Carlos Ruiz began a minor-league rehab assignment over the weekend at Triple-A, going 1-for-3 while playing seven innings behind the plate Sunday as he comes back from a hamstring injury.
Asked about his recovery timetable, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel told Owen Perkins of MLB.com: “He’ll be there about four or five days.” Ruiz has been out since May 19, so he’ll end up missing more than a month with the injury in addition to sitting out the first 25 games of the season on a suspension.
Philadelphia catchers ranks 23rd in OPS this season, with Erik Kratz (38) and Humberto Quintero (16) getting more starts behind the plate than Ruiz (15).
An interesting tidbit today from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, who noted that ongoing talks between agent Scott Boras and the Padres have focused more on starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel than slugger Bryce Harper. Earlier this week, there were conflicting reports on the Padres’ level of interest in Harper — MLB Network’s Jon Heyman heard the club had not ruled out another big signing after getting Manny Machado, while Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune talked to multiple sources who believed otherwise — but any agreement between the two is looking unlikelier by the day.
As for Keuchel, Rosenthal cautions that a potential deal is still a “longshot,” especially as the team has other, cheaper options in mind. The 31-year-old southpaw turned down a qualifying offer from the Astros last year and is likely angling for something north of the five-year, $90 million contract extension he rejected from the club in 2016. He’s coming off of another solid performance in Houston, where he went 12-11 in 34 starts with a 3.74 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 6.7 SO/9, and 3.6 fWAR through 204 2/3 innings in 2018.
While Keuchel has failed to garner substantial interest around the league this offseason, Heyman points out that the Phillies are looking to establish themselves as frontrunners for the lefty — and they’re far less likely to have hang-ups about his asking price, too.