Phillies Notes: Team taking cautious approach on Ruiz

Posted: September 03, 2012

ATLANTA - Every other day, Carlos Ruiz tests the partially torn muscle in his right foot by running. "Nice and easy," Ruiz said Saturday after catching a Kyle Kendrick bullpen session. There is but one month to play in a lost season and Ruiz remains steadfast in his goal of returning.

General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. is not so convinced it's the best idea.

"I hope we can activate him," Amaro said. "Really, it depends on what the risk is."

The GM made his stance clear in a Friday conversation with Ruiz. It's not that the Phillies do not want Ruiz, arguably the team's MVP in 2012, back in the lineup. Instead, they value caution.

"I got his point," Ruiz said. "At the same time, I feel like I have to try. I have to try until the last day. It's not like I'm going to give up. But yeah, I got his point. We'll see. He said there is no pressure to come back. Try to be 100 percent and that's what we're doing right now."

When the tear was originally discovered Aug. 3, Ruiz was expected to miss four to six weeks. The team has suggested an early September return is possible. He would have to be activated without any game action because the organization's minor-league affiliates will be finished playing before Ruiz could go for a rehab.

Even while running with regular rest, Ruiz said he still experiences pain in the foot. If he feels something, he usually stops.

"I don't try to push it too much," Ruiz said.

That's why Amaro is hedging on a return.

"It's a risk-reward assessment," Amaro said. "I know he wants to play. I know he was upset when it happened. I know he's worked hard to be in the position to be activated. But we'll see."

Mayberry walks

John Mayberry Jr.'s fifth-inning walk Friday night against Braves lefthander Mike Minor had no bearing on the outcome of an 8-5 Phillies victory. He was stranded on first base. It still carried significance.

Incredibly, that marked Mayberry's first walk against a lefty all season. It came in his 139th plate appearance vs. a lefthander.

No major-league player since 1974 had finished a season with more than 126 plate appearances against a lefty without walking once.

Mayberry has played on an everyday basis since the trade deadline. His value, though, is against lefthanders. He was hitting .289 off them entering Saturday, but the lack of walks made for a .300 on-base percentage.

Roster moves

The Phillies made two transactions on the day rosters expanded. Outfielder Nate Schierholtz (broken toe) was activated from the disabled list. Lefthander Jake Diekman was recalled from triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Schierholtz entered Saturday's 5-1 win as a defensive replacement. Diekman will join the team Sunday.

Extra bases

Domonic Brown (left knee soreness) did not start for the sixth time in seven games. He pinch-hit and grounded out in the seventh. . . . Amaro said he does not view Michael Schwimer as injured. The 26-year-old righthander told the team he cannot throw but was not placed on the DL at triple A. "He right now does not feel he can pitch," Amaro said. "Once he feels he can pitch, he will pitch."

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