Ryan Braun is back, and Aramis Ramirez is out again.
It's been that kind of season so far for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Braun was activated from the disabled list on Monday after he was sidelined for a month with a bruised right thumb. While the 2011 NL MVP returned to the active roster, the Brewers decided to put Ramirez on the DL again with a nagging left knee injury.
"It's exciting more than it is a relief," Braun said. "Being on the DL is not something I enjoyed. Definitely made me appreciate the last six years having never spent time on the DL because it's just a lot of long, boring days. I excited to be back. I excited to be able to compete again and be able to contribute, hopefully contribute to some better baseball."
Milwaukee dropped two of three against the New York Mets over the weekend and is last in the top-heavy NL Central. The parade of injuries for the Brewers started in spring training, and a shaky bullpen and rotation have played a prominent role in their decline.
Braun is batting .304 with nine homers and 36 RBIs in 57 games this season. He was not in the lineup for the opener of a three-game series against Cincinnati, but he planned to test his hand again in batting practice and could be available to pinch-hit.
"It's not close to 100 per cent, but we don't expect it to be close to 100 per cent all year," Braun said. "So as long as it's good enough, I'm thrilled about that."
Ramirez sprained his left knee on April 5 and was placed on the DL the next day. He was sidelined for a month, but the injury has lingered. He is batting .271 with five homers and 26 RBIs in 54 games.
The move for Ramirez is retroactive to Sunday. Putting the third baseman on the DL right now allows the Brewers to use the upcoming All-Star game to minimize the amount of missed games for the slugger.
Logan Schafer got the start in left field against Cincinnati, and former Reds prospect Juan Francisco was at third for Milwaukee.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke also said before the game that right-hander Wily Peralta remains in line to start on Tuesday. Peralta was forced to leave his last outing in the sixth inning on Tuesday night at Washington due to a strained left hamstring.
"No restrictions," Roenicke said. "It's all going to be dictated on what's happening. If he feels something, then, obviously, we'll address that. As far as pitches and things, there's no restrictions."