with an Achilles injury that has been
bothering him for weeks, along with a strained right hip that
caused him to leave Friday's game. Also Tuesday, Braun learned that
he was fourth overall in NL All-Star voting in the first update
released by Major League Baseball.
That's despite a tumultuous offseason that threatened to wreck
his reputation, as Braun's potential 50-game suspension for a
positive drug test was overturned by an arbitrator. Braun, who went 1 for 4 with a double in the Brewers' 10-0 loss to the Cubs Tuesday, has
received enthusiastic support from the majority of Brewers fans
this season but has been booed at times on the road.
"It's not something I've ever given a lot (of thought) to," Braun said.
"Like I said, I've always been appreciative of the support of the
fans in All-Star voting. But beyond that, it's not something I
think about too much day to day, that's for sure."
Braun has 1,112,971 votes, trailing Los Angeles Dodgers
outfielder Matt Kemp, Cincinnati first baseman Joey Votto and St.
Louis outfielder Carlos Beltran in the National League. That
indicates a potential dip for Braun, who led the NL in last year's
voting -- but only slightly.
Braun is more concerned about his nagging injuries than he is
about his place in the voting.
"You always hope it goes away, but I think any injury you deal
with during the season rarely goes away completely," Braun said.
And while Braun says he'll try to pick his spots when it comes
to stealing bases to avoid undue strain, he doesn't want to
completely cut out that part of his game.
"If they're giving me a stolen base, I feel like it's stupid
not to take it," Braun said. "They give us times on pitchers, and
whenever a guy's 1.5 (seconds) or slower to the plate, I'm going to
be safe 99.9 percent of the time. I'll try to pick and choose my
spots, but I think it's an important part of my game, and our game,
and there's even more emphasis on it when we lose a guy like Prince (Fielder), just because we've got to find a way to manufacture
Third baseman Aramis Ramirez was out of Tuesday's lineup with a
left quad strain.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.