Last September, Ryan Braun and his wife Larisa had their second child and sleep since then has not come easy to the veteran for the Milwaukee Brewers.
However, other than that the Brewers slugger says he is fitter than he has been in many years after not worrying about treatment for his thumb or back surgery this offseason. Braun says he is anxious about spring training that starts in February.
Braun is easily the most recognizable face left at Milwaukee. The team is going through a huge rebuilding period. At the age of 33, Braun is now the oldest on the club. He is coming off a quite productive 2016 season where he his batting average was .305 and he hit 30 home runs and knocked in 91 runs.
Two years ago, Braun underwent a procedure that fixed a nerve issue close to his right thumb. The following year he underwent back surgery.
This offseason, the biggest issue related to baseball for the veteran has been speculation whether Milwaukee would finally deal him to another club.
Braun currently is heading into his second year of an extension of 5 years and will be paid this season $20 million.
Braun when asked about a trade said he has dealt for a while with different trade rumors so it does not mean that much to him.
He has no control over those rumors so he has learned to remain focused on those things he can control.
It appears the rebuilding by the team is on schedule. The Brewers won 73 games a season ago, which were 5 wins more than 2015. The first piece of the future of the team arrived in August in the form of Orlando Arcia a highly touted prospect at shortstop.
Travis Shaw was acquired from Boston. Shaw’s left-handed bat will help Milwaukee’s predominantly right-handed batting order.
Eric Thames another left-handed bat will play first after playing in South Korea three years and having a great deal of success.
The Brewers will have speed on the base path again with the return of Jonathan Villar who led baseball in steals with 62 last season, and Hernan Perez.
Other prospects acquired in deals at the trade deadline the past two seasons are beginning to reach the top rung of the minors and will soon produce for the team in the big leagues.
Braun is looking forward to having a stronger team around him and battling for a playoff berth in the National League in 2017.