Ruggiano riding high as playing time grows

Ruggiano riding high as playing time grows

PHOENIX -- It's pretty simple, really. More regular at-bats and more playing time usually ends in better results. Justin Ruggiano is proof of that.

Entering Sunday's series finale against the D-backs, the Cubs outfielder was batting .371 with seven doubles, two homers and 12 RBIs in his last 19 games since June 25. He has 57 at-bats in July; he had 59 total in June.

"In Spring Training, I had only 35, 40 at-bats, and for me to say I feel comfortable, it usually takes 60 to sometimes even 100 [at-bats]," Ruggiano said. "The more at-bats, the more comfortable I get, the more pitches I see, the more I can make adjustments. Sometimes you can come out and be hot right out of the gates, sometimes it takes awhile. For me, it's just getting into a rhythm."

He did miss time after suffering a strained left hamstring in late April. He hasn't been able to run as much as he'd like, preferring to take a cautionary approach.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for 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.