Report: Phillies sign reliever Jose Ruiz to minor league deal

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Ruiz posted a 5.89 ERA in his 44⅓ innings between the Diamondbacks and the White Sox last season.

The Phillies signed hard-throwing right-handed reliever Jose Ruiz to a minor league contract on Monday, according to a report by MLB Trade Rumors. Ruiz’s deal reportedly includes an invitation to big league spring training.

Ruiz, 29, spent his 2023 season on the White Sox and the Diamondbacks. Chicago designated him for assignment in April and traded him to the Diamondbacks a few days later for cash. He was designated for assignment by Arizona in July and outrighted to triple-A Reno, where he posted a 4.10 ERA over 26⅓ innings with 33 strikeouts.

Ruiz had a 5.89 ERA in his 44⅓ innings between the Diamondbacks and the White Sox last season. His strikeout rate dropped significantly, from 25.7% in 2022 to 18.8% in 2023.

Ruiz’s fastball velocity ranked in the 87th percentile in MLB in 2023, averaging 96.3 mph. He did a good job of managing hard contact last year, posting a hard-hit percentage (36.2%) that ranked in the 70th percentile of all pitchers. Ruiz throws four pitches: a curveball, a four-seam fastball, a sinker, and a changeup.

If Ruiz wants to find success in 2024 he’ll need to find his command. He averaged 2.03 home runs per nine big league innings last season — the MLB average was 1.23 — and posted a 10.1% walk rate. That figure is lower than his walk rate in 2022 (12.5%) but higher than league average of 8.6%.

Ruiz is out of options. If he is added to the Phillies’ big league roster, they wouldn’t be able to option him to the minor leagues without passing him through waivers. He has posted a 4.51 ERA over parts of seven big league seasons with the Padres, White Sox and Diamondbacks.

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