Pirates go with three catchers on Wild Card game roster

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Russell Martin’s uncertain health status due to a hamstring injury has convinced the Pirates to carry three catchers on their roster for tonight’s Wild Card game against the Giants.

In addition to Martin, who started two-thirds of their games during the regular season, the Pirates will also include Chris Stewart and Tony Sanchez on the 25-man roster.

Pittsburgh has left starting pitchers Francisco Liriano and Gerrit Cole off the Wild Card game roster, but that’s fairly typical because neither would be available to pitch on short rest and teams are allowed to submit a new roster if they advance to the division series. Edinson Volquez will get the start versus San Francisco.

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.