MILWAUKEE -- Ill-timed injuries meant the Brewers played without their two best hitters Saturday, when left fielder Ryan Braun remained sidelined by a stiff neck and third baseman Aramis Ramirez was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left knee.
An MRI scan confirmed the sprain for Ramirez, who missed two weeks in Spring Training with the same injury. To fill his spot on the roster, the Brewers promoted super-utility man Josh Prince from Triple-A Nashville.
"It could have been worse," said Ramirez, who was actually moving around the clubhouse quite well. "Last night, I didn't feel good. There's never a good time for injuries, but at least it's not that serious, I guess."
Ramirez was injured sliding into second base on Friday night, a scenario nearly identical to March 2, when he first hurt the knee against the Angels. Ramirez was on crutches the next morning, but two weeks later he was healthy enough to play.
Even if he heals faster this time, the Brewers needed reinforcements. They began the season with a four-man bench, which was down to two after losing Braun and Ramirez.
"They have to [make a move]," Ramirez said. "Last time it took me two weeks. This gives me the full 15 days to recover. You never know how long it's going to take, how it's going to respond, because you can't do anything to it. You can't shoot cortisone in it or anything like that. You just have to let it heal. Hopefully, I just need 15 days."
The Brewers expect to have Braun back much sooner, though his neck remained completely locked up on Saturday afternoon. He first felt stiffness during a Friday afternoon workout, and the condition worsened dramatically during his second round of batting practice.
"It's not any better today than it was yesterday," Braun said. "All I can do is wait."
"This is literally day to day," Ash said. "It's not the cliche day to day. It's literally day to day. … Not enough improvement today, but they'll continue to treat it. Worst-case scenario -- I asked -- is probably five days. Hopefully, it's not that."