MILWAUKEE -- Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez will play it safe, but he is targeting the Brewers' next homestand for his return from a left knee sprain.
Ramirez took soft toss and hit off a tee Friday for the third time since he sprained his left knee on April 5. He has also been playing catch on the field, and on the Brewers' upcoming West Coast road trip will try running the bases for the first time.
If that goes well, he could play soon after the Brewers return to Miller Park for nine games against the Pirates, Cardinals and Rangers.
"That's what I'm shooting for," Ramirez said. "I don't know if it will be in the Pirates series, that may be pushing it. But next homestand. That's what I'm looking at. I'm making strides."
Slow strides. He suffered the same injury in Spring Training and was back in action two weeks later, but at less than 100 percent of full strength. That, Ramirez believes, is why he re-injured his knee in the Brewers' fifth regular season game.
He is approaching this comeback more cautiously.
"I have to," Ramirez said. "Because the last time, I didn't let it heal the way I was supposed to, because I wanted to rush back and get on the field. If I hurt this thing again, it's going to be rough."
Gomez gets day off amid hot streak
MILWAUKEE -- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke opted to rest one of his hottest hitters on Saturday, a move he hopes will help center fielder Carlos Gomez stay hot through the summer.
Gomez was 11-for-18 over a five-game hitting streak, including a key solo home run that sealed Friday's 5-4 win over the Cubs. But he was out of Saturday's lineup against hard-throwing right-hander Edwin Jackson, against whom Gomez was 1-for-10 in his career. Left-handed hitting Logan Schafer started in center field for the Brewers instead.
"The guy can play," Roenicke said of Schafer. "He's a guy we need to get out there a little bit more if we can and see what he can do. I really think he can help us this year."
For Gomez, Roenicke said it was simply "a day off. To keep 'Gomey' going well, I think sometimes I need to give him a day off."
Recovering LeBoeuf makes visit to Miller Park
MILWAUKEE -- Brewers Minor League coach Al LeBoeuf, still recovering from a rare neurological disorder caused by cancer in his hip, visited Miller Park this weekend and reiterated his plan to get back to coaching before the end of the season.
"There's no question in my mind," said LeBoeuf, who told his story of perseverance to MLB.com in Spring Training. "I came a long way with a lot of prayers and a good attitude."
His condition caused numbness in both legs from the knees down last summer, and LeBoeuf is still using crutches to get around. But he had an encouraging check-up this week, and will ease back into baseball when he is ready, probably in a scouting capacity to start.
LeBoeuf and his wife were in Milwaukee as guests of general manager Doug Melvin.
"This is the first major setback I've ever had in my life, and nobody has ever thrown out the red carpet like Doug and the organization have," LeBoeuf said.