MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers were without their cleanup hitter for a fourth consecutive game on Thursday after Aramis Ramirez was not given clearance from the medical staff to play with a strained left quadriceps.
Ramirez, hurt during Saturday's game against the Pirates, tested his leg on the field about two hours before the Cubs-Brewers series finale. After a long talk with head athletic trainer Dan Wright, he retreated to the clubhouse, and shortly thereafter a Ramirez-less lineup was posted.
"The side-to-side stuff, he's fine. He's moving well for that. It's the straight-on running that's holding him back," said manager Ron Roenicke, who had two lineups ready to go, one with Ramirez and one without.
The Brewers are exercising extreme caution with Ramirez. The team has been decimated by injuries, with seven players on the disabled list as of Thursday morning, including three key players (first baseman Mat Gamel, shortstop Alex Gonzalez and pitcher Chris Narveson) who are out for the season.
"You know what's going on, we can't afford to lose [Ramirez] for a long time," Roenicke said.
In the meantime, writing the lineup has become a full-time job.
"Every day there's something that we're waiting on or trying to figure out who to play," Roenicke said. "It's getting complicated."