The season has restarted for Twins outfielder Wilkin Ramirez, who returned to a major league dugout Monday for the first time since May 25.
“It was frustrating, but it is over with and it’s time to move forward and help any way I can,” Ramirez said.
Ramirez was activated from the disabled list after recovering from two bouts of concussion symptoms. The first one occurred on May 25, when he collided with Josh Willingham while chasing a fly ball. He didn’t believe he had a concussion until he got on the team charter bound for Milwaukee — and got sick.
He was placed on the seven-day concussion DL, went through the tests and eventually was cleared to play. He joined Class A Fort Myers on June 20. On June 23, he dived for a ball and felt the symptoms return.
“I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m down again,’ ” Ramirez said.
It took longer for him to shake off all the symptoms the second time.
“What helped me a lot were the trainers in here,” Ramirez said. “They have been through concussions before and they know what it takes. They kept me strong.”
He needed another month to recover, returning to action on July 29 with the Twins rookie team in the Gulf Coast League. He worked he way back up to Class AA New Britain and was batting .172 in seven games when called up.
“I got my backup center fielder back,” said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, who was worried about using Oswaldo Arcia in center if anything happened to starter Clete Thomas.
Willingham grabs glove
Josh Willingham was the designated hitter for all four games in Chicago last weekend. But Monday was the day for him to grab a glove and take himself and his surgically repaired left knee out to left field. He went 2-for-17 in those games, with one of those hits being a home run.
Willingham missed 33 games while having surgery to repair a torn meniscus in the knee. He is now running as well as can be expected for a man of his size.
“His legs feel great,” Gardenhire said. “They feel better than in spring training.”
Arcia, who has been playing in left, moved to right for the series opener vs. Cleveland. Joe Mauer was the designated hitter.
“[Willingham] has got to play [in left],” Gardenhire said. “This give us an opportunity to move Arcia over there, where he’s supposed to be, and DH Mauer. We have to use the DH for other things.”
Outfielders not ready
Outfielders Darin Mastroianni and Aaron Hicks could have been options to be selected over Ramirez, but both are banged up at Class AAA Rochester. And both of them are slumping at the plate.
Mastroianni has a sore knee and was 0-for-12 in the three games he has been able to play in.