03/14/2013 2:03 AM ET
Aramis tests knee, eyes return to Brewers lineup
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Aramis Ramirez put his sprained right knee to the test again Wednesday and said he was hoping to return to the Brewers' starting lineup on Friday against the Indians or Saturday against the Reds.
Ramirez injured his knee sliding into second base on March 2 and has been testing it in recent days in the batting cage, at third base and on the basepaths. His final test Wednesday came when Ramirez practiced sliding on a mat.
"One more test," Ramirez said. "I've already hit a lot, ran the bases twice and taken grounders. The last test is I'm going to slide and see how it feels. We'll see."
After their off-day Thursday, the Brewers have 16 exhibition games left on the schedule. Ramirez said he could get plenty of at-bats to feel ready for Opening Day on April 1 against the Rockies.
"There's no need to rush it now," Ramirez said.
Brewers to Schafer: Don't get discouraged
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Brewers outfielder Logan Schafer said he was happy for teammate Carlos Gomez, who signed a three-year contract extension on Wednesday that could block Schafer's road to regular playing time.
The Brewers' three starting outfielders -- Ryan Braun, Gomez and Norichika Aoki -- are all under club control through at least 2016, when Gomez's deal expires. Schafer, 26, projects as the Brewers' fourth outfielder this season.
"Doug [Melvin, Milwaukee's general manager,] talked to Logan, and I said a few things to Logan," manager Ron Roenicke said. "Things change so fast in this game, and if you're playing well, you're not held up too much anymore.
"Example: Aoki last year. His role was going to be he's a part-time player, he's a pinch-hitter. Next thing you know, he's our everyday right fielder. Coming into this season, he's our everyday right fielder. So, those things change in a hurry. Logan is a really good player. Somewhere along the line, he will get his chance to play every day.
"Until then, he's going to get a lot of playing [time] because he's very versatile in the outfield. Great defense. The guy can play -- he can square up a baseball. He's going to be used a lot off the bench. With the personnel we have right now on this team, I don't think he's going to be bored sitting on the bench. He's going to be very active."
Schafer is at the head of a class of Brewers outfield prospects that also includes Khris Davis, Caleb Gindl, Josh Prince and Kentrail Davis.
Morris among latest cut from Brewers camp
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Brewers returned Hunter Morris to Minor League camp on Wednesday, deciding he could benefit from some Triple-A seasoning before making the jump to the Majors.
Outfielder Kentrail Davis and catcher Adam Weisenburger also were returned to the Minors, and second baseman Scooter Gennett, outfielder Josh Prince and right-hander Jesus Sanchez were optioned to Triple-A Nashville.
Morris, Milwaukee's reigning Minor League Player of the Year after a huge season at Double-A Huntsville, had been considered earlier in camp to fill in at first base while Corey Hart works his way back from knee surgery. He was 3-for-25 (.120) with a solo home run in Cactus League play.
"When you look at a guy coming from Double-A, if he just goes off in the spring you may think, 'You know something? Maybe he can handle the atmosphere and all that,'" manager Ron Roenicke said. "He was definitely a name that we thought of, but it's not like I was thinking he was going to be our guy. Things like that do happen, but he needs to go to Triple-A and continue to improve on his defense, and then have another big year offensively."
Alex Gonzalez, Taylor Green, Bobby Crosby and Sean Halton will continue sharing time at first base this month.
Minor League Spring Training games begin this weekend.
• Right-hander Hiram Burgos, one of five players with Brewers ties still active in the World Baseball Classic, starred in Puerto Rico's come-from-behind victory over Italy on Wednesday. Burgos pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings to earn the victory after Puerto Rico rallied for three runs in the eighth.
The 25-year-old was Milwaukee's Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2012 after going 10-4 with a 1.95 ERA in 27 starts and one relief appearance at three different affiliates. He is expected to begin 2013 in the Triple-A Nashville starting rotation.
• After a poor start against the Rangers on Tuesday, right-hander Mark Rogers' next step was unclear. Manager Ron Roenicke would not commit Wednesday to Rogers' next start being in a Cactus League game, saying, "We're still trying to figure out some things." Roenicke said he could not elaborate.
• Brewers right-handed reliever Brandon Kintzler was struck on his glove (left) hand by an A.J. Pollock comebacker in the sixth inning but made an inning-ending play. The Brewers diagnosed him with a bruise.
• At least three Brewers will be working on Thursday's off-day: Right-handers Marco Estrada and Wily Peralta are scheduled to pitch in Minor League camp under pitching coach Rick Kranitz's watch. Estrada is slated to begin the season as the team's No. 2 starter.