The Padres announced today that right-hander Jose Ruiz has been claimed off waivers by the White Sox. San Diego had designated the hard-throwing Ruiz for assignment last week to clear a roster spot for trade acquisition Freddy Galvis.
Ruiz, 23, made the jump from Class-A Advanced to the Majors this season, though he only threw a single inning at the big league level. Ruiz worked as a catcher for the bulk of his pro career with the Padres but began transitioning to the mound in 2016 after batting just .203/.239/.249 in his career as a hitter. He tossed a career-high 49 2/3 innings in 2017 with the Padres’ 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.