Phillies Notes: Ruiz placed on the DL with concussion symptoms

Carlos Ruiz falls to the ground after being hit in the head by a pitch in the 11th inning Thursday. CHARLES FOX / Staff
Carlos Ruiz falls to the ground after being hit in the head by a pitch in the 11th inning Thursday. CHARLES FOX / Staff
Posted: June 29, 2014

Catcher Carlos Ruiz was placed on the seven-day disabled list Friday night with concussion symptoms after being hit on the helmet by a pitch from Miami's A.J. Ramos in the 11th inning Thursday.

Ruiz remained in the game during the Phillies' 14-inning win over the Marlins, but he was not in manager Ryne Sandberg's starting lineup Friday. Sandberg said Ruiz's condition was being monitored earlier in the day, but indicated that the catcher was just getting a day off following a 4-hour, 41-minute game.

The Phillies, however, sent out a release later in the day about Ruiz's condition. This is not the first time Ruiz has spent time on the disabled list with a concussion. He also missed 20 games in June 2010 after being struck in the head by a broken bat.

Ruiz's spot on the roster was filled by Koyie Hill, a veteran catcher who was hitting .240 with three home runs and 17 RBIs at triple-A Lehigh Valley this season. Hill, 35, has played in 331 big-league games with four teams and has a career .206 batting average.

With Ruiz and backup Wil Nieves both on the disabled list, rookie Cameron Rupp will be the starter for at least the next week.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Hill, the Phillies designated double-A Reading outfielder Zach Collier for assignment. They will have to make another 40-man roster move Saturday to make room for Sean O'Sullivan, who is scheduled to pitch the second game of the doubleheader against the Braves.

Lee makes progress

Cliff Lee took another step Friday toward returning from the disabled list by throwing a simulated game to a three-man lineup in an empty Citizens Bank Park.

Facing teammates Tony Gwynn Jr., Cesar Hernandez, and Ronny Cedeno, Lee threw 20 pitches, took a break, and threw another 20 pitches in what amounted to a two-inning simulation. It was the first time he had thrown to hitters since he was shut down by a strained left elbow following his May 18 start against Cincinnati.

"Forty pitches to hitters and I felt good," Lee said. "I threw two different 20-pitch innings. It was fine. I could have kept going. Obviously, stamina-wise I could throw 40 pitches easy. It's not a problem. I've been running and lifting weights and staying in shape like that. So the stamina I don't have a problem with."

The next step for Lee will be another simulated game "within the next three days or so," Sandberg said. If all goes well in that simulation, Lee would likely be ready for a minor-league rehab outing.

"Probably of some kind, whether it's three innings or five innings," Sandberg said. "I would say so and that has been talked about and that's kind of the consensus to have a rehab of some sort."

Lee could be back before the All-Star Game. Sandberg, however, did not discount that Lee could require two minor-league rehab starts before rejoining the Phillies.

Regardless of how the Phillies conduct their business at the trade deadline, Lee's return is vital to their plans. If they intend to compete for the National League East title or a wild-card berth, they need the veteran lefthander at the top of their rotation and at the top of his game. If they want to deal him, opposing teams will want to see Lee make as many starts as possible before the July 31 trade deadline.

Lee was 4-4 with a 3.18 ERA when he landed on the disabled list, but that earned run average was distorted by an opening-day disaster against the Rangers in Texas. In his nine starts after that, he had a 2.29 ERA and had pitched into the seventh inning in eight of his nine starts.

Bullpen help

The Phillies recalled reliever Luis Garcia from triple-A Lehigh Valley to bolster the bullpen for Saturday's doubleheader.


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