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Phillies receive good news on Ruiz

Phillies receive good news on Ruiz

MIAMI -- Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz's left wrist bothered him enough Tuesday night that he had a closed-door meeting with manager Charlie Manuel at Land Shark Stadium.

The Phillies were concerned enough that they flew Ruiz to Philadelphia to see hand specialist Randall Culp.

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Wednesday that Ruiz received an MRI, and results revealed no structural damage. Ruiz, however, has inflammation in the joint and likely will receive a cortisone injection Thursday. If he receives the injection, Amaro said Ruiz would be out three to five days.

"It actually was good news because there was no structural damage," Amaro said.

Ruiz sprained his wrist about a week ago against the Nationals at Citizens Bank Park, when a foul ball glanced off his arm. He aggravated the injury Friday at Turner Field, when Matt Diaz slid into him on a play at the plate.

Ruiz, who was unavailable to comment, said before Tuesday's doubleheader against the Marlins that he still felt soreness in the wrist, but could play. He played in Game 2 of the doubleheader and left the game in the eighth inning for a pinch-hitter. Manuel said he had an idea Ruiz was hurting when he asked him how he felt.

"I can play," Ruiz responded.

"That tells me that you're hurt," Manuel replied. "If you say, 'I can play,' what does that mean?"

But with Ruiz sidelined for the next several days, the catching duties fall to Paul Bako and Paul Hoover. Bako became Ruiz's backup when the Phillies waived Chris Coste in July. The Phils considered Bako, who is hitting .193 (17-for-88) with two home runs and six RBIs, a superior catcher defensively to Coste, who is hitting .204 (20-for-98) with nine RBIs with the Astros.

Amaro and Manuel said they like the job Bako has done behind the plate.

Hoover has 76 career plate appearances with Tampa Bay and Florida. He hit .253 (62-for-245) with one homer and 28 RBIs with Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Asked if he is comfortable with the team's depth at catcher with Ruiz out, Amaro said, "I don't have much of a choice. The guys who are catching are going to catch. We've got Bako and Hoover here. Clearly, we need Chooch on our club. He's important.

"There wasn't any indication it would be a long-term issue, at least from the MRI, and the exam from Culp."

That is a relief for Manuel.

"We can't afford to lose nobody that plays that much," he said.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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