The Brewers have made a couple of roster moves Tuesday afternoon prior to their series opener against the Pirates. The first was expected: Ryan Braun has been activated while Aramis Ramirez has been placed on the disabled list. The second was more of a move to bring in a need: Caleb Gindl has been sent back to the minors while Elian Herrera will rejoin the team.
Braun had been on the disabled list with a strained oblique. Such injuries can linger, so it's nice to see him come back for the earliest possible game he could. It's also a little worrisome -- if his oblique continues to bother him while playing through it, he may not play as well as we're used to seeing. Of course, he's still got the whole thumb issue, though not much has been said about that recently.
Ramirez, meanwhile, is suffering from a pulled hamstring incurred a few days ago. It doesn't seem like the kind of issue that will cause him to miss more than the minimum time, though one never knows. All in all, it's really probably not a bad thing for him to take a nice rest, anyway. After starting the year on fire, Ramirez has been hitting .121/.232/.276 since April 18. He was 2-2 with a home run in his last game before exiting in the 4th inning.
Herrera being called up may indicate the Brewers are expecting Carlos Gomez's suspension to be announced soon. MLB offices close at 5:00 ET, so it may not be today, but Herrera is likely the team hedging their bets for the Pirates' series. A switch hitter, he would provide a right-handed option in center field to complement the left-handed Logan Schafer. After facing Gerrit Cole tonight, the Brewers will go up against two southpaws. If Gomez's suspension is not reduced, the team could also use a righty against the left-handed Travis Wood in game two of the Cubs series.
It's a bit of a shame; Gindl was, possibly, the best available option as a hitter off the bench. He had just a .462 OPS over eight games in his call-up but hit .242/.340/.439 last year for the Brewers and has performed well in the minors. But Herrera will give positional flexibility while the Brewers are likely to be down a man. Both are valuable, but the Brewers have made their choice. Herrera played in nine games earlier in the year for Milwaukee, hitting .222/.250/.222.
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