- Rating: 3.61
- 2023 stats (AZ solely): 33 GR, 1 GS, 40.2 IP, 2-1 document, 4.43 ERA, 1.500 WHIP, 0.0 bWAR
- Date of start: October 21, 1994
- 2023 wage: $925K, first 12 months of arbitration.
- 2024 standing: Minor-league contract with the Phillies
2023 in evaluate
I’m going to be trustworthy and say I used to be fairly shocked to find that Ruiz was amongst our high seven relievers this season, by way of appearances, and that he was on the 26-man roster for greater than half the season. I assumed he was a kind of bullpen arms who received rotated out and in, getting a few weeks at most. But he even began a recreation for the D-backs this season, in Cincinnati, which is greater than might be stated for, oh, Tyler Gilbert. You’d be forgiven why questioning why Arizona bothered, Ruiz getting off to a very wretched begin to the 12 months on the White Sox. As in, 9 earned runs over 3.2 innings in 4 video games, for a 22.09 ERA. That’ll get you a fast journey to Destination DFA.
He had made the Opening Day roster there on the again of efficiency for Venezuela throughout the World Baseball Classic. He had 5 strikeouts over 4.1 scoreless innings in three video games, together with a giant Ok of Mike Trout within the quarter-finals (beneath). He wasn’t in a position to translate that to success within the majors, however when the White Sox determined to chop ties, Mike Hazen dropped in, agreeing to a deal in trade for “cash considerations” reported as $100,000. Ruiz had been stable over the earlier 4 years out of the White Sox pen, with a 4.19 ERA (103 ERA+) from 2019-22, so Hazen was clearly hoping the pitcher was the sufferer of small sample-size this 12 months.
At the time of the commerce on April 9, barely every week in, the D-backs already wanted aid assist. They had misplaced two from their Opening Day bullpen: Cole Sulser to harm, with Drey Jameson taking on for Zach Davies within the rotation. Hazen clearly seemed on the Reno choices and was unimpressed, seeing in Ruiz somebody who may assist decide up the slack. The preliminary outcomes have been uninspired, the reliever permitting runs in every of his first two outings. But he and pitching coach Brent Strom made changes. Per Jack Sommers, “Strom worked with him to increase his extension… Strom credited the analytics department with feeding him information that he then was able to work with to make changes with Ruiz.”
As a end result, over the following couple of months, Ruiz turned a quietly efficient member of the bullpen, not less than by way of ERA. In twenty video games from April 19 via June 10, José tossed 23.1 innings at a crisp 2.31 ERA. Most have been in comparatively low-leverage conditions. All instructed, solely 4 of his thirty-eight appearances got here with a lead lower than 4 runs – and a kind of was within the fifth inning. But somebody nonetheless has to cowl these frames, and regardless of a few road-bumps, he was typically dependable sufficient in that middle-relief position. Probably his finest outing was May 14 in opposition to the Giants at Chase, the place he tossed two scoreless innings in a tied recreation, together with placing out the facet on 11 pitches within the seventh (beneath).
Ruiz’s peripherals weren’t as shiny because the ERA. Even throughout the very best spell, his fielding unbiased ERA (FIP) was near a run increased, and this ultimately caught as much as him. Indeed, his FIP elevated sharply because the strikeouts turned rarer: the inning above was very a lot an exception. After June 10, he threw 15.1 extra innings for Arizona, however had a really mediocre Ok:BB in them of solely 11:7. With 20 hits, together with 4 home-runs, the ERA started to development within the improper route. The finish as a Diamondbacks got here when he was used as an opener on July 23 in opposition to the Reds. He allowed three runs on 5 hits over 1.2 innings, although escaped with a no choice.
The pitcher was out of choices, and two days later, the group wanted to make room for Merrill Kelly, who was returning after lacking near a month attributable to calf irritation. Designating Ruiz for task was the chosen transfer, ending his time in Arizona with an ERA+ of 99. He went unclaimed on waivers and selected to not train his capacity to turn into a free agent (a choice which might have cost him the remainder of his 2023 wage). He as an alternative returned to the Reno Aces, and labored out of their bullpen the remainder of the 12 months. In Triple-A he threw 26.1 innings, with a 4.10 ERA and a Ok:BB of 33:13, however with different, higher choices arriving like Paul Sewald and Ryan Thompson, Ruiz was now not wanted.
Perhaps probably the most memorable second of Ruiz’s time was on July 6 at Chase Field, when he hit Mets’ catcher Francisco Alvarez with a pitch within the seventh inning of a 9-0 loss (above). Alvarez had homered earlier within the recreation off Ryne Nelson, and had gone deep in each recreation of the collection, as New York swept Arizona, so it wasn’t look. The benches cleared in a low-key approach, and the umpires warned each groups, although afterward, no person appeared to make an excessive amount of about it. Interestingly although, Mets’ coach Joey Cora had spoken to Alvarez and steered he is perhaps sensible to tone down his home-run celebrations
Arizona may have held on the pitcher, doubtlessly for as much as three additional seasons, by including him again on to the 40-man roster. But the D-backs determined to go in one other route, permitting Ruiz to turn into a free-agent on November 2nd. He didn’t keep in the marketplace for lengthy. On Monday of this week, he signed a minor-league contract with the Phillies, together with an invitation to spring coaching. He does stay out of choices, nevertheless, so if he does make the massive league membership in Philadelphia subsequent 12 months, the state of affairs will stay the identical because it was in Arizona this season.