The Padres announced that they’ve designated right-hander Jose Ruiz for assignment. His spot on the 40-man roster will go to shortstop Freddy Galvis, whose trade to San Diego has now been officially announced by both the Padres and Phillies.
Ruiz, 23, made the considerable jump from Class-A Advanced to the Majors this season, though he only threw a single inning at the big league level. The Venezuelan-born Ruiz worked as a catcher for the bulk of his pro career with the Padres but began transitioning to the mound in 2016. He tossed a career-high 49 2/3 innings in 2017 with the team’s Class-A Advanced affiliate, struggling to a 5.98 ERA in that time.
Ruiz, however, sat at 95.3 mph with his heater in his lone MLB appearance this past season and averaged 8.2 K/9 in his first full season as a pitcher in the minors. He also averaged 4.5 BB/9, though, and posted a low 32.5 percent ground-ball rate, which contributed to some trouble in keeping the ball in the park (1.27 HR/9). He’s tossed 16 innings in the Venezuelan Winter League this offseason, posting a 3.94 ERA with a 12-to-6 K/BB ratio, a hit batter and a wild pitch.
In 1005 plate appearances throughout his minor league career, Ruiz is a .203/.239/.249 hitter, so it seems unlikely that he’ll return to the catching position anytime soon.