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Monday, May 28, 2012
Manny Ramirez in Triple-A for now

Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Oakland Athletics said Monday night that suspended slugger Manny Ramirez will remain with Triple-A Sacramento until he is ready to play at the major league level.

While Ramirez's 10-day rehab stint in the minors is over, Ramirez won't be reinstated by Major League Baseball following his 50-game suspension until Wednesday after the A's 50th game. But Oakland plans to add him to Sacramento's 25-man roster Wednesday.

"We will continue to monitor Manny's progress on a day-to-day basis in hopes of bringing him to Oakland just as soon as he is ready to contribute at the major league level," assistant general manager David Forst said.

Earlier in the day in Minneapolis, manager Bob Melvin called it a "50-50" chance Ramirez would join the team when his 50-game suspension expires Wednesday -- on his 40th birthday.

"It's going to take time but I'm getting there slowly," Ramirez said Monday in Sacramento. "The only way you're going to get it is going out there and facing pitches, getting yourself out. But something's going to click, and then you're there."

The plan is for Ramirez to work out on Tuesday with the River Cats in Sacramento, but he can't play in their game.

The A's want Ramirez to get his swing in better shape before he's brought up, but Melvin had said Monday his struggling offense might prompt Ramirez's immediate arrival.

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.

So, Oakland's brass has determined he needs more time.

The 12-time All-Star still had to serve a 50-game suspension for a second positive drug test.

If and when he is promoted, this would be the 20th major league season for Ramirez. 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.

Home run king Barry Bonds said Monday he believes Ramirez can still bring it.

"If you're practicing you can do it," Bonds said while attending the Diamondbacks-Giants game at AT&T Park in San Francisco. "There's no doubt about it. If you're practicing enough and putting yourself into situations of real-life situations or putting yourself in game situations, yeah you have a chance because you're constantly doing it."

The A's reinstated third baseman Brandon Inge from the 15-day disabled list Monday and optioned catcher Anthony Recker to Sacramento. Inge had a strained right groin. Jason Donaldson will be the primary backup to catcher Kurt Suzuki.