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MANNY RAMIREZ WILL NOT PLAY WITH THE A’S UNTIL HE’S IN SHAPE
Thu, 31 May 2012 03:42 PM EDT

The Oakland Athletics have no agenda for calling up Manny Ramirez, who becomes qualified this week.

When the suspended slugger is deemed major league ready, the Athletics plan to promote him from Triple-A Sacramento. Oakland assistant GM David Forst declared that team brass will receive updates each night from the Triple-A staff to establish when the 12-time All-Star might join Oakland. Vegas odds

“We want to make sure Manny feels he is 100 percent ready when we pull on the trigger on this move,” Forst said. “I don’t have any time frame apart from we are watching it every day.”

Ramirez is lined up to be reinstated by MLB after the A’s 50th game at Minnesota, also his 40th birthday.

After playing the Minnesota Twins, the A’s have a weekend series at Kansas City. Hence the club may come to a decision to wait it out for Ramirez through the road trip and keep him playing home games for Sacramento through Friday before the River Cats travel to Tacoma. The A’s host the two-time reigning AL champion Texas Rangers beginning Monday night.

Forst recounted when Ramirez does return, the A’s need him to stay in the big leagues for the remainder of the season and that explains why it is best to wait for now despite the A’s offensive struggles.

Ramirez is batting .250 (8 for 32) with no home runs or extra-base hits and 4 RBIs with 7 strikeouts and 3 walks in 9 games with Sacramento.

“He had a fun game yesterday, hit the ball hard a couple times,” Forst related. “I don’t think we have any objective in terms of effectiveness or at-bats. I suspect we have seen him make improvement but we’ve got to make sure everybody feels he’s major league prepared. Once we make the move we need him to be here to stay and to be in a position to lead every day.”

Ramirez, who had to serve a 50-game suspension for a 2nd positive drug test, believes he is making progress every day he is facing live pitching.

“Like I announced, I haven’t played in a year,” he claimed Monday in Sacramento. “You miss a year; it’s going to take a lot. You see plenty of guys in the big leagues and here, they play the whole year and they’re still attempting to get it. Imagine when you miss a year.”

Ramirez is looking for a return in what would be his 20th major league season. He is a career .312 hitter with 1,831 RBIs.

The A’s signed Ramirez to a one-year junior league contract on Feb. 20 that’s worth roughly $500,000 if he’s added to the big league registry.

Ramirez retired from the Tampa Bay Rays last season rather than serve a 100-game suspension for a 2nd failed drug test. The penalty was cut to 50 games as he sat out nearly all of last season.

He ranks 14th on the career list with 555 home runs. Ramirez went 1 for 17 (.059) in 5 games last season for Tampa Bay.


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