MILWAUKEE -- Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez is playing at less than 100 percent, still slowed by a quadriceps strain. But at least he's playing.
"I wanted to play for that Cubs series [earlier in the week], but they wouldn't let me," said Ramirez, who missed four starts before returning to the lineup with two hits against the Padres on Friday. "That was smart. I can't be out for a month. We can't afford that right now."
Ramirez suffered a slight tear to his left quadriceps, just above the knee, one week ago during a June 2 win over the Pirates at Miller Park. His four missed starts meant Ramirez was limited to a lone pinch-hit at-bat in the Brewers' series against his former team, the Cubs.
Now, like catcher George Kottaras, who has been playing through a minor hamstring issue, Ramirez is picking his spots to run hard.
"I have to," he said. "I can't be busting out 100 percent. I can't do that right now. But I'm good enough to play, and that's what counts."
"I'm still a little concerned a little bit about how hard he's going to go," manager Ron Roenicke said. "But he did a nice job of controlling himself, made a real nice defensive play for us. I think it's important for him to get back. I think he's smart enough to control what he does."