MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez is out of the lineup for the second straight game Sunday with a bruised left wrist, but he expects to start Monday against the Cubs.
“We’re going to give it one more day,” Ramirez said. “Hopefully I should be able to play tomorrow.”
Ramirez was hit in the left wrist by a Mat Latos fastball in the first inning of Friday’s 5-1 victory over the Reds. After staying in the game to run the bases, Ramirez was pulled prior to the top of the second inning.
The injury is the latest blow in what’s been a frustrating season for Ramirez. He’s on pace to have his fewest plate appearances since 2009 when he missed significant time with a shoulder injury. Ramirez originally sprained his left knee during spring training and has twice landed on the disabled list this season with the same injury.
Though Milwaukee is just playing out the final weeks of the season, Ramirez wants to be out on the field but understands there’s no sense of risking further injury.
“You want to be out there because all your teammates and everybody are still out there,” Ramirez said. “We’re not in the race or anything, but you want to finish strong. You want to go home feeling good about yourself.
Winter ball for Juan: When Brewers first baseman Juan Francisco approached manager Ron Roenicke about the possibility of playing winter ball this offseason, Milwaukee’s skipper had no issue with him doing so.
While many like shortstop Jean Segura need the time off after a long season, Francisco could benefit from the at-bats and reps in the field.
The 26-year-old Francisco will play for Tigres del Licey in the Dominican Winter League, working at both first base and third base.
“I think that would help him,” Roenicke said. “I think he and (Brewers hitting coach) Johnny (Narron) are going to get together. He knows what Johnny has been wanting him to do. It’s very difficult to ask a guy who comes over to you in a season to say ‘Hey, this is what you need to do.’ He’s trying to make an impression on us, he wants a job next year with us — starting if it can be. To make him change and all of a sudden he doesn’t perform well and then you don’t keep him, that gets a little difficult.
“If it is your guys that you’ve had and you know you are bringing them back next year and they know you are bringing the back, that’s different. You can ask a guy to do some things. That’s what we’ve been caught with this year is what’s fair to him? Is it fair to have him change and if he doesn’t succeed and we don’t bring him back? I’ve always had trouble with that.”
There’s been quite the debate among the organization about Francisco, a player capable of putting up big power numbers but often struggling to make contact with high strikeout totals. The Brewers have decisions to make at first base heading into next season and winter ball could provide them with another evaluation period.
“There’s a lot of discussions on him, not that there’s that many different opinions, but there’s a lot of discussions,” Roenicke said. “We’ve got to figure out what we are going to do at first base next year. It’s a big question.”
Days off: Brewers left fielder Khris Davis and right fielder Norichika Aoki were out of the lineup Sunday as a precaution.
Davis missed seven games with left wrist soreness before returning Saturday. He drove a double off Homer Bailey in his second at-bat Saturday and finished 1-for-4.
“A little sore swinging, maybe not as much sore but didn’t feel quite right,” Roenicke said. “I could have put him back out there but he’s still a little bit sore so I gave him another day also.”
Aoki is currently in one of his offensive funks, something usually cured by a day off.
“I think he is pressing,” Roenicke said. “I think anytime his average starts going down he wants to get it back up, though usually he brings it right back up. It’s getting to the end of the season, he’s played a lot and he wants to finish strong. At this time there’s a lot of guys that are pressing.”