A few follow-up thoughts on Randy Ruiz and his ball-crushing goodness. I agree with most of the commenters: why not just run him out there to see what happens? What are the chances he's worse in the field than Adam Lind? Will he be drunk? Is his vision impaired? No? Then he has a fighting chance against our hero Adam Lind.
As promised yesterday, I examined Randy Ruiz's plate coverage. While not as well-rounded as lefties Snider and Lind, Ruiz appears quite adept at taking the outside pitch the other way with power. Or, if you remember his goofy foul pole shot off Joba Chamberlain, inside-outing a tough pitch the complete opposite way.
Once again, we're looking at the horizontal position of the pitches Ruiz hit out of the park. At the bottom of the image is home plate, the top is the relative position it left the bat. 90 degrees is dead center, 45 is the right field pole. I've shown Randy Ruiz in an awesome pink uniform on the same side of the plate as you'd see him. Pitches on the left of the diagram are inside to Randy.
A few things to note or remember: red lines where fastballs, green change ups, blue sliders and the pink line is the Tim Wakefield knuckler he waited on and deposited into the left field seats. We see Ruiz doing all kinds of goofy stuff here: jumping on an outside change and pulling it to left. Sitting back on a change up and driving it to center. The bulk of the pitches ended up in the same area of the park, that he hit such a variety of pitches there is telling.
While not as revelatory as yesterday's findings (to me, anyway), this only cements to me that Randy Ruiz handles a mean bat. That either makes him a fine stop-gap for this youthful team or an important bench bat for a contender. With The Manager's blessing there is no reason he couldn't be both next year.