Revere's illness bumps Ruiz up in batting order

Posted: May 19, 2014

ENTERING play yesterday, only 13 players in baseball had a higher on-base percentage than Carlos Ruiz since the beginning of 2010. The list, among players with a minimum of 1,500 plate appearances in that five-season period, is a who's who of the game's best players: Joey Votto, Miguel Cabrera, Joe Mauer, Mike Trout, Prince Fielder, Shin-Soo Choo, Jose Bautista, David Ortiz, Troy Tulowitzki, Andrew McCutchen, Matt Holliday, Ryan Braun and Buster Posey.

Ruiz had a .375 OBP during that time entering yesterday. It was enough to warrant a spot toward the top of manager Ryne Sandberg's lineup last night, when his regular leadoff hitter, Ben Revere, was out with a stomach virus. Ruiz hit second, behind Jimmy Rollins against Cincinnati.

But Ruiz' ability to get on base won't necessarily turn into a regular spot toward the top of Sandberg's batting order.

"Well, I also like him up there in an RBI situation and with the guys ahead of him at the top and in the middle of the order," Sandberg said of Ruiz. "I also like him coming up with an RBI situation. Now with some other hitters, if they can show some improvement and swing the bat, that would create a little more protection for Chooch batting seventh, something that would also be a plus for us. With Cody [Asche], if Cody can get hot and swing the bat, if Domonic Brown can get hot and get on base, those are potential baserunners for Chooch."

After his team was shut out Wednesday, Sandberg said he would take Thursday's scheduled day off to think about a lineup change. His team had been shut out in three of the previous nine games and had lost seven of its last nine.

"I try to come up with a lineup that makes sense for that particular game," Sandberg said before last night's game. "On the other note, trying something different is a good idea, for this game, trying something different is something what I wanted to do."

Sandberg went on to say he does like Ruiz hitting seventh, to provide balance in the lower half of the order.

He also defended Revere, saying that when the team has scored runs this year - and in the 2 months before his injury last year - it has been in part because Revere has been producing at the top of the lineup.

But the numbers in the first 7 weeks of 2014 would suggest a change for more than one night might be in order.

Phillers

Righthander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez (shoulder) allowed three runs in six hits while walking two and striking out one in his first minor league rehab start at Class A Clearwater on Thursday. His fastball hit 94 mph. "His control was a little off, but it sounds like he's healthy," Ryne Sandberg said. "He must be healthy if he's throwing that hard. Now it's just about getting his games in" . . . Righthander Jonathan Pettibone was placed on the disabled list with shoulder soreness at Triple A Lehigh Valley. Pettibone, who missed the last 2 months of 2013 with shoulder problems, is expected to visit Dr. James Andrews and could contemplate surgery, according to CSNPhilly.com . . . The Reds played a game without Joey Votto (left knee, day-to-day) and Jay Bruce (DL) for the first time since Aug. 28, 2012, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.


On Twitter: @ryanlawrence21

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