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Sunday, January 31, 2016

FANTASY BASEBALL INJURY FALLOUT: RYAN BRAUN MAY NOT BE READY FOR OPENING DAY

There was some disconcerting news that came out from Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun on Sunday which could call into question his readiness for Opening Day.  Braun admitted Sunday that he will not be 100 percent for the start of spring training as he recovers from invasive back surgery last fall which no doubt is sending out some alarms as fantasy baseball drafts get set to get underway.  Braun comes off a nice comeback season in 2015 when he hit .285 with 25 home runs and 24 stolen bases before he went under the knife but at the age of 32, his body is continuing to betray him.  The fact that Braun is 32 is somewhat surprising since it doesn't seem like he has been around that long but this helps to explain the increasing rate of injuries, along with the fact his past PED usage no doubt is also a major factor.  With Braun at less than 100 percent for the start of camp, there is at least the chance he won't be ready to go for Opening Day but that is if he suffers some sort of setback over the next few weeks.  As far as what Braun could do with his production this season, his days of hitting .300 are over as that ability vanished when he got off the PED's.  While it was nice to see Braun run as much as he did in 2015, banking on a repeat of his 24 steals with a gimpy back is also not likely to happen.  Again off the steroids, Braun is no longer a 30 home run hitter and overall he is on the border of OF 1 territory given the health woes and slightly diminished statistics.  It can be a major headache to own Braun given all the maladies he suffers and so we always prefer to go with a less volatile player in his draft range.  The back issue just compounds this mode of thinking for the arriving season. 

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