With Ramirez DL-bound, Brewers mull options
Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez’s strained left hamstring will send him to the disabled list before Tuesday’s game against the Pirates, but club officials were still discussing options Sunday morning for a corresponding roster move — or moves.
The outcome will depend on whether right fielder Ryan Braun ready to return from a stint on the DL for a right rib-cage strain. Braun took full batting practice again Sunday morning, but the Brewers would like to see him play a Minor League game before making a formal move. Weather worries at Class A Wisconsin on Monday and travel challenges for the other affiliates complicated that desire.
If they cannot get Braun to an affiliate, there still exists the possibility that the Brewers will roll the dice and activate him Tuesday when Ramirez hits the DL.
“Yeah, if that’s what it comes down to, that’s what we talked about,” Roenicke said.
In that scenario, Mark Reynolds and Jeff Bianchi could fill-in at third base during Ramirez’s absence.
But if Braun needs more time, the Brewers would have to call-up utility man Elian Herrera from Triple-A Nashville. The switch-hitter has already played a stint in the big leagues this season.
Further complicating matters is the uncertain status of center fielder Carlos Gomez, who had an appeal hearing for his three-game suspension on Friday. The Brewers anticipate a ruling from Major League Baseball on Monday or Tuesday, and even if Braun is back, the team may consider adding Herrera to help fill the lineup with right-handed bats against left-handed Pirates pitchers on Wednesday and Thursday.
All of the personnel shuffling gave Roenicke an uncomfortable sense of déjà vu on Sunday. Last season, he routinely scrambled to fill out a lineup card because of injuries to key, middle-of-the-order hitters.
“When I was writing up the lineup today, yes,” Roenicke said when asked about the comparison. “It was a tough one today.”
Still, for all their issues, the Brewers entered the day with a 23-14 record and a five-game lead in the National League Central.
“It’s huge, health is huge,” Roenicke said. “We’ll get through this period, hopefully get everybody the same time, but we got to get through this period playing good baseball. Our pitching I think is good enough to do that. We’ve just got to figure out with scrapping some runs. Hopefully, we get through it.”
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