Ramirez upset about rash of plunkings

The Brewers scratched third baseman Aramis Ramirez from Saturday’s lineup, a casualty of a wayward pitch that struck his left elbow in Friday’s series-opening win against the D-backs. He had some compelling thoughts about the rate at which Brewers batters have been struck this season.

Opponents have dotted the Brewers 29 times, most by far in the National League and second-most in the Majors entering Saturday to Tampa Bay’s 30. No other NL club had been hit more than the Cubs’ 16.

Ryan  Braun (hit five times) and Nyjer Morgan (four) rank second and third among NL hitters in plunkings. Corey Hart, Rickie Weeks and Jonathan Lucroy have been hit three times apiece, all tied for fifth in the league.

“That’s got to change, because that’s not fun,” Ramirez said. “You can hurt people. Look at [Rickie] Weeks, he missed three games when he got hurt when he was hit by a pitch [in a game against the Cubs earlier this month]. I’m missing today. At some point, that’s got to stop.”

How do you make it stop?

“You don’t want to hit people, and you don’t want to hurt people, but at the same time, you have to protect your players,” Ramirez said.  “It’s one thing to pitch in and another thing to pitch at people.

“I always say, it’s tough to hit me because I’m far away from the plate. Braun is the same way, he’s far away from the plate. If you hit Braun or myself, it doesn’t have to be on purpose, but we shouldn’t be hit that often. That’s why I say, it’s hard to make it stop, and I understand that pitchers have to pitch in, they have to use both sides of the plate, but if you don’t know how to pitch in, you shouldn’t be going in there.”

Either Brewers pitchers are not working inside, or they are hitting their spots when they do. Entering Friday, they had hit the third-fewest opposing batters — nine — in the Majors.

Ramirez was in the Brewers’ original lineup but that changed before the team took the field to stretch. Cody Ransom shifted from shortstop to third base and Edwin Maysonet was inserted as the starter at shortstop.

“I’m doing all right,” Ramirez said. “I’m going to take today off and work on it. Hopefully, I’ll be ready to go [Sunday].”

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