No one is sure when Matt Cain will pitch for the Giants again

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After letting Matt Cain pitch (poorly) through a “cranky” elbow since spring training the Giants finally shut him down yesterday, placing him on the disabled list with elbow inflammation.

So how long will he be out? No one seems to have a firm grasp on that yet. Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com reports that an MRI exam ruled out ulnar collateral ligament damage, so Tommy John surgery isn’t believed to be necessary, but Cain and manager Bruce Bochy basically said “who knows” when asked anything beyond that.

Cain has apparently been pitching through “loose bodies” in his elbow for four seasons now and it finally got bad enough to hurt his performance and then get him shut down. Of course, Cain refuses to talk to reporters about any injury stuff and actually claimed that the elbow problems were a new thing. So yeah … who knows.

Cain is still owed nearly $70 million on his contract and for now at least everyone involved seems against the idea of a relatively simple “clean up” procedure that would knock him out for six weeks, which suggests the Giants may still believe he can pitch again this season if rest and rehab works.

Giants sign Darin Ruf to minor league contract

Darin Ruf
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The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reports that the Giants have signed 1B/OF Darin Ruf to a minor league contract.

Ruf, 33, played parts of five seasons in the majors with the Phillies from 2012-16, enjoying occasional offensive success. He spent the last three seasons in the KBO League in South Korea with the Samsung Lions, reigniting his career. Ruf hit an aggregate .313/.404/.564 with 86 home runs and 350 RBI over 1,756 plate appearances.

Ruf joins an ever-increasing list of players whose major league careers fizzled out, then found new life overseas — Eric Thames and Miles Mikolas are a couple of examples. Ruf will hope to prove himself as a big leaguer once more in spring training with the Giants.