MLB.com's Noah Cozlov tweeted this morning that "GMs should be all over Randy Ruiz" given his play in Puerto Rico this winter. Moreover, he notes that Ruiz is playing first and left field (really?), and that he is in the "best shape of his life".
(Wow...you really can squeeze a lot into 140 characters!)
How well is Ruiz doing in the PR? In 26 games (96 ABs), he's put up seven homers and 27 driven in, while posting a 1.017 OPS (.423 OBP, .594 SLG) for the Indios de Mayaguez. In spite of not having played the full slate of games (he's about 10 short of the other leaders), he ranks second in HRs, OPS and RsBI, seventh in runs scored.
Quibble if you must about the quality of pitching that Ruiz has faced in Puerto Rico, just as some may have tried to do in attempting to pull at the threads and show his August-September to be nothing more than an illusion. (Although looking at the list of dudes who Ruiz took deep last year - Beckett, Wakefield, Pettitte, A.J., Joba - it doesn't seem as though he cheated us.) Maybe we're an apologist for some ghost of a chance that Ruiz will just keep on hitting, and become a cornerstone of the offense. But it seems to us as though he's done everything that he can to prove his worth to this team, and short of hitting a homer every game, we're not sure what it would take to keep him in the lineup or even on the 25-man roster.
(Of course, it doesn't help Ruiz that he'll need to keep himself in the seemingly impenetrable good graces of The Manager. We don't even want to start down the road of trying to understand what goes on in The Manager's head. The process is simply too maddening.)
Leading into the 2010 season, there is an abundance of choice for the Blue Jays when it comes to their 1B/DH/LF positions. It seems as though we're constantly reminding ourselves of possible options for those positions. "Oh yeah, what about Brian Dopirak?", or"Golly gee, I totally forgot that we still have Lyle Overbay", or "Why don't I care more about that Cooper kid?"
Or most importantly: "When do the Fake Spring Games start so that I can start poring over the boxscores to make fake arguments distinguishing one dude from the other?"