Phillies Notes: Ruiz out with sore wrist
The Phils catcher hopes to be back Saturday, but is day to day.
SAN DIEGO - His left wrist hurt immediately Thursday when Carlos Ruiz withstood Will Venable's crashing into him in the sixth inning. The Phillies catcher batted two more times and struck out in both chances.
It was hard to grip a bat.
"That's true, but I don't make excuses," Ruiz said. "But it was definitely sore, and it was more sore this morning when I woke up."
So Ruiz did not play Friday and could very well sit Saturday, too. Manager Charlie Manuel inserted backup catcher Brian Schneider into the lineup to rest Ruiz's sore left wrist.
Manuel said Ruiz was available only should the Phillies have an emergency need for another catcher. Ruiz tried swinging briefly before batting practice. He indicated the swelling has persisted but said no X-rays were taken.
The manager said head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan reported it was a day-to-day injury. Ruiz also injured his left wrist in a collision at home plate in 2009 and missed nine games. The Phillies do not believe this injury to be as serious, but it's still uncertain.
"I hope one day, and that's it," Ruiz said.
Manuel paired Ruiz with Vance Worley for the first time in 14 regular-season starts Thursday. Schneider was Worley's catcher, and the Phillies rode the relationship because it bred success. But Worley's confidence is self-sufficient now, and Ruiz's bat is too valuable.
With a new guide, things were different. Worley said Ruiz called for his breaking balls - a slider and curveball - with more frequency early in the game. In his last start, Worley threw 22 sliders. He used it 36 times Thursday, according to Pitch F/X data. Opposing hitters swung and missed at it six times.
"He did a really good job of mixing up the pitches for me," Worley said.
The Phillies hope to have a clearer idea on when Chase Utley could play once they see their second baseman in Phoenix next week. Utley has been working there with physical therapist Brett Fischer since the beginning of the season.
Manuel has been impressed by Utley's replacement, Freddy Galvis, and said Friday he believes Galvis has a spot on the team even when Utley returns.
"He'll still get to play some at second," Manuel said, "and we have to spell Jimmy Rollins some at shortstop."
Manuel started Ty Wigginton at first base Friday because he had three extra-base hits in six career at-bats against Padres starter Edinson Volquez. That left John Mayberry Jr. on the bench after a maddening 0 for 4 in Thursday's win. "I definitely thought about playing Mayberry," Manuel said. "I think about playing him every day."
Wigginton, Mayberry and Nix have alternated at first base, but Manuel said he'd like to find one bat that's hot.
"If somebody takes off and starts hitting, it forces you to leave them in the game," Manuel said. "But also, I think all of them need some at-bats to get something out of them. Until somebody gets in there and takes the job, then I guess we'll play a game and see who we think is the better fit on that day."
Ryan Howard did not see a wound specialist Friday in Philadelphia as scheduled, Ruben Amaro Jr. said. Howard will go Monday, instead, and Amaro said Howard could finally be cleared for increased activity in his rehab. . . . The Phillies will face lefthander Corey Luebke on Saturday but are scheduled to see four righties after that. They have scored five runs in four games (2-2) against lefty starters.