Phillies Notes: Ruiz slow to recover from concussion

Posted: July 03, 2014

MIAMI - The immediate sensation from being struck in the head by a 78-m.p.h. curveball was not enough to prevent Carlos Ruiz from catching the final three innings of a 14-inning win over the Marlins on Thursday. But Ruiz suffered a concussion that night, and there has been no progress since.

His injury "is maybe a little more serious than we originally thought, unfortunately," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Tuesday. "He's had concussion issues in the past, so we have to be careful with him."

Ruiz did not travel with the team. He is eligible to be activated Friday from the seven-day disabled list, but that will not happen. He is under the supervision of doctors in Philadelphia. They have administered the industry-standard Impact test on Ruiz.

Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg described Ruiz's recovery as a "slow process."

"He's failing those tests," Sandberg said. "He still gets the dizziness and the eye [sensitivity] to brightness."

Ruiz missed 20 games with a concussion caused by a broken bat in 2010. The 35-year-old catcher started 63 of the team's first 78 games this season.

The Phillies are reduced to their third- and fourth-string catchers in Cameron Rupp and Koyie Hill. Backup catcher Wil Nieves, on the DL with a strained right quadriceps, can be activated Friday. He is in Clearwater, Fla., for rehab.

"He'll need some game situations," Sandberg said.

Homers not enough

Marlon Byrd and Cody Asche at last delivered a pair of clutch hits for the Phillies. But their game-tying, back-to-back homers in the eighth were not enough to prevent a fifth straight loss, 5-4, to Miami in 11 innings.

The bullpen, which held for four innings, broke. Justin De Fratus assumed the loss in his second inning of relief. Two singles and a sacrifice bunt undid him.

The homers delayed that pain. Byrd smashed his team-leading 16th homer in the eighth off Marlins reliever Kevin Gregg. Asche blasted his first extra-base hit in a week.

Extra bases

Jesse Biddle, the team's top pitching prospect, is spending his "mental break" in Clearwater. Amaro said the team has plans for Roy Halladay - once a struggling young pitcher himself - to meet with Biddle. There is no time frame for when Biddle will return to a mound. . . . There is a "possibility" that outfielder Grady Sizemore could join the Phillies during this 10-game road trip, Sandberg said. . . . Righthander Sean O'Sullivan cleared waivers and was outrighted to triple-A Lehigh Valley. He has the right to refuse that assignment. . . . First-round pick Aaron Nola tossed four scoreless innings for single-A Clearwater in his second professional start. He allowed one hit, walked none, and struck out three.

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