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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, July 25, 2017 12:20 am

Notebook: Ex-TinCap Ruiz gets call to majors

CHRIS GOFF | The Journal Gazette

Fans in Fort Wayne will remember Jose Ruiz as a catcher because he was behind the plate when he played for the TinCaps in 2015.

Less than two years after Ruiz was a fixture at Parkview Field, he's been called up to the major leagues. As a pitcher. After making the conversion before the 2016 season, the San Diego Padres decided Monday that Ruiz, 22, was ready for a trial run at the highest level.

In 34 2/3 innings this year at San Diego's high-A affiliate, Ruiz has allowed 37 hits compared to 38 strikeouts. His ERA is 5.19, but reportedly the right-hander's fastball has reached 99 mph.

The Padres made a trade Monday, sending pitchers Trevor Cahill, Brandon Maurer and Ryan Buchter to Kansas City for Matt Strahm, Travis Wood, Esteury Ruiz and cash. There was speculation that Ruiz's trip to the majors was due to the need to fill a roster spot and the fact he plays in Lake Elsinore, California, roughly 80 miles from San Diego.

Still, the accomplishment was notable for a player who struggled as a hitter. In 90 games as a TinCap, Ruiz hit .214 without a home run.

Mr. Mayor: Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry attended the TinCaps' home game against Kane County on Monday night and stopped by the broadcast booth to join the telecast. "Can't beat this view of downtown," Henry wrote on his Twitter account.

Good cause: The first 500 fans to arrive at Parkview Field on Monday received a Joe Torre card. He managed the New York Yankees to four World Series championships and is in the Hall of Fame, but it was all about raising awareness for his charitable foundation, Joe Torre Safe At Home, which works to end domestic violence.