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Braun’s power goes missing

June 26, 2014

Ryan Braun has not homered since June 14, a stretch of nine games.

Before that blast, Braun went through an 11-game homerless span. Together, those streaks have resulted in a two home run month so far in June, after the Milwaukee Brewers slugger tallied just a pair in May as well.

It’s not the worst low power stretch of Braun’s career. In fact, just last year he managed just two home runs in May and none the rest of the season. But it is a cause for concern.

Early in the season, the health of Braun’s thumb was a major question mark. He seemed to answer those questions, though, by hitting six home runs and slugging .600 over his first 20 games of the year.

But then he went on the disabled list with an oblique injury. Over 38 games since his return, Braun has put the ball over the fence just four times while slugging .428 with 17 extra-base hits and 32 strikeouts.

Braun is in a significant slump, and he’s said that he wants to hit his way out of it. But that slump dates back more than two months.

Going back over his last 100 games, Braun has connected for just 12 home runs, 25 doubles and five triples while batting .285/.344/.473, well below his career slash line of .310/.379/.551.

What’s causing the slump?

Some critics might point to Braun’s positive drug test in 2011 and say the drop off in power is related. Not likely.

Can it be attributed to the thumb injury? Not entirely, but it’s certainly played a major role. More importantly, if the thumb is becoming an issue again, letting Braun swing his way out of the slump isn’t likely to be effective.

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