In a season that was supposed to finally mark his big league breakthrough, Randy Ruiz will instead head overseas to Japan after being released by the Toronto Blue Jays today.
A career minor leaguer, Ruiz was one of the feel-good stories of spring training as he appeared to make the jump to the majors after hitting .352 with three home runs and 10 RBI in 21 games. However, once the regular season began, he still found himself fighting for playing time behind starting first baseman Lyle Overbay and DH Adam Lind. It didn’t help that he hit just .150 and didn’t show much power over 13 games and 40 at-bats.
The 32-year old had spent 13 years toiling in the minors and awaiting his big break. Over that time, he won two batting titles and earned Pacific Coast League MVP honours in 2009. He will have a chance to make a similar impact with an entirely different Pacific League, having signed a contract with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of the Japan Pacific League.
To fill his vacated roster spot, the Jays have called up Jeremy Reed for his second stint of the season with the team.
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Written by Ben Fisher