In their quest to fortify their bench with a right-handed hitter, the Rangers signed Dallas-area native Justin Ruggiano yesterday to a one-year contract worth $1.6 million with incentives.
Ruggiano, like David Murphy a few seasons ago, is expected to be a fourth outfielder who just might find himself the beneficiary of a lot of playing time replacing the always injured Josh Hamilton.
He can play all three outfield positions, and some first base.
You can look up his numbers here. Ruggiano was brought in to do one thing—hit left-handed pitching. Because, goodness knows, he can’t hit right-handed pitching.
He has yin and yang splits.
In 2015, against left-handers, Ruggiano hit .301 with an on-base percentage of .370 and an OPS of .948.
Against right-handed pitching, he hit .143.
He’s Choo. Or he’s a really bad Martin.
The problem with a guy as imbalanced as that is, once he gets into a game, the opposing manger will simply make a pitching change.
Then suddenly the advantage the Rangers were seeking turns into a huge liability.