Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez has reportedly had a change of heart on the topic of minor league rehabilitation assignments.
According to MLB.com, Ramirez said Wednesday that he would go on a rehab assignment if the club were to ask him to.
Ramirez has been out since May 10 with a strained left hamstring and continues to progress in his recovery. On Wednesday, he took live batting practice off left-hander Wei-Chung Wang and ran the bases for the first time.
He also took his regular batting practice session and took ground balls at third base.
“I feel pretty good,” Ramirez said. “I can’t complain. Everything went according to plan.”
Ramirez said the big step is fielding, pointing out that he sustained the injury while making a defensive play.
“Running, you can control a little bit.” Ramirez said. “Playing defense, you just react.”
Manager Ron Roenicke had said earlier that he prefers players to go on a minor-league rehab assignment, so if there are setbacks, they can be addressed without the need for more roster moves.
That’s particularly pressing given that a player optioned to the minor leagues can’t be recalled for 10 days. Should Ramirez—or any player—declare he is ready to play without going on a rehab assignment, they would be activated with another player needing to be taken off the active roster.
So that could put the team in a tight spot roster-wise should the player re-aggravate the injury two or three days into his return.
The Brewers also have a geographical advantage in that their Low-A affiliate in the Midwest League, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, play their home games in Grand Chute, about an hour north of Milwaukee.
As far as when he’ll be ready to return, Ramirez hedged on a timeline.
“It will be sooner rather than later,” was all Ramirez would offer.
Roenicke was similarly non-committal, but said he expected his veteran slugger to be ready sometime over the weekend or early next week.
Ramirez is hitting .252/.309/.390 in 34 games and 136 plate appearances this season, with five home runs and 21 RBI to go with 17 strikeouts.