It would not seem as though Norge Ruiz is faring well in his trial run with the Oakland A’s.
He allowed 11 runs, ten earned, in his first four outings. Even with a run of strong outings, he has a 6.43 ERA on the season. Based on that statistic alone, Ruiz would appear to be just another guy in the bullpen, someone that could be replaced with ease once the A’s are ready to contend.
Norge Ruiz not nearly as bad as numbers look
However, Ruiz has pitched better than his ERA if one looks further. He has posted a 1.643 WHiP, allowing 23 baserunners in his 14 innings, but 19 of those baserunners came over those first four outings spanning 6.2 innings.
That reflects in other areas. Ruiz has a 2.83 FIP showing that he should have had much better results based on a neutral defense. His 16 strikeouts with just three walks have led to an impressive 5.33 K/BB rate. He is generating grounders at an impressive clip while his average exit velocity against has steadily decreased.
Ruiz does have a tendency to get hit at times. He is not overpowering and has to rely upon spotting his pitches as close to precisely as possible. There are times when he throws too many strikes considering the type of stuff that he does have.
But there is also a lot to like. If he lives in the bottom of the zone, he can generate plenty of weak ground balls. That will be the key to his success going forward especially as he learns to adjust to the majors. Considering he has five consecutive scoreless outings heading into Wednesday, that may be happening.
Norge Ruiz has not looked good based on his raw numbers. However, the Oakland A’s reliever has been better than it would seem.