Carlos Ruiz's trip back to Philadelphia to see hand specialst Dr. Randall Culp sounded ominous. But the news, according to the Phillies, is positive:
An MRI showed no structural damage to the catcher's sprained left wrist, and he could be back on the field within three to five days. Ruiz will be re-examined today, at which point he will likely have an anti-inflammatory shot. Once the shot does its work, Ruiz is expected to return to the lineup.
While Ruiz is not the most recognizeable player on the team, losing him would create huge voids behind the plate in the No. 8 spot in the lineup.
"It was actually good news because there was no structural damage," general manager Ruben Amaro said, "which is good, because wrists are tricky."
Ruiz has drawn rave reviews from the Phillies for his work behind the plate, both in his defense and his handling of a pitching staff that has posted a 3.62 ERA since June 1. He has also contributed at the plate, hitting .253 with a .353 on base percentage after suffering through a dismal 2008 in which those respective figures were .219 and .320.
Ruiz suffered the injury in the second inning Friday night when he blocked the plate and tagged out Diaz.
Prior to that game in Atlanta, he was hitting .320 with a .410 on base percentage, four home runs, 19 RBI and 17 runs scored in 37 games.
Ruiz caught all 17 games during the Phillies' playoff run last season.
"We can't afford to lose anybody that plays that much," manager Charlie Manuel said. "We're losing one of our starters. That's tough. It's hard to lose guys like that. Your catcher is very important to you."
1) Scott Eyre is available to pitch tonight and Manuel said he will not hesitate to use him.
2) Brett Myers is still scheduled to throw a bullpen session Tuesday.
3) J.C. Romero will throw an inning in an instructional league game tomorrow.
4) Chan Ho Park is in Clearwater and could take fielding practice within the next "several days" (Amaro's words). After that, the team will make plans to get him on the mound.