A’s closer Sean Doolittle is ready to make his season debut

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that A’s closer Sean Doolittle is expected to be activated from the disabled list Tuesday after spending the first seven weeks of the season recovering from a partially torn rotator cuff in his shoulder.

Doolittle has been rehabbing in the minors for the past two weeks, including Triple-A appearances Friday and Sunday. Last season he stepped into the closer role in mid-May and had an All-Star year, saving 22 games with a 2.73 ERA and 89/8 K/BB ratio in 63 innings.

All indications are that the A’s plan to re-install Doolittle as their closer, but fill-in Tyler Clippard may keep ninth-inning duties for a while longer as they ease him back into the bullpen mix.

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.