Five years ago today: Stephen Strasburg’s major league debut

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With Astros prospect shortstop Carlos Correa about to make his major league tonight against the White Sox, it’s only fitting that we mention that Stephen Strasburg’s major league debut was five years ago today. And what a debut it was. Strasburg got the win against the Pirates after allowing two runs over seven innings and striking out 14 batters. Let’s go back in time and enjoy:

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That was so much fun. While Strasburg proved worthy of the lofty expectations on that night, the unprecedented hype has almost seemed like a burden for him since. Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post has a nice piece up today about his journey over the past five years.

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.