The Brewers announced they have signed first baseman/outfielder Darin Ruf to a one-year contract. Right-hander Brandon Woodruff was transferred to the 60-day injured list to open a spot on the 40-man roster while first baseman Luke Voit was placed on the 10-day injured list with a strained neck to get Ruf onto the active roster. Additionally, the club optioned righty Colin Rea and recalled fellow righty Trevor Megill.
Ruf, 36, has had some success as a lefty-mashing specialist in his career, though he’s been struggling a bit over the past year. After a successful stint in the KBO League from 2017 to 2019, he returned to North America by signing with the Giants prior to 2020. In that shortened season and the subsequent campaign, he hit .272/.381/.519 in 412 plate appearances for a 142 wRC+, including a .275/.390/.579 line and 156 wRC+ against southpaws.
Last year, his overall line dipped to .216/.328/.373, which led to a passable 104 wRC+ but that was obviously not as strong as his previous work. After a trade to the Mets, his production cratered, as he mustered a paltry .152/.216/.197 line the rest of the way. The Mets held onto him through the winter but designated him for assignment at the end of Spring Training. Ruf then returned to the Giants and hit a solid .261/.370/.348 in a tiny sample of nine games before landing on the injured list due to wrist inflammation. He was later reinstated from the IL and designated for assignment when the club selected shortstop prospect Casey Schmitt.
Ruf cleared waivers and elected free agency. Since the Mets initially released him, they are still on the hook for the majority of Ruf’s salary, which is $3MM this year along with a $250K buyout on a 2024 option. The Brewers will only owe him the prorated league minimum for any time Ruf spends on the roster, with that amount subtracted from what the Mets pay. That makes it a fairly low-risk move, at least from a financial perspective, as the Brewers see if Ruf can get back to the excellent form he showed a few years ago.
He will effectively be replacing Voit on the roster as the club’s right-handed hitting first baseman/designated hitter. Voit was signed to a one-year, $2MM deal for this season but has slumped to a .221/.284/.265 showing so far this year for a wRC+ of just 55. Once one of the most potent power hitters in the league, he led the league in homers in the shortened 2020 season before various injuries seemed to slow him down. He hit an average-ish .230/.314/.412 for a wRC+ of 105 over 2021 and 2022 while bouncing from the Yankees to the Padres and Nationals, going on the injured list for an oblique strain and ongoing knee problems. The Brewers gave him a shot this year but he hasn’t been able to capitalize on it just yet and he might have to battle Ruf for his roster spot whenever his neck strain subsides.
As for Woodruff, his transfer to the 60-day IL doesn’t come as a surprise. He was diagnosed with a Grade 2 subscapular strain in his right shoulder in April and isn’t expected back until late June. He’ll now be ineligible to return until 60 days from his initial IL placement of April 8, which would be early June. Since he wasn’t expected to return until after that point anyway, this transfer was an inevitable formality.
Painful watching L.Voit attempt to “run”
Voit needs to get another shipment from his boy O’neil
Shipment of what???
Oh, this is a ridiculous PED accusation. How clever…
Agreed. Anyone that accuses Voit of PEDs has never laid eyes on him. Next he will accuse Daniel Vogelbach of PEDs. The PEDs accusations have always been overblown anyway. I could take PEDs everyday for breakfast lunch and dinner and I am sure I still won’t be able to hit a MLB slider. They seemed to work at helping them return from injuries faster than normal and they stayed productive into their early 40s but they do nothing to help with the fundamentals of the game. These fools seem to think that a below replacement player could take PEDs and all of a sudden become league MVP. That’s not how it works. They allow players to work harder in the weight room, and to spend more time in the cages. The improvement is from being able to stress your body more and getting a quick recovery. They will never help you throw or hit a curve ball…
@coffinnail 100% agree. It’s not going to turn a guy on the roster bubble into hank Aaron. Will it help with recovery from injury or allow an older player to heal and recover faster hell yes. It’s basically the difference between griffey and bonds on the back end of their careers
I wonder if Woodruff is done for the year. That’s a tough loss.
Voit: I forget he is even on the team.
Rea had that nice outing vs the Angels. That was it.
He’s currently anticipated back late June. The transferring to the 60 day won’t really affect that. Everything I’ve read so far on him is that he’s progressing well and still on schedule for a late June return.
They will do anything to prevent Hiura from coming up
This annoying rhetoric that the brewers front office is keeping Huira from reaching his full potential is quite ridiculous. They have given him countless opportunities to improve and he has shown he can’t hit major league pitching. They moved him to first, let him DH, let him work out his issues in the minors year after year. He’s been giving more than enough chances.
He’s a AAAA player who can only DH. He sucks. I’d rather just have him released.
He is also on the minor league IL.
As much as I’d like to see Rookie year Hiura come back, he just hasn’t been able to adjust to the adjustments that opposing pitchers made to him. Maybe a change of scenery would help him, but maybe wherever else he goes, he’ll just continue to hit wel in the minors and lose it in the majors.
Every time he’s sent to the minors he takes, and as soon as he’s called up, he’s almost a guaranteed strikeout.
What would be the point? Nevermind the 15 times they sent him down, he “figured it out” so they recalled him and he hit for a week then plummeted back to sub-Mendoza-land, OR that he’s apparently injured himself right now, if they were to recall him and he did his usual 7 days of fire then couldn’t hit it off a tee routine…they’d have to DFA him again and go through that whole mess.
I have no reason to believe that Ruf will do anything to help the team, but I think I speak for most Brewer fans when I say I’m done getting my hopes up for Hiura.
The Brewer’s Hiura is not really even a prospect anymore; he’s been given so many chances and shown so very little, that the bloom has long been off that rose. The Brewers need anyone that can hit consistently and Hiura has long shown, he cannot help them in that regard, unfortunately.
It’s hard for me to believe that the Brewers don’t have anybody in the minors they can give a shot to and keep adding guys like this. Try the Batboy.
The Brewers AAA team is filled with journeymen, Hiura is hurt and with Frelick hurt pretty much no prospects. Unless the Brewers want to get really nuts with calling up Tyler Black from AA, there are no hitters to call up.
If Garrett Mitchell & Sal Frelick weren’t both injured one of them would have received a call over Ruf.
Garrett Mitchell would’ve still been on the major league roster. Frelick would’ve received the call when Mitchell got hurt if he hadn’t gotten hurt the same day, but he has indeed missed some call up opportunities because of his injury.
Frelick was hitting .232 with an OPS of .639 at that time. He wasn’t going to get the call if healthy.
Lauer must be going back into the rotation
Rea was horrible yesterday. Whether or not Lauer figured something out in his Contreras-esque demotion is sort of irrelevant to me. Just anyone not named Rea is a good idea IMO.
Wow. Brewers are in a pretty Ruf position.
They’re barking up the wrong tree.
Will anybody notice that Voit is on the IL?
Probably not but I also don’t think many have noticed that we’ve utilized him wrong either. He hits righties better than lefties, yet we always start him against LHP. We basically bought him in to platoon and then platooned him against the wrong pitchers.
The Brewers actually did the same thing with Hiura: Hiura hits RHP better, but they gave him more PA vs. LHP.
I’ve made my feelings toward Luke known countless times. He will continue on his dysfunctional cycle of emotional eating after games while entertaining himself with conservative, AM talk radio programs until he is released.
He be eatin them red baron frozen pizzas at 11pm 🙂
Conservative AM talk radio? Tool.
10 days without Voit isn’t l9ng enough. Hope it’s rest of the season by Ruf hitting multiple HRs keeping Voit off the team. The team needs to give up platoon playing Tellez or Winker with the Voit/Rufus 1b. Use Brosseau or Caratini if you must.
The problem isn’t with Voit, it’s with how the Brewers have utilized him. Because he’s right handed, they start him against LHP. Except for years now, Voit has faired way better against RHP as opposed to LHP. This year he’s hitting .349 against RHP and .091 against LHP. Yet we start him against southpaws instead of righties. In the 5 games he’s started against righties, he’s batting .321, as opposed to .150 in 12 starts against LHP. When used correctly, he’s been fine. The problem is they’ve used him incorrectly more and that’s all most people are seeing.
Looks like you’re right. Problem is Tellez is better vs RHP. Voit coming in to the season had at least an average LHP platoon split than what Milw had to employ as a 1b/DH platoon to the LHs Tellez/Winker. It’s amazing the team can’t produce a 1b after all these years in the minors. Not even a Catcher to be a backup/RH platoon bat at 1b when needed.
“Voit shore gotta purdy mouth don’t he”
Ruf Ruf Ruf Ruf Ruf. That’s a lot of Rufs.
I think Voit is done. I don’t see him rebounding at his age with his injury history and the holes that were already in his game.
Darin Ruf ha ha ha. I thought the Brewers were savvy lol
I am having a hard time rooting for this team for some reason. I have always thought they had a stellar manager but this year everything is looking fairly mediocre-ish. I could be bitter because they swept the Mariners, but still I usually like this team, yet this year there is something lacking.
Ruf is on the move! Ruf is on the move! (For any Giants fans reading this lololol)
Good luck Darin!