Ruggiano placed on 15-day DL with hamstring strain
Cubs outfielder expected to miss three to four weeks with leg injury
CHICAGO -- Cubs outfielder Justin Ruggiano was just starting to feel good about his swing and hit his first home run on Wednesday. But in the ninth, he felt his left hamstring "pop" as he ran after Aaron Hill's ball, and is now on the 15-day disabled list.
Ruggiano has a Grade 2 strain of his left hamstring, and will be sidelined three to four weeks.
"About three steps before I went into a dive, I felt a pull in the hamstring, and then one step before I went into my dive, I felt a pop," Ruggiano said Thursday. "It's something that's manageable, but it'll take three weeks, probably four weeks with a rehab assignment. These guys will take care of me and we'll see how it is. It's all about how I respond internally."
There were two outs in the ninth inning of the Cubs' 7-5 loss, and the D-backs had just tied the game at 5 and had a runner at first when Hill lofted the ball to right. Ruggiano ran after it, and the ball dropped just fair for a two-run triple. Ruggiano slid into the bullpen mound, grabbing his left hamstring.
The Cubs outfielder had to be helped off the field by athletic trainer Ed Halbur and manager Rick Renteria. Ruggiano was taken to a local hospital for the MRI.
"I never felt a pop like this before," Ruggiano said. "It's one of those things where the natural reaction is as soon as you hear the pop, you grab it."
His landing on the bullpen mound had nothing to do with his leg injury. What adds to the hurt is that Ruggiano felt it was a catchable ball.
"I think I had that ball," he said. "If I hadn't hurt my hamstring, I would've gotten it."
The Cubs decided not to add another outfielder, and will rely instead on Emilio Bonifacio to fill in.
The Cubs recalled left-handed pitcher Zac Rosscup and right-handed pitcher Neil Ramirez from Triple-A Iowa on Thursday. In addition to placing Ruggiano on the DL, the Cubs optioned right-hander Blake Parker to Iowa.
The timing is bad, Ruggiano said.
"The swing was starting to feel good -- of course, it's never a good time," he said. "I can't look back and have to worry about getting back on the field."
In the sixth, Ruggiano hit his first home run, a two-run shot, which helped the Cubs open a 5-2 lead.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.