OAKLAND (CBS/AP) — The Oakland Athletics have no timetable for calling up Manny Ramirez, who becomes eligible this week.
When the suspended slugger is deemed major league ready, the A’s plan to promote him from Triple-A Sacramento. Oakland assistant general manager David Forst said Tuesday that team brass will receive updates each night from the Triple-A staff to determine when the 12-time All-Star might join Oakland.
“We want to make sure Manny feels he is 100 percent ready when we pull the trigger on this move,” Forst said. “I don’t have any time frame other than we’re watching it every day.”
Ramirez was scheduled to be reinstated by Major League Baseball after the A’s 50th game at Minnesota on Wednesday, also his 40th birthday.
After playing the Twins, the A’s have a weekend series at Kansas City. So, the club could decide 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 said when Ramirez does return, the A’s want him to stay in the big leagues for the remainder of the season and that is 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 four RBIs with seven strikeouts and three walks in nine games with Sacramento.
“He had a good game yesterday, hit the ball hard a couple times,” Forst said. “I don’t think we have any goal in terms of performance or at-bats. I think we have seen him make progress but we have to make sure everybody feels he’s major league ready. Once we make the move we want him to be here to stay and to be able to contribute every day.”
Ramirez was scheduled to work out with the River Cats on Tuesday, but he can’t play again until he’s added to their 25-man roster Wednesday. His permitted 10-day rehab assignment ended Monday.
Ramirez, who had to serve a 50-game suspension for a second positive drug test, believes he is making progress each day he faces live pitching.
“Like I said, I haven’t played in a year,” he said Monday in Sacramento. “You miss a year, it’s going to take a lot. You see a lot of guys in the big leagues and here, they play the whole year and they’re still trying to get it. Imagine when you miss a year.”
Ramirez is hoping for a comeback 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 minor league contract on Feb. 20 that is worth approximately $500,000 if he’s added to the big league roster.
Ramirez retired from the Tampa Bay Rays last season rather than serve a 100-game suspension for a second failed drug test. The penalty was cut to 50 games because 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 five games last season for Tampa Bay.
The A’s—also missing injured slugger Yoenis Cespedes—could use a productive Ramirez. Oakland is batting a majors-low .211 as a team with 42 homers and 162 runs and 384 strikeouts to 159 walks.
“I think we’re trying not to make a short-term decision here,” Forst said. “Obviously, we’d like to improve the major league offense. We’re not even 50 games in yet. There are still four months to play. We’re trying to make a long-term decision.”
(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)