CHICAGO -- Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston has decided the time has come to begin working Randy Ruiz into the lineup more often. Stranded on the bench for much of the season so far, Ruiz was in the fifth spot and at first base for Sunday's game against the White Sox. He fanned in his first plate appearance.
"I'm just trying to get Ruiz in there once in a while," Gaston said. "I'm going to do my best to try to get him in a couple days a week, if I can. We'll see what happens. He got a couple hits the other day. It was a left-hander, but we'll see what happens."
Gaston was referring to Ruiz's 2-for-3 performance on Friday night, when Sox lefty Mark Buehrle was on the mound. On Sunday, the right-handed-hitting Ruiz got the nod against Chicago right-hander Gavin Floyd, leaving the left-handed-hitting Lyle Overbay on the bench.
During Toronto's last homestand, Gaston said that the Blue Jays had made an "organizational commitment" to use Overbay as a full-time player. Through 31 games, though, Overbay has hit at a .179 clip. Entering Sunday, the Jays' regular first baseman was batting .171 over his last 12 games.
Ruiz entered the day hitting only .167 this season, but he has appeared in just 10 games (eight starts), including Sunday. His first plate appearance on Sunday was his 25th of the season. Last year, Ruiz hit .313, with 10 homers and 17 RBIs, in a 33-game stint with Toronto. Gaston said Ruiz would likely spell Overbay on occasion, or he would serve as the designated hitter on days when an outfielder gets a day off.
"We'll work it out there to kind of see if we can get him some more at-bats," Gaston said.