José Ruiz is in danger of not making the Chicago White Sox 40-man.
Signing as an international free agent in 2011 with the Padres as a catcher, José Ruiz converted to pitching in 2016 to finally make San Diego’s 40-man. He made his debut in 2017 and the first player he struck out was Yoenis Céspedes but he was DFA’d at the end of the season.
The White Sox claimed Ruiz in 2017 and he wore the black pinstripes in 2018. The most innings he pitched came in 2019 when he took on 40 innings and struck out 35. His 5.63 ERA, however, is not something you want to see. In four innings in 2020, he allowed just one run with five strikeouts. It was a small sample size but five K’s in four innings is impressive. It may just not be enough.
Last week it was announced that Jimmy Cordero underwent Tommy John surgery and he will be out for the season. If healthy, Cordero might not have made the initial 26-man roster. He is more reliable than Ruiz so odds are he won’t make the cut.
At 26, Ruiz has yet to break out. He may not have more than 50 innings in the majors but in his service time (52 games) he holds a 5.11 ERA with a 1.85 WHIP. He has struck out 47. In five innings of work this spring, Ruiz allowed five earned runs on three walks and eight hits.
His 9.00 ERA looks weird next to the 10 strikeouts he recorded. Two-thirds of the hitters he faced he put down on strikes. It is clear that Ruiz has the stuff to succeed but he has yet to put it together and the Sox need a DH this year more than an extra pitcher.