CINCINNATI -- Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun was hopeful Saturday that his first career stint on the disabled list would be up after the minimum 15 days.
The team finally placed Braun on the DL on Friday night with a right hand injury that has bothered him for about a month. The move was backdated to June 10, so he will be eligible to return to the lineup beginning June 25 against the Cubs.
"That's my hope, but I don't want to get too far ahead of myself," Braun said. "If I'm able to come off [after] 15 days, that's only eight more games. It sounds like a long time when you say, '15-day DL,' but it's not that long from now."
Braun has received treatment throughout his career for occasional back and groin tightness, and this season he has also battled a sore neck. But before Friday night, he had never landed on the disabled list in a Major League career that began in May 2007.
The Brewers replaced him on the active roster with left-handed-hitting outfielder Caleb Gindl.
"I took a lot of pride in having never spent a day on the DL," Braun said. "But at this point all I can do is look forward and try to do everything I can to get back as quickly as possible.
"I've dealt with little things before, and I've always tried to play through everything. But this just got to the point where I had played through it for a prolonged period of time and hadn't seen any progress. I think everyone was on the same page [about going to the DL] and taking the time to get it back to at least close to being healthy."
Placing Braun on the DL, manager Ron Roenicke said, "gives him a shot to get this thing right. He can go out there and play, but we know we're not going to have the guy we're used to having. Maybe when he comes off the DL, I'm hoping it will go away. But if it doesn't, then he will have to go out there and try to play with it, fight through it."
Schafer dazzling at the plate as he fills in for Braun
CINCINNATI -- For the first time in five years, the Brewers have a new regular left fielder: Logan Schafer.
"Getting to play every day will be awesome," said Schafer, who made his fifth consecutive start in place of the injured Ryan Braun on Saturday and delivered three hits for the second straight game. "I'm really excited for that opportunity to get a lot of at-bats in a row and get that comfort back, and hopefully I can hang onto it and enjoy some success."
That is, hang onto the sense of comfort. Schafer does not expect to hang on to the job.
"Look, I'm not Ryan Braun. I'm Logan Schafer," he said. "The only player I can be is myself. I'm not going to try to do too much. Bunting is still a part of my game, moving runners over, getting the guy behind me in the best situation to help the team. We're trying to push across runs. Any way I can do that, I'm going to."
Schafer is 8-for-21 (.381) in five starts since the Brewers shut Braun down to rest his right hand, and 16-for-39 (.410) over his last 13 games. The first two games against the Reds marked the first consecutive multi-hit efforts of his career.
With Caleb Gindl called up from Triple-A Nashville to take Braun's spot, three of the Brewers' four outfielders are left-handed hitters. Only center fielder Carlos Gomez bats righty.
This means that Schafer will be a regular starter even when the Brewers face left-handed pitchers. He was 2-for-6 against southpaws this season entering Saturday, and last season at Triple-A Nashville he batted a respectable .261 against lefties (versus .290 against right-handers).
"I have no problem with lefties," Schafer said. "In fact, I think that sometimes when you're facing a left-hander as a left-handed batter, at least for me, I simplify a little bit. It gets me back to ground zero of my swing. It helps me be a little quieter. I feel like I've handled lefties pretty well throughout my entire career."
Braun offered Schafer a vote of confidence.
"I think coming into the year, we knew that he was a really good player," Braun said. "He's a great defender. He's had great at-bats. The more playing time he's got, the better his at-bats have been. He's been really impressive."
Outfielder Gindl thrilled to get the callup
CINCINNATI -- Outfielder Caleb Gindl arrived from Triple-A Nashville on Saturday and became the sixth Milwaukee Brewer to make his Major League debut in a season yet to hit its halfway point.
Previous MLB debuts included Khris Davis (April 1), Josh Prince (April 6), Hiram Burgos (April 20), Donovan Hand (May 26) and Scooter Gennett (June 3).
"It's the best feeling of my life," Gindl said before the game.
The Brewers promoted Gindl after placing left fielder Ryan Braun on the 15-day disabled list. At 24, Gindl became the youngest of the Brewers' six players to debut when he struck out against the Reds' Homer Bailey in the seventh inning.
He is used to that label. Gindl was a Brewers' fifth-round Draft pick in 2007 out of Pace High School in Florida, and he was 22 when he debuted in Triple-A in 2011. He had been waiting there patiently for a promotion.
"The last two weeks, he has really swung the bat well," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "He hangs in there, gives you a nice at-bat. Especially right now, because he's got a lot of at-bats under his belt [from Triple-A], I think he'll be a good pinch-hitter for us for a while. Now, how long that lasts, that he's good without me starting him, I don't know. That's always hard to predict. But he does all the things well that you want from a bench player."
Gindl was batting .274 at Nashville with eight home runs and a team-best 38 RBIs. He hit .364 over his last 10 games and got the call over Davis, who was hitting .125 over his last 10 contests.
"We try to go by whoever is doing the job, and [Gindl] is swinging the bat the best down there, and we know he plays pretty good defense," Roenicke said.
• As of Saturday afternoon, the Brewers still had not named starting pitchers for any games in their upcoming series in Houston. Club officials are trying to decide where to insert a fifth starter, and who that starter will be. The options include left-hander Chris Narveson, who had a so-so rehab outing for Triple-A Nashville on Friday, or another "bullpen day," with Tom Gorzelanny making his second start of the season or Donovan Hand his first.
"We're discussing it right now," manager Ron Roenicke said.