Carlos Ruiz is eligible to return from his 25-game amphetamine suspension on Sunday, but he’ll go out on a brief minor league rehab assignment first.
The Phillies announced this evening that Ruiz will begin a rehab stint tomorrow with High-A Clearwater. The veteran backstop was hit in the left wrist with a pitch last Friday during an extended spring training game, but Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that he was given a clean bill of health following a second set of X-rays.
Ruiz is coming off a career year in which he batted .324/.394/.540 with 16 home runs, 68 RBI and a .935 OPS. The 34-year-old is due to become a free agent after the 2013 season.
Former Phillies right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez died in a traffic accident in Havana on Thursday, per reports from the El Nuevo Herald and CiberCuba. No other deaths or injuries have been reported in connection to the accident. Gonzalez was 34 years old.
The Cuban righty defected from his home country in 2013 and signed a three-year, $12 million contract with the Phillies. A bout of right shoulder tendinitis compromised his bid for a major league role, but he finally broke through to the big leagues at the tail end of the 2014 season and turned in a 6.75 ERA, 5.1 BB/9 and 8.4 SO/9 in just six outings. Another case of shoulder inflammation derailed any progress he might have made in 2015, however, and he recorded just five innings in Triple-A Lehigh Valley before the team officially released him prior to the 2016 season.
The Phillies released a statement following news of Gonzalez’s death: