Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez is unlikely to return when his DL stint expires, according to manager Ron Roenicke. Ramirez sprained his left knee on April 5th and went to the DL the next day, having injured the same knee just a month before in spring training.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Tom Haudricourt reported that Roenicke was pessimistic about Ramirez's chances of coming back on April 21st, the first date he is eligible to do so:
"He played catch yesterday but it's not coming along as quick as it did in spring training," said Roenicke, referring to the two weeks Ramirez missed when he first sprained the knee. "So, it's hard to answer when exactly that date is going to be. We'll just, day to day, see how he progresses, how he feels. But I know, and I talked to him yesterday about it, we can't rush this thing.
Although the Brewers have struggled with Ramirez out of the lineup, Roenicke is more concerned about the injury getting even worse if he comes back too soon. Roenicke said that the "turn slide coming into second" was the action he was really concerned about, and that even when the third baseman is ready to return, caution will be exercised on the basepaths:
"Once he's back, as much as I hate to do it, as much as he hates to do it, we can't be aggressive with him on the bases. We'll stop sending him unless it's a stand-up double. He needs for awhile at least to stop at first. He's OK if he keeps hitting them off the wall. The ones in the gap, he's going to have to put in the breaks."
Roenicke's comments suggest that Ramirez's supply of doubles will be limited when he returns, a further cause of concern for an already power-sapped Brewers lineup. Haudricourt notes that Ryan Braun's home run on Sunday ended a remarkable 32-inning scoreless streak, a club record. The Brewers' team .370 slugging percentage for the season ranks above only San Diego, Pittsburgh and Miami in the National League.
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