I have been driving the bandwagon for these two all season now- I know at this site, if you are going to get your voice heard, you gotta come correct. So I am going to try and do that here to the best of my ability...
Here is what I do know:
The Rays are getting below-average production from the DH position, and we cannot seem to find a full time RFer. We all agree Hinske and Gross and Gomes have done a fair job, but no one has taken the job outright. Normally, I have agreed that keeping Ruggs at AAA is only going to make him better in the long run, with that said, The slump the Rays are in doesn't seem to be going away. I tihnk Ruggs is a solid addition as the FULL TIME RF for the following reasons
his career minor league line goes: .305avg /.392obp/.505slg=.897OPS
This season he is destroying lefties (.983 ops) a weakness on the current constructed roster, he hits righties fairly this season and has better success in career numbers vs. righties than he does this season. Plays a solid RF with a just above average arm and good wheels.
His PECOTA has Jason Bay as a "lookalike" (this is before Bay got shabby knees, and Ruggs has a way better arm) Ruggs does K a lot, but has good plate discipline, and had an epic at-bat to hit his first ML homerun against Houston in June.
I believe the Rays should bring up Ruggs to replace Gomes or Aybar on current roster.
Dan Johnson is another player I'd like to see. He used to be pretty high on all the propect lists when he was a few years younger back in Oakland, Injuries and slumps killed his prospect status, and the A's let him go. Friedman smartly picked up Johnson, and we were damn lucky to keep him as he slid through waivers when we DFA'd him in April-
Currently Johnson is going at a line of: .301/.424!!!/.551/.924- he has 20 HR which I believe is most on our system at this point, has 58 walks to 55 k's, and can play 1b and the corner OF slots (he has in Durham played the OF) his OPS is over 900 vs lefties and righties this season...in other words he is destroying AAA pitching and at this moment right now is better served to be in the Rays lineup than Pena or Floyd. We are financially obligated to Pena for a while and will have to deal with his struggles, but Floyd is old, kills us when on base by being slow, has NO positional flexibility at all, and is having a fair to average season for a man his age...
Johnson's career minor league line is:
.299/.391!!!/.522/.913 his major league numbers fail compared to that, but i believe his sample size is too small to say he is a AAAA player just yet
In closing if I were GM for a minute, my lineup tomorrow would go-
1. Iwamura-2b (L)
2. Upton-CF (R)
3. D. Johnson-DH (L)
4. Longoria-3b (R)
5. Pena-1b (L)
6. Ruggiano or Hinske (R) flip a coin
7. Crawford-LF (L)
8. Navarro-C (S)
9. Bartlett-SS (R)
I truly believe they both could make a difference right now, and will continue to update on thier progress on this post every day
Both of them went 1 for 3 with a double---DJ struck out once