5/30/2014 9:07 P.M. ET
Aramis to test progress in two Class A starts
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
MILWAUKEE -- Hank the Dog isn't the only Milwaukee Brewer heading north to the team's Class A affiliate this weekend.
Third baseman Aramis Ramirez plans to finish his rehabilitation from a strained left hamstring by playing two games with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, who play their home games about an hour north of Milwaukee. Ramirez will play Sunday and Monday, weather permitting, before the Brewers consider adding him back to the active roster on Tuesday against the Twins at Miller Park or Wednesday in Minneapolis.
Is he feeling ready?
"I won't know that until Sunday when I play in the game," Ramirez said. "Practicing is one thing, but when you play the game, it's different. After Sunday, I'll have a better idea, but I expect everything to go well."
Ramirez took full batting practice on Friday while manager Ron Roenicke and Brewers coaches began mulling how to work Ramirez back into the starting lineup when he was ready. All but three of his Brewers starts over the past three seasons have been as the cleanup hitter, but with Carlos Gomez filling that role ably at the moment and Milwaukee's offense humming along -- the Brewers entered Friday with at least 10 hits in eight straight games -- Roenicke said Ramirez would "not necessarily" return immediately to his usual slot.
"We talked about it today, and trying to figure out where all the pieces fit is going to be interesting," Roenicke said. "As long as we're swinging like we are, we'll just let it ride out. I'm hoping they don't quiet down, but if things quiet down a little bit, then we'll slot people differently."
Roenicke said he had already discussed with Ramirez the possibility of hitting in a position other than cleanup and that "he's fine with it."
Ramirez will probably play only part of Sunday's game before extending on Monday. And per tradition, he will treat the Timber Rattlers to dinner.
"I have no choice," Ramirez said with a chuckle. "They're going to eat well for two days."
Will he impart some advice to the young Brewers farmhands?
"If they come over, yeah," Ramirez said. "I don't know anybody. I don't even know who I'm going to see down there. I don't even know the coaches. If they come over and ask me a question, I'll be willing to help them."
Hank, the stray pup who wandered into Brewers Spring Training camp in February and ultimately found a permanent home in Milwaukee, will appear before the Timber Rattlers' game on Sunday.
Davis brings new approach to No. 5 spot in order
MILWAUKEE -- The mechanical adjustment behind Brewers left fielder Khris Davis' recent surge was minor in nature, but it has made a big difference. It was a matter of eliminating some trouble with his timing.
"I've just been getting set up on time and trusting my hands," he said Friday shortly before he started a game in the five-hole for the first time since May 5. "Earlier in the year, I felt like I was catching stuff out in front, which makes me pull-happy. I'm never working to pull as a hitter. As far as my timing, I've been catching [the baseball] deeper."
The result is better power to right field.
"My whole life, I've always used the opposite field," he said.
"We talked about it a lot," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "He has made some changes, and I can see it and the results are great. Any time you have a guy change a little bit and you see results, it's always nice because then they feel like somebody is helping them, and when things go bad again, they'll be more apt to listen."
The 26-year-old Davis homered in all three games of the Brewers' just-completed series against the Orioles, and he entered play Friday on a seven-game hitting streak during which he batted .444 (12-for-27) with four home runs.
His most recent home run was a big one. Davis' eighth-inning, three-run shot on Wednesday gave the Brewers breathing room in an 8-3 victory.
He's feeling more confident at the plate.
"It's more of a mentality thing as far as confidence-wise," Davis said. "Like I said, I just found something I believe in, and I'm going to hold onto it as long as it works. … It was only a matter of time before I found something in my swing. It's a roller coaster of a ride when you go through those struggles, but it feels comfortable now."
Of moving up to the five-hole, Davis said: "I'm going to take my AB's the same way, really. My approach is still the same. I'm still going to be working on what I want as far as my timing, working that right-center field gap."
In his first at-bat in Friday evening's series opener against the Cubs, Davis hit a run-scoring double.
• Reliever Jim Henderson, on the DL with a right shoulder injury, showed up Friday with a clean-shaven face for the first time in his Brewers tenure. He remains shut down after receiving a cortisone injection earlier this week and could not say for sure when he would resume throwing.
• Davis' teammates were hoping to get a photo of him with Orioles slugger Chris Davis, but it did not work out because the latter did not arrive until mid-series after attending the birth of a child. Khris Davis settled for a meeting at first base.
"It was a little awkward, but it was cool," Khris Davis said. "I can tell he's a cool dude. I congratulated him on his newborn."