Rangers’ Rua Seeking Less Eventful 2016
ARLINGTON—Eventful and a learning experience…two ways that Texas Rangers outfielder Ryan Rua describes his 2015 season.
Rua, 25, had played well in spring training, well enough in fact not just to have earned a spot on the Rangers’ opening day roster, but as their starting left fielder. It was a nice story for a guy who debuted in August 2014 after Texas drafted him in the 17th round of the 2011 June Draft.
The Ohio native played five games last season before a non-displaced fracture in his right heel and an ankle sprain sent him to the disabled list.
Rua didn’t return from the DL until mid-June and shuttled back and forth between Arlington and Triple-A Round Rock for much of the summer until the Rangers brought him up as a September call-up so he could finish the season in the majors.
All told, he hit .193 with 4 HR and 7 RBI in 28 games with the Rangers, but the lessons from last season are the biggest thing he’ll take away from such an eventful campaign.
“Yeah, it was definitely interesting. Winning the job out of spring training and coming out of spring training on a high note, excited. Then, unfortunately get hurt. I’d never been hurt in my career. I experienced a couple things I’d never really experienced,” Rua said last week during the Rangers’ winter pitchers’ camp.
“Coming to the minors and getting up here, I’d never been hurt and never really struggled and learned how to deal with that. I think that’s a good learning point for me last year. It happens. It’s part of the game. I’m excited to get back and get ready this year.”
But like many players who miss a considerable amount of time injured, he used his time to learn all he could from veterans like Elvis Andrus and Prince Fielder, to see how they handle their business on a daily basis and how they grind every day to become successful big-leaguers.
Originally, the plan was for Rua to play in the prospect-laden Arizona Fall League last October, but considering the tough 2015 he had, he and the Rangers decided it was best for him to head home to get away from the game for a bit – which also allowed Rua to get married.
“Yeah, I talked to [GM Jon Daniels] about it for a long time before the decision was made. I wanted to get out there and play as much as I wanted to be home. Like I said, there were things that went on last year and what not,” Rua said. “I think I just kind of wanted to get home, relax, clear my mind, get healthy, get stronger, get quicker and get ready to compete again this year.”
But the good news is that Rua feels good, “100 percent ready to go” as he put it.
“Everything in Ohio’s indoors and what not, so I’m looking forward [to getting outside]. I’m excited to get to Arizona,” Rua said.