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Updated: May 19th, 2012 9:49am
Manny Ramirez's 2012 debut for A's likely to come against Twins

Manny Ramirez's 2012 debut for A's likely to come against Twins

by Phil Mackey
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Manny Ramirez is nearing the end of his second career 50-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball's performance-enhancing drug policy.

The soon-to-be 40-year-old slugger will begin a 10-game minor league assignment on Saturday with the Sacramento River Cats -- the Triple-A affiliate for the Oakland Athletics.

If the schedule goes according to plan, Ramirez would join the A's in the middle of a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field, likely on May 29 or 30.

Ramirez last played a major league game on April 6, 2011 for the Tampa Bay Rays against the Los Angeles Angels. But rather than sit out 100 games for his second violation of MLB's PED policy Ramirez chose to retire.

Major League Baseball reduced the suspension to 50 games when Ramirez announced he was returning to baseball this offseason.

In 9,774 career plate appearances, Ramirez owns a .312/.411/.585 batting line with 555 home runs. Since the start of the 2009 season Ramirez is hitting .287/.406/.489 with 28 homers in 768 trips.

Former Twins infielder Luke Hughes also currently plays for Triple-A Sacramento.

Phil Mackey is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
In this story: Luke Hughes