There’s a new big man in the Blue Jays’ clubhouse. Give a well-deserved welcome to Randy Ruiz, who has been mashing all season long with Triple-A Las Vegas and is today’s DH in the No. 6 spot for Toronto.
Ruiz — a 31-year-old career Minor Leaguer — definitely earned this promotion, which fills the spot that opened when the Jays sent Alex Rios to the White Sox on Monday. In 114 games with Vegas, Ruiz hit .320 with 25 homers and 106 RBIs.
As deserving as Ruiz is of this call-up, though, there’s still plenty of reason to wonder why Travis Snider wasn’t the one summoned. All Snider has done at Triple-A is hit 314 with a .654 slugging, belting 13 homers with 37 RBIs in 43 games.
The Blue Jays won’t come out and say it, but Snider is most likely being held in the Minors due to his service time. If Toronto — a team in fourth place and without a shot at the playoffs — were to call up Snider before around August 20, the club would risk having him becoming a Super Two player.
In short, this means that Snider would have a shot at earning an extra arbitration year, thus costing the Blue Jays more money in the long term. As a player, this is a frustrating way be kept in the Minors, knowing you’re playing well enough to be called up. As an organization not headed for the playoffs, it only makes sense.
“He’ll be up here some time in the near future,” Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said on Monday.
In the meantime, it’s hard not to root for a guy like Ruiz. Labeled as a career Minor Leaguer, and a good one at that, he has a chance to show the Blue Jays something over the rest of the season. Over his 11-year professional career, Ruiz has been cut 12 times in stints with nine different organizations before joining the Jays.
1. Marco Scutaro, SS
2. Aaron Hill, 2B
3. Adam Lind, LF
4. Lyle Overbay, 1B
5. Vernon Wells, CF
6. Randy Ruiz, DH
7. Edwin Encarnacion, 3B
8. Rod Barajas, C
9. Joe Inglett, RF
Starter: RHP Scott Richmond (6-6, 3.97)
NEW YORK YANKEES (69-43)
First place AL East, — GB
1. Derek Jeter, SS
2. Johnny Damon, LF
3. Mark Teixeira, 1B
4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
5. Hideki Matsui, DH
6. Jorge Posada, C
7. Robinson Cano, 2B
8. Eric Hinske, RF
9. Melky Cabrera, CF
Starter: RHP Joba Chamberlain (8-2, 3.73)
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