MIAMI -- Ryan Braun was not in the starting lineup for the third straight game Wednesday, and the All-Star outfielder was not pleased with how his injured right hand was feeling.
Braun, who has not swung a bat since the third inning Sunday, said the hand felt the same as it did coming into the Marlins series.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke did not rule Braun out of Wednesday's game, saying he would be available if the situation was big enough. But Roenicke would like to avoid using his slugging left fielder with the hope of having him back in the lineup this weekend against the division-rival Reds.
"He's not swinging a bat, so it's hard to say," Roenicke said of Braun's status going forward. "I think the more we keep him off of it, the better. It's going to get better. It's just a matter of if four days is enough."
Braun would like to be back in action Friday when the Brewers open a three-game set in Cincinnati. But the 29-year-old acknowledged that he was not sure if his hand would be improved by then.
"I hope so," Braun said. "I hope that it gets better. I'm optimistic. I'll show up every day and do my rehab and stuff in the training room and hope it gets better."
The five-time All-Star appeared frustrated before Wednesday's game when asked about the status of his ailing hand. Braun hoped the time off would allow for improvement even though it did not yet feel any better.
"The frustration, I don't know if it should be there today," Roenicke said. "I could see if he was playing and frustrated, but at least we're trying to fix it. If we could get rid of this thing where Friday if he comes back and it still hurts, I could see some real frustration because we've done what we could do."
Should Braun not be ready to return to action this weekend, Roenicke said the Brewers would most likely consider placing their star player on the disabled list.
"If things Friday and Saturday don't go well, then we will see about that," Roenicke said.
David Villavicencio is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.