"I feel great," Ruiz said. "I'm surprised that I haven't felt anything the last couple of games. I've been running 100 percent and I've been moving real good, so that's good."
Ruiz first felt the pain in his left foot when the Phillies were in Los Angeles, a week after he played in his first All-Star Game. He tried to play through the pain for 3 weeks, but saw his career year officially derailed when he was placed on the DL on Aug. 4.
With 12 games remaining in the regular season following Thursday, Ruiz isn't likely to be thrown back into everyday duty again in 2012. But starting three straight games in 4 days was a good test that showed he's putting the injury behind him.
"I think if we were to turn him loose, let him play 4 or 5 days in a row, you'd see him have more trouble with it again, I think," manager Charlie Manuel said. "Unless it's completely healed, but [the trainers] haven't said that yet."
Coincidentally, Manuel was diagnosed with the same plantar fasciitis ailment 12 months ago. Manuel said it still gives him trouble regularly.
"When I play golf, I'll be loose for about nine or 10 holes, and then I can't even walk," Manuel said.
Of course, Manuel, 68, is 35 years older than the 33-year-old Ruiz. The catcher is confident an offseason of rest will have him at 100 percent before spring training begins in 5 months.
"I think so," Ruiz said. "I know I'll start running in December. In October and November, I'll take it easy. So I'll see how it feels then. But I definitely feel good."
Erik Kratz started in his place on Thursday.
Doc is still in
As the Phillies make a last-ditch effort to sneak into the playoffs and play out the remaining 2 weeks left in their regular season, Roy Halladay will attempt to end a mostly lost season on a positive note.
In the 2 months since returning from a 2-month stay on the DL with a right lat muscle injury, Halladay is 6-2 with a 4.07 ERA in 12 starts.
But what sticks out the most is the number of times Halladay has pitched seven or more innings: six times in 12 starts. In his first two seasons with the Phillies, Halladay went seven or more in 52 of his 65 starts (28 times in 33 starts in 2010, 24 times in 32 starts in 2011).
Should the Phils expect a return of the durable Halladay, who regularly led baseball in complete games in the last decade, after an offseason of rest? Or is the 35-year-old with a lot of mileage on his right arm (2,680 1/3 innings) going to have to reinvent himself in 2013?
"This winter, knowing him like I do, when he comes into spring training he's going to be ready to go and he's going to be in real good shape and he's going to be strong," Manuel said. "I think he's going to be back to where he can throw whole games. Yeah, I think that.
"I wouldn't say he couldn't. They said Greg Maddux couldn't pitch at 35 and he pitched until he was 42. And he did complete games after that. I think the type pitcher Roy is . . . I think he has a lot left."
In his seven big-league seasons after age 35, Maddux was 98-81 with a 3.92 ERA and seven complete games in 239 starts. In the seven years prior to that, from 1995-2001, Maddux was 126-55 with a 2.63 ERA and 42 complete games in 232 starts.
Halladay is likely to get three more starts this season, beginning Saturday against the Atlanta Braves.
Contact Ryan Lawrence at email@example.com.