The Mets have signed recently released journeyman outfielder Justin Ruggiano, who last played with Texas Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate Round Rock Express. Ruggiano is active for tonight’s game against the Colorado Rockies, batting seventh and playing center field.
In 44 games with Triple-A Round Rock, Ruggiano hit .226 with seven home runs, 23 RBIs, and a .748 OPS. He was released Friday by the Texas organization, having spent just three days at the beginning of the season on the MLB roster.
Ruggiano will fill the 25-man roster spot vacated by Jose Reyes, who has been placed on the disabled list with a Grade I intercostal strain on his left ribcage. Reyes left the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader against the Cardinals feeling pain after an at-bat, and has not been able to play since. According to Mets manager Terry Collins, Reyes cannot swing right-handed with this injury.
Juan Lagares was also placed on the disabled list earlier this week after undergoing surgery on his thumb, opening a spot in the Mets’ outfield for Ruggiano.
The Mets will hope the 34-year-old Texan finds success similar to James Loney, who also had been playing in Triple-A before being traded to New York for cash considerations. Loney is batting .288/.340/.451 in 50 games since joining the Mets.
The Mets will be Ruggiano’s seventh club in eight major league seasons. Before the Rangers, he played for the Rays, Marlins, Cubs, Mariners, and Dodgers.