Brewers’ Vogt won’t be ready for opener; Braun hits 2 HRs

PHOENIX (AP) – Milwaukee Brewers catcher Stephen Vogt will not be ready for the season opener because of a shoulder strain.

Brewers manager Craig Counsell said Wednesday a second opinion revealed confirmed an initial diagnosis of a strained capsule.

The Brewers start the regular season on March 29 in San Diego.

“We’re just going to have to go a little slower. We’ve got to get him pain-free before he can start throwing,” Counsell said.

Manny Pina and Jett Bandy are the two other catchers on the major-league roster, and catcher Christian Bethancourt is in camp. The 30-year-old Pina is the starter after making 83 starts and appearing in 107 games last season.

Vogt would not be used as a designated hitter while he is recovering from his injury.

“But there’s no rush with the hitting. We think by the time he starts throwing and hitting, he will have plenty of at-bats,” Counsell said.

Ryan Braun had a productive day at the plate while starting at first base during an 11-3 win over the Chicago White Sox. He had two home runs and five RBIs, including a second-inning grand slam.

“The only thing I’ve tried to do all spring is not strike out. I only struck out once in 20 at-bats (19 plate appearances). I’m in a good place,” Braun said.

A left fielder getting time at first base this spring, Braun said that he might also get some time in right over the last couple weeks of spring training. Braun played right field regularly in 2014-15.

“Might as well do it while we’re here,” Braun said about right field.

The Brewers also announced on Wednesday that right-hander Aaron Wilkerson has been optioned to the team’s minor-league camp. Wilkerson was 1-1 with an 8.22 ERA in five spring games.


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