Third baseman Aramis Ramirez, bothered throughout 2013 by a sprained left knee originally suffered in Spring Training that forced stints on the disabled list in April and early May, is expected to return from the Brewers' disabled list on Tuesday. He's been on the DL since July 8th.
#Brewers are now targeting the Texas series for Aramis Ramirez's return. DH on Tuesday, play 3B on Wednesday.
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) August 10, 2013
Manager Ron Roenicke is banking on some production down the stretch in a rather dismal season.
"I know he's been out a long time and it's probably not ideal [to immediately reinstate Ramirez to the cleanup spot]," Roenicke said. "It's not ideal that he doesn't go out on rehab, either. But, sometimes, that's what we do."
Roenicke discussed with Ramirez the merits of taking some Minor League at-bats before returning. Ramirez would have been amenable, Roenicke said, had the Brewers been home and Class A Wisconsin were a convenient venue. But with the Brewers in the midst of a long road trip, Ramirez exercised his right to decline a rehab assignment.
Ramirez is closer to full strength now then he was on May 3rd, when he began his first comeback.
"I think that's why he's been out so long," Roenicke said. "He could have come back, certainly a couple of weeks ago, but if he did, he would not have been healthy again."
Roenicke plans to use Ramirez as the designated hitter for one game and at third base in another during the Brewers' brief two-game trip to Texas, but declined to reveal the order.
Ramirez will earn $16 million next season in the final year of his contract, with $6 million of that total deferred. The deal includes a $14 million mutual option for 2015 with a $4 million buyout. The Brewers plan to wait until they arrive in Arlington to make the roster move required to activate Ramirez, Roenicke said.
The Brewers have missed a bat that produced 27 home runs, 105 RBIs and a National League-leading 50 doubles in 2012, Ramirez's debut season in Milwaukee. Playing through pain, Ramirez has been limited to five home runs, 26 RBIs and a .414 slugging percentage in 54 games.
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