March 2013

Good news on Ramirez, Gallardo

Brewers manager Ron Roenicke just offered positive reports on two Brewers dealing with injuries:

– An MRI scan of third baseman Aramis Ramirez’s left knee came back negative, meaning there is no structural damage in the joint. But he will have to miss some time, Roenicke said. Ramirez was hurt sliding into second base on Saturday.

“The MRI was good. It showed what we thought it was,” said Roenicke, alternatively describing it as a strain and a sprain.  “But it won’t probably be day-to-day. He’s pretty sore today, so whether it’s a week or a little more than that, that’s probably what we’re looking at.”

This qualified as good news, Roenicke said.

“I think so, and he was really happy,” he said. “I saw him before he left, and he was concerned.”

Yovani Gallardo, dealing with a right groin strain since his last start, threw a successful bullpen session on Sunday morning. So he is still on track to pitch for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic.

But here’s where it gets a bit complicated.

The Brewers want to see Gallardo start and pitch one inning for them on Tuesday in an exhibition against Team Canada. But GM Doug Melvin and assistant GM Gord Ash informed Roenicke on Sunday afternoon that Classic rules dictate a player cannot return to his Major League team after joining his Classic team, and Mexico had a players’ meeting scheduled for Sunday night.

“The rules are that if he shows up to the meeting that they have, he cannot come back with us,” Roenicke said. “He cannot come back to get treated, he can’t come back to pitch an inning on Tuesday for us. So I need to have a discussion with ‘Yo’ to see what he wants to do. They have a game on Tuesday night [an exhibition against the D-backs], so if he would rather pitch that inning for them, then we’ll do that. …

“His bullpen was good today. We would rather have him with us, but I get that he would want to be with them because [otherwise] he is going to miss out on some stuff, some fundamentals that they do tomorrow. I get it.”

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Medical report: Ramirez, Gallardo, Braun, Crosby

Some quick updates from the Brewers’ clubhouse this morning:

– Aramis Ramirez was moving VERY gingerly as he prepared to leave Maryvale Baseball Park for an MRI scan of his left knee in Chandler, Ariz. Ramirez was hurt when his knee hit the dirt sliding into second base on Saturday.

“I’m not feeling too good right now,” Ramirez said. “I’m going to go and get an MRI and we’ll have a better idea.”

Could this be bad?

“I don’t know,” Ramirez said. “I’ve never had a knee problem before. I don’t know what to expect. It doesn’t feel good right now, but the good thing is it’s not swelling right now. It’s just sore, so that’s good. We’ll see — hopefully it’s OK.

“I talked to [Alex Gonzalez, who tore his ACL last season] yesterday, and it’s not the same thing because he told me his knee swelled up right away, and even the next day it got real big, and mine isn’t. He told me he couldn’t put his pants on, it was so big. [Ramirez's own injury] is not that bad.”

– Yovani Gallardo was set for a morning bullpen session, his first time throwing off a mound since tweaking his right groin last week against the Mariners. Gallardo said he felt something between the first and second innings of that game; he wound up pitching into the third inning and allowing a pair of home runs.

“It feels better since then — a lot better,” said Gallardo, who has been playing catch for a few days without issue. “I don’t feel a thing right now. We just want to be careful at the start of the spring because there’s no need to go out there and start.”

That’s true for the Brewers’ season, but Gallardo is also committed to Team Mexico for the World Baseball Classic, and had been on line to pitch Friday night against the Americans at Chase Field. So I asked Gallardo for his gut feeling before the bullpen session — will he pitch in the Classic?

“Yeah, I am. I mean, I think I am,” he said. “Unless there’s something crazy that happens today where it goes back to how it was after that game [against the Mariners].”

He added: “If there is [discomfort], it’s something you have to think about a lot more. Going into the WBC, you want to feel 100 percent. I have to make sure it’s right, and I know my body well enough to know how it’s going to react to certain things.”

– Better news on left fielder Ryan Braun, who said he’s fine after fouling a pitch off his left knee on Thursday. Braun sat out Saturday’s game against the Angels as a precaution but said he’d be ready to play all nine innings for Team USA later this week.

“I’ll be good,” Braun said.

– Infielder Bobby Crosby, dealing with a quadriceps strain, said he’s “99.9 percent sure” he will be able to launch his comeback in Tuesday’s exhibition against Team Canada at Maryvale Baseball Park.

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Braun, Ramirez banged up

With Ryan Braun resting a bruised left knee, Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez was similarly sidelined on Saturday when he jammed his left knee on a slide at second base.

Ramirez’s bloop double down the left field line snapped an 0-for-10 start, but he came up limping after sliding into the bag. He left the Angels-Brewers game immediately, then walked back to the clubhouse with head athletic trainer Dan Wright for evaluation. The official diagnosis was a left knee strain.

“When he slid into the bag, the impact,” manager Ron Roenicke said. “They checked it out and they don’t think there’s any damage anywhere, but it’s day-to-day, and that usually ends up being more than just a day.”

The Brewers play at the Cubs on Sunday before a team off-day on Monday.

Both of the Brewers’ middle-of-the-order hitters are now banged up. Braun did not play Saturday after taking a foul ball of his left knee two days earlier, though Roenicke was confident the injury would not prevent Braun from playing for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.

“He went through all of his workouts, hit up here and just didn’t feel right running,” Roenicke said.

Braun will join Team USA on Sunday and participate in workouts and exhibitions throughout the week before the team’s Classic opener against Canada on Friday night.

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