MILWAUKEE -- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke chose the long view over the short when he stuck with the plan to rest third baseman Aramis Ramirez on Saturday.
Ramirez was 2-for-3 and played six innings in the field Friday, his first day back from a month-long stint on the disabled list with a sprained left knee. That knee is still not 100 percent, so Roenicke's plan -- set in conjunction with the team's medical staff -- was to rest Ramirez on Saturday, play him Sunday, rest him again Monday without missing a game (because the Brewers are off) and then play him back-to-back games Tuesday and Wednesday against the Rangers before another team off-day on Thursday.
So the Brewers' schedule dictated that Ramirez missed a good matchup. He is a robust 19-for-47 against Adam Wainwright, Saturday's Cardinals starter. None of the other Brewers who started Saturday entered the game owning a lifetime average better than .200 against Wainwright.
"We wanted to stay with the game plan," Roenicke said. "It's a long season and we need 'Ramie' for the whole year. So this is the best way to go."
Friday's return was a success, aside from the fact the Brewers lost to the Cardinals, 6-1. Ramirez said late Friday that, "I'm glad, personally, for the way my knee held up tonight. Hopefully it keeps getting better from now on."
Was he sore the day after?
"A little bit," Roenicke said, "but I think there's some soreness everywhere, just from not playing. He feels pretty good. I think for probably a week, I would expect him to be this way. Usually the first week of Spring Training, guys are sore. So I kind of expected that."
Crew hoping Prince develops as super utility man
MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers sent 25-year-old Josh Prince back to Triple-A Nashville earlier this week, where the club hopes he develops into the next Jerry Hairston Jr., the Dodgers super utility man who can play shortstop, center field and all points in-between.
Before his demotion, Prince had an opportunity to meet Hairston last week at Dodger Stadium.
"There wasn't a chance to say much, especially not knowing him all that well," Prince said. "So I kind of said hello, stayed back and left it at that. It was really good to meet him, though."
Prince was drafted as a shortstop, moved to center field last season and was approached by the Brewers this spring about the idea of playing all over for Triple-A Nashville.
He was promoted to the Majors when third baseman Aramis Ramirez went down with a knee injury, but was seldom used. The Brewers figured Prince was better served playing regularly in the Minor Leagues.
"It was great the way they made me feel like a teammate here," Prince said. "It just made me feel like I was meant to be here. … I love to play the game and I love to be in the field, so it's exciting [to head back to play in Nashville], but there's no better place to be than the big leagues.
"They want me to play everywhere and get better at every position, so I can get back up here and do that."
• Roenicke opted to give catcher Jonathan Lucroy the day off after seeing some bad signs from Lucroy the night before. After an 0-for-3 night on Friday, Lucroy was batting .225, including .171 in his last 10 games.
"I thought the first two at-bats [Friday] were very good, but when I see frustration in a guy and I think that he could use a day off, then I'm fine giving him a day, when it makes sense," Roenicke said. "You don't want a guy to be frustrated."
• After watching Carlos Martinez's Major League debut on Friday for the Cardinals, Roenicke was asked whether it seems like St. Louis has an inexhaustible supply of flame-throwing pitching prospects.
"Yes," Roenicke said. "And that's why I say, no matter what their [bullpen] numbers are, it's uncomfortable when you're facing a guy throwing that hard. You know you're going to get hits, and you're going to do OK with him; it's still uncomfortable."
• Clubhouse manager Tony Migliaccio was preparing the Brewers' throwback caps and jerseys for Sunday's series finale, a nod to the 1913 Milwaukee Brewers of the American Association. That team played in Milwaukee from 1902-'52, winning their first of back-to-back league championships in '13. When the Braves moved to Milwaukee for the '53 season, the Brewers headed east to become the Toledo Mud Hens.
The Brewers were originally going to wear white caps with a blue block "M," but the color of the cap clashed with the cream-colored jerseys. So the club quickly ordered blue caps instead, with a cream "M" on the front. The 1913 club wore both styles, according to a Brewers spokesperson.
The white caps will be for sale in the team store at Miller Park. Game-used caps and jerseys can be pre-ordered through Sunday by stopping by the Authentics Kiosk behind Section 111, by calling 414-902-4479 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The rest of the game used jerseys and caps will be for sale at the kiosk on Tuesday and Wednesday, and online after that.
• Yuniesky Betancourt's first-inning single on Saturday was the 1,000th hit of his career.