ST. LOUIS -- Third baseman Aramis Ramirez took another day Friday to rest his balky lower back and hoped to resume his march to a seventh 100-RBI season on Saturday.Ramirez, 11 RBIs shy of reaching the century mark for the first time since 2008, tweaked his back on a swing on Wednesday night in Miami. He spoke of improvement from Thursday to Friday and characterized the decision to sit out the Brewers' scheduled season-opener at Busch Stadium as precautionary. "That's something that you don't want to rush," he said. "If I tweak that again, I would probably be out for the rest of the season." Instead, he wants to finish strong in the first season of a three-year deal struck just after last December's Winter Meetings. After a slow start, Ramirez had batted .327 over his last 88 games, boosting his batting average from .218 to .295. He leads the National League with 43 doubles and entered Friday among the league leaders in extra-base hits (third, 66), RBIs (sixth, 89) and slugging percentage (seventh, .523). "I always said that if I'm healthy and play the game the way I'm supposed to be playing, the numbers will be there," Ramirez said. "I don't care about how I start -- at the end, they will be there if I play the way I'm supposed to be playing."
Green makes long journey back to Brewers
ST. LOUIS -- Taylor Green's long, long Friday began on Vancouver Island and ended in St. Louis, where he was supposed to be in the Brewers' starting lineup before Mother Nature threatened to get in the way.Green, passed over when the Brewers made their September call-ups, was belatedly added to the roster on Friday while third baseman Aramis Ramirez sat out a second straight game with a tight back. Green got the call Thursday when he was just outside of Spokane, Wash., on a long drive home to Comox, British Columbia from Triple-A Nashville. He finished the drive, rose at 3 a.m. for a flight from Nanaimo, B.C. to Vancouver to Chicago to St. Louis, and arrived at Busch Stadium after 5 p.m. CT. He found himself in the starting lineup. Manager Ron Roenicke preferred Green over Jeff Bianchi because Green is a "true" third baseman; Bianchi is a shortstop. "If you're here, you might as well play, right?" Green said. He played briefly with the Brewers earlier this season and batted .198 in 44 games. Green spent most of the year at Nashville, hitting .279 with seven home runs and 29 RBIs in 77 games. Was Green upset the Brewers didn't promote him with their first wave of September callups? "Not really," he said. "I understood why. A guy like me has to put up big numbers in order to deserve it. So I completely understood, and I'm just really happy to be here." Green's agent, Joshua Kusnick reported via Twitter on Friday that Green will also play this winter in the Dominican Republic.
Roenicke hopes Brewers vault into playoff contention
ST. LOUIS -- Are the Brewers postseason contenders? It appears that manager Ron Roenicke wants to see how this weekend at Busch Stadium goes before making a determination.Asked about the plan for recently-recalled right-hander Tyler Thornburg, Roenicke said there was "not a definite plan. We want to see how we do in this series, and whether we slip him in to go to a six-man rotation or we slip him in the bullpen to pitch some before he goes into that [starting] slot again." The Brewers made a late run up the National League Wild Card standings by winning 11 of 13 games from Aug. 20-Sept. 2, moving from 12 1/2 games back of the second Wild Card berth -- currently held by the Cardinals -- to 6 1/2 games back. After splitting a four-game series in Miami, the Brewers were seven games behind the Cardinals entering a three-game series. After that comes three games against the Wild Card-leading Braves. "Then, we'll see where we are," Roenicke said. "Shoot, we can't wait any longer. We've played well for a long time and it got us in this position, and I've really enjoyed watching these guys play. Just to see us back up on that board again, even if it's the last one, in the Wild Card hunt, it's nice to see."