MIAMI -- Justin Ruggiano was not in the lineup for the second consecutive game Monday, but the 30-year-old is not missing time due to injury.
Even though Ruggiano is one of the Marlins' hottest hitters, manager Ozzie Guillen decided to give the left-handed-hitting Greg Dobbs the start against Nationals right-hander Edwin Jackson.
"Tomorrow we're going to face a lefty," Guillen said, referring to Cubs southpaw Travis Wood. "I'm just giving some at-bats to a lefty against Jackson. He'll be ready to play tomorrow."
Ruggiano assured that he is perfectly healthy and looking forward to whenever Guillen calls on him to enter the game.
"I'm fine," Ruggiano said. "I think putting Dobbs in right field is good. Dobbs is handling right-handers really well, and I think Ozzie is just going with what he feels gives us the best opportunity. I'm just trying to stay ready for a big situation."
Acquired by the Marlins in late May, Ruggiano went on a tear almost immediately and earned more playing time with every successful at-bat.
"I think that's the difference between a Major Leaguer and a Minor Leaguer," Ruggiano said. "It's someone who has been given a chance and it's not just a two- or three-day chance. Sometimes when you first get called up, you have to get acclimated and get that heart rate down. It's your dream, and then when you get here, you've got all kind of emotions flowing. It takes a while to settle down. I still get butterflies every game. I hope they never leave."
Ruggiano has hit .378 with six homers and 17 RBIs since joining the Marlins. While he acknowledges his success so far, the outfielder is still appreciative of the opportunity Guillen and the Marlins have given him this year.
"Ozzie's given me a chance and I'm just very grateful for it," Ruggiano said.