Carlos Ruiz out four to six weeks with plantar fasciitis in left foot

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The Phillies just announced that Carlos Ruiz was placed on the 15-day disabled list with plantar fasciitis in his left foot. An MRI revealed a partial tear, so he’s expected to miss 4-6 weeks. It’s been that kind of year for the Fightins.

It’s a real shame, as Ruiz was enjoying the best season of his seven-year major league career. The 33-year-old backstop was named to his first All-Star team last month and is currently fourth in the National League in batting average (.335) and sixth in on-base percentage (.399), slugging percentage (.559) and OPS (.959). He has already surpassed his previous career-highs with 14 home runs and 58 RBI.

There’s a chance that Ruiz could return at some point in September, but it might not be worth rushing him back to finish off a lost season. Brian Schneider and Erik Kratz will fill in behind the plate for now.

Royals sign Drew Storen to minor league deal

Drew Storen
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The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.

Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.

While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.