The Los Angeles Dodgers officially added Carlos Ruiz to their active roster on Friday, and recalled Brock Stewart from Triple-A Oklahoma City. Ruiz starts behind the plate and bats sixth in the series opener against the Chicago Cubs.
To clear room for Ruiz and Stewart, Shawn Zarraga was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City, and Kenta Maeda, in a creative roster move by the organization, was sent to Rookie-Level Arizona League Dodgers.
Their season ends Sunday, which will allow for Maeda to rejoin the club in time to make his scheduled start on Monday against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.
Zarraga was called up on Friday to serve as the backup catcher in light of A.J. Ellis being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies. Zarraga did not enter the game.
Ruiz made nine career Opening Day starts for the Phillies (2008-12, 2014-16) and was part of five National League East Division championships (2007-11), two National League pennants (2008-09), and one World Series Championship (2008).
Ruiz spent this season in backup role, hitting .261/.368/.352 with six doubles, three home runs and 12 RBI in 193 plate appearances over 48 games.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and manager Dave Roberts both highlighted Ruiz’s ability to hit left-handed pitching, which explains Friday’s start.
Ruiz is batting .250/.421/.409 off southpaws this season, and .275/.376/.438 in his career. As for Stewart, he’s 0-2 with an 11.25 ERA in three games (two starts) for the Dodgers. He slots in as a long reliever for the time being, but could be used as a starter on Sunday, depending on the Dodgers’ needs over the next two games.