OAKLAND (AP) – Manny Ramirez might not be ready to play for the Oakland Athletics by May 30 when his suspension ends.
Manager Bob Melvin says the A’s want to make sure Ramirez is fully prepared and comfortable with his swing before he plays in major league games following his stint with Triple-A Sacramento. Melvin still hopes that could be on time.
Ramirez was held out of Sunday’s game with the River Cats because of a wrist injury that Melvin called “a little setback.”
“We want to get him close to 40 at-bats and, whether or not we get there in 10 days, I don’t know,” Melvin said before Wednesday’s series finale against the Los Angeles Angels. “We’re not locked into the 30th. We want to make sure he’s productive, he’s feeling good about his swing, he’s getting his hits – all of those things you want to see when, potentially, he gets here. I’m not sure on the 30th, and it’s going to be a progression each and every day. We certainly hope that’s the case.”
Ramirez has been playing with the River Cats on the road and is scheduled to be in the lineup for the first time at home at Raley Field on Friday. He had three hits in eight at-bats over his first three games with Sacramento.
Ramirez turns 40 on May 30, the day he could come back in Minnesota. His 100-game suspension for a second positive drug test was cut to 50 games after he sat out most of last year.
The dreadlocked designated hitter is a .312 hitter with 555 homers and 1,831 RBIs. The 12-time All-Star faced a 50-game suspension for a second positive drug test.
This will be his 20th major league season.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.)