LAKELAND, Fla. -- One would think these would be some nerve-wracking days for outfielder Justin Ruggiano, a non-roster player who is battling for a spot on the Opening Day roster. The laid-back Ruggiano, though, isn't thinking too much about what the future holds.
"I've done what I can do," he said. "I started out 0-for-15, and I feel as camp's progressed, I've gotten better, and I feel pretty confident where I'm at. It's not my decision, so it's nothing I can control, so why worry about it? I try to go out there and have fun every day. I get to put on a uniform today and play baseball, and not many people can say they do that. I'm really grateful for that."
Ruggiano, 29, is a career .226 hitter with six homers and 23 RBIs in 98 career games, all with the Rays. The Texas native has spent most of his career in the Minor Leagues, hitting .295 with 103 homers and 474 RBIs in 766 games.
Ruggiano, a right-handed bat, has shown a little pop this spring and has played steady defense. The Astros have a shortage of right-handed-hitting outfielders, which could help Ruggiano's chances.
"I've had some really good at-bats and hit the ball hard and right at people a lot of times," he said. "I'm really happy with the way it's gone. I feel I've put my best foot forward right now. The numbers aren't great, but it's Spring Training, and that's to be expected for some guys."