Phil Hughes leaves start with strained hip flexor

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Phil Hughes exited today’s start against the Tigers after just five innings and 71 pitches with what the Twins are calling a mild left hip flexor strain.

At the time the Twins were up 7-3, but relievers Tim Stauffer and Aaron Thompson combined to allow three homers in the next inning to turn it into a 7-7 tie. That means Hughes remains winless on the season despite a 4.55 ERA and fantastic 26/2 K/BB ratio in 32 innings.

Minnesota already has Ricky Nolasco on the disabled list and Ervin Santana suspended until July, so if Hughes is sidelined the rotation will be relying an awful lot on Tommy Milone, Mike Pelfrey, Trevor May, and Kyle Gibson. In other words, things could get ugly (or uglier).

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.