6/18 Ramirez rehab in Peoria

Aramis Ramirez will test his left thumb in Peoria this weekend, playing in games on Saturday and Sunday. He’s been on the disabled list since June 8 because of a sprained left thumb. He’s taken batting practice every day this week. When he returns, the Cubs will be playing six straight games in American League ballparks, which means he could be used as the designated hitter.

“We have an opportunity to DH him, play him at third or a combination of both,” Lou Piniella said. “The other guys have been playing, the weather’s getting hot. We need to rest them too.”

Looking ahead to the games in Seattle and at U.S. Cellular Field against the White Sox, the Cubs could start Xavier Nady at first and then DH Derrek Lee, or start Tyler Colvin in center and DH Marlon Byrd.

Ramirez was expected to get six to eight at-bats over the weekend with the Class A team.

“If he’s fine, we’ll get him back on the list and hopefully he’s nice and productive for us,” Piniella said of Ramirez, who was batting .168 when sidelined.

— Carrie Muskat


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