Marlins call up Ruggiano shortly after trade

Marlins call up Ruggiano shortly after trade

Marlins call up Ruggiano shortly after trade
MIAMI -- Justin Ruggiano was one of the last people to find out he was traded to the Marlins on Saturday, but was more than pleased when he was called up to the big league club on Sunday.

The 30-year-old outfielder, who was acquired Saturday from the Astros in exchange for Minor League catcher Jobduan Morales, said he was asleep on Triple-A Oklahoma City's team bus in Albuquerque, N.M., when he missed the phone call informing him he had been traded.

It wasn't until three hours later that he woke up and saw a dozen messages from people on his phone.

"You wake up and you see the 12 on your iPhone and you kind of panic a little bit," Ruggiano said.

That panic quickly turned into relief and then joy when the Marlins selected his contract in order to give them another right-handed option in the outfield. To make room for Ruggiano, the Marlins optioned outfielder Kevin Mattison to Triple-A New Orleans and transferred right-handed pitcher Jose Ceda to the 60-day disabled list.

Saturday's deal marked the second time in his career Ruggiano has been traded. While in the Minors, Ruggiano was traded from one dugout to the other when the Jacksonville Dodgers traded him to the Montgomery Biscuits -- right before the teams faced each other.

"It's a little easier this time," Ruggiano said. "Being traded to a big league team is a little easier."

Ruggiano, who hit .325 in 39 games for Oklahoma City, fills the need for a right-handed outfielder while Austin Kearns is on the DL with a strained right hamstring and switch-hitter Emilio Bonifacio is sidelined for four to six weeks following thumb surgery.

With Kearns and Bonifacio out, and left fielder Logan Morrison playing first base since Gaby Sanchez was optioned to New Orleans, the Marlins have played lefties Chris Coghlan and Bryan Petersen in left and center field, respectively. Against Giants lefty Madison Bumgarner on Saturday, the Marlins started career infielder Donovan Solano in left, where he hadn't played since 2008.

Saturday's acquisition allows the Marlins to play Ruggiano in left field against southpaws while Coghlan and Petersen split time in center. Guillen said Sunday that Ruggiano would start the next time the Marlins face a lefty.

"We need one, we need a guy that can help us, a right-handed hitter to come off the bench," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "[Ruggiano] can bring a lot of things. I saw him play a few years with Tampa Bay. I think he can help us."