Dick Ruthven, following season-ending elbow surgery in August of 1979, made his first appearance in Spring Training. He pitched three innings against the Boston Red Sox, allowing one run. More importantly, the elbow responded just fine to the stress of pitching. Ruthven, of course, would be instrumental in getting the Phillies to the division title, winning 17 games, and recorded the final out of the NLCS. An interesting rumor had Garry Maddox being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Don Sutton. That would have been an interesting scenario, as Maddox was down offensively in 1980, but was an important piece of the team during the playoffs. Sutton, of course, won over 300 games in a Hall-of-Fame career, but was already 35 years old by 1980. For the record, Sutton went 13-5 with a 2.20 ERA for the Dodgers, who lost a one-game playoff with Houston for the Western Division title.
|From The March
18, 1980 edition of The Doylestown Daily Intelligencer:
Ruthven Looks Sharp In First Season Outing
By Paul Giordano, Intelligencer Writer
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - St. Patrick's Day was something a little extra special for the Phillies. The green it brought could pay greener dividends come October.
It was Dick Ruthven's first test. Ruthven, who had elbow surgery last September, was making his first round appearance since being disabled last Aug. 8.
Ruthven was impressive as the Phils downed the Boston Red Sox, 9-3.
Rookie catcher Keith Moreland and Greg Gross supplied the necessary lumber. Moreland collected three hits, including a triple, scored three runs and Gross had a pair of RBI, including an RBI double.
But it was Ruthven and how he pitched that was of interest. Without him on the mound with a sound arm, the Phils are in very deep trouble in 1980.
Ruthven retired the first four batters he faced. The Red Sox, playing their A lineup, did manage a run, but it came on a pair of singles and a double-play ball.
Ruthven pitched a total of three innings, allowed just three hits and only one run. He didn't strike out anyone, but neither did he walk anyone.
"I was really surprised and impressed with the way he pitched,'"Dallas Green said. "He kept the ball down and had a very good change, curve and fastball. He didn't have any pain in the arm at all."
"No," Ruthven said, sitting in the training room with his elbow packed in ice, "no pain at all. I don't even think about it when I'm out there. There's no concern about it as far as I'm concerned.
"I go out there with the same idea as every spring, working on the things I know I have to have ready for the regular season. I take my time and I don't push.
EXTRA BASES - According to a source close to the Los Angeles Dodgers, there was a trade involving Garry Maddox last week. The deal would have sent Maddox to the Dodgers in exchange for pitcher Don Sutton. However, it was reported that Sutton vetoed the trade, saying he would not sit in the other dugout in Dodger Stadium. In other words, Sutton would have only okayed a trade to the American League.