Questions about rotation, Ruiz

Carlos Ruiz returns to the Phillies for Friday's game against the Braves. (Michael Bryant/Staff file photo)

Welcome to Civil Rights Weekend, baseball's annual attempt to make up for a half century of racial exclusion. Actor Morgan Freeman and guitarist Carlos Santana will be among those honored here at Turner Field.

1) On the field, the Phillies welcome back Carlos Ruiz, who was activated from the disabled list earlier today. Ruiz takes the roster spot vacated by Brian Schneider, who was placed on the DL yesterday with a hamstring strain.

Ruiz reported no problems with his lower back last night after a rehab start for Class A Clearwater. The health of his swing remains to be seen. When Ruiz last appeared in a game -- April 27th in San Diego -- he went 0-for-1 to extend his hitless streak to 23 at-bats. After starting the season hitting .341/.400/.561 with eight runs, eight RBI and two home runs in his first 13 games, Ruiz enters tonight hitting .226/.310/.371 with nine RBI, nine runs and two home runs.

2) I wasn't in Clearwater last night, but Bill Conlin was, and from the sound of it Roy Oswalt's scheduled start against the Cardinals on Tueday is up in the air. Oswalt lacked life on his fastball while pitching five innings for the Threshers. As of Wednesday, there was also some question about Joe Blanton's readiness for a scheduled start tomorrow. So the Phillies have some questions that hopefully we will get answered today during pre-game media availability.

Righthander Vance Worley should be ready to start tomorrow if Blanton is unable to go. If Oswalt is unable to go on Tuesday, the Phillies could always start Worley tomorrow and push Blanton back until Tuesday to give him more time to shake the lingering "crankiness" in his elbow. Righthander Kyle Kendrick could also start Tuesday.

Hopefully we'll find out more in a little bit.

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