Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz revealed that he injured his left shoulder during spring training and has played through the injury for the entire season, telling Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com that the pain has gotten progressively worse.
Ruiz apparently suffered the injury while lifting weights in March and Salisbury writes that it bothers him “on certain swings and occasionally when he receives a pitch in a certain location.”
It hasn’t really shown much in his numbers, which include a .258 batting average and .730 OPS that are slightly off from his career numbers but are actually better than what you’d normally expect from a 35-year-old’s decline phase anyway. He has, however, slumped recently.
Ruiz plans to see doctors after the season to determine if he needs surgery. He has two years remaining on a three-year, $26 million contract.
Orioles first baseman/third baseman Chris Davis has been suspended 25 games by MLB after testing positive for amphetamines. The suspension is effective immediately and includes the playoffs in addition to the Orioles’ final 17 regular season games.
Davis had a career-year in 2013, hitting .286 with a league-leading 53 homers and 138 RBIs on the way to finishing third in the MVP balloting, but he’s been a mess this season with a .196 batting average and league-high 173 strikeouts in 127 games while his OPS has dropped 300 points.
Suspensions for amphetamines have been common in recent years, mostly among minor leaguers. Cameron Maybin of the Padres was suspended 25 games for amphetamines in July and other big leagues to receive amphetamine-based suspensions recently include Carlos Ruiz of the Phillies, Miguel Tejada of the Marlins, and Troy Patton of the Orioles.
Davis said in a statement that he will not appeal the suspension, so he’d be available for the Orioles’ ninth playoff game if they make it past the opening round. Here’s the rest of his statement:
I apologize to my teammates, coaches, the Orioles organization and especially the fans. I made a mistake by taking Adderall. I had permission to use it in the past, but do not have a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) this year. I accept my punishment and will begin serving my suspension immediately.
If accurate, Davis got suspended for taking something MLB allowed him to take last season and players on every MLB roster are similarly allowed to take this season.
The Washington Nationals hold a seven-game divisional lead and are shoe-ins for the playoffs. Most folks would probably say they’re the favorite in the entire National League at the moment. But they do have one problem: their closer.
Rafael Soriano blew his second straight save last night and his fifth in his last 21 appearances. He has allowed ten runs in his lat 12 outings. He blew this one by giving up two home runs after coming in with a three-run lead. One of the homers was to Ben Revere of all people. The same Ben Revere who had one previous home run his 470 major league games coming into last night’s contest. The other came off the bat of Carlos Ruiz.
After that performance, manager Matt Williams acknowledged that he may be using a different closer down the stretch. From Chase Hughes of CSNWashington.com:
“We’ll address it, yeah. We need to address it.”
“We’re certainly going to have to take a hard look at it,” Williams said. “It’s not an easy decision. None of them are. But we want to be able to close those games out. Sori understands that, he’s been around the block.”
Soriano’s 6.98 ERA in the second half is awful, and it may be that Matt Thornton, Drew Storen or Tyler Clippard get some turns in the ninth inning in the coming days. Thankfully for the Nats, they have some time and a nice cushion at their disposal as they try to figure things out.