“Roster Resurgence: Brewers Secure Veteran Power Bat Amidst Injury Woes”

“Roster Resurgence: Brewers Secure Veteran Power Bat Amidst Injury Woes”

  • Sports
  • 17 May 2023
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In a series of roster moves, the Milwaukee Brewers have made a significant addition to their lineup by signing first baseman/outfielder Darin Ruf to a one-year contract. This move comes as the team faces injuries to key players and aims to strengthen their offensive production.

To accommodate Ruf’s arrival, right-hander Brandon Woodruff was transferred to the 60-day injured list, creating a spot on the 40-man roster. Additionally, first baseman Luke Voit was placed on the 10-day injured list due to a strained neck. The Brewers also made further adjustments by optioning righty Colin Rea and recalling righty Trevor Megill.

Darin Ruf, 36, brings a history of success as a lefty-mashing specialist, although he has faced some struggles in recent times. After a fruitful stint in the KBO League from 2017 to 2019, Ruf returned to North America, signing with the Giants in 2020. During the shortened season and the subsequent campaign, he displayed an impressive batting line of .272/.381/.519 in 412 plate appearances, resulting in a 142 wRC+. Notably, Ruf excelled against southpaw pitchers, boasting a .275/.390/.579 line and an outstanding 156 wRC+.

However, Ruf’s overall performance dipped last year, as he posted a .216/.328/.373 line with a 104 wRC+. After being traded to the Mets, his production declined significantly, recording a meager .152/.216/.197 line for the remainder of the season. Following the Mets’ decision to designate him for assignment at the end of Spring Training, Ruf returned to the Giants briefly, hitting .261/.370/.348 in just nine games before landing on the injured list due to wrist inflammation. Later, he was reinstated from the IL but was subsequently designated for assignment when the club selected shortstop prospect Casey Schmitt.

After clearing waivers, Ruf elected free agency. As the Mets had initially released him, they remain responsible for the majority of Ruf’s salary, amounting to $3 million this year, along with a $250,000 buyout on a 2024 option. The Brewers will only owe him the prorated league minimum for the time Ruf spends on the roster, with the Mets’ payment subtracted. This financial arrangement presents a low-risk move for the Brewers as they hope Ruf can rediscover his excellent form from previous years.

Luke Voit’s struggles this season prompted the Brewers to seek an alternative for the right-handed hitting first baseman/designated hitter position. Voit, signed to a one-year, $2 million deal, has underperformed, posting a lackluster .221/.284/.265 line with a wRC+ of just 55. Once known as one of the league’s most powerful hitters, Voit led the league in home runs during the shortened 2020 season. However, various injuries have hampered his performance since then, and he has struggled to find consistency. With Ruf’s arrival, Voit may face competition for his roster spot once he recovers from his neck strain.

Meanwhile, Brandon Woodruff’s transfer to the 60-day injured list was expected, considering he was diagnosed with a Grade 2 subscapular strain in his right shoulder in April. His return is not anticipated until late June, and the transfer was a necessary procedural move, making him ineligible to return until 60 days from his initial placement on the IL. Despite Woodruff’s absence, the Brewers are optimistic about their pitching staff’s ability to hold strong until his eventual return.

With the signing of Darin Ruf and strategic roster adjustments, the Milwaukee Brewers

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