SARASOTA, Fla. -- Cincinnati Reds pitching coach Vern Ruhle has cancer but plans to stay with the team while getting treatment.
The 55-year-old Ruhle informed Reds players on Thursday morning and then accompanied the team to Lakeland for its spring training opener, an 8-5 loss to the Detroit Tigers. He didn't disclose the type of cancer he has but said doctors expect him to make a full recovery.
"My doctors feel that they've caught it at an early stage and it is very treatable," Ruhle said in a statement. "I plan to maintain a presence in spring training, but there will be times when I am away from the team for a few days as I receive treatment."
Ruhle declined to comment beyond his statement.
The cancer was detected by a blood test given to players and coaches as part of spring training physicals. Ruhle lives in Sarasota and will be treated by doctors in the area.
"We will approach this as a day-to-day thing," general manager Wayne Krivsky said. "He may be able to stay with us, and we might not have to make any changes."
Cincinnati manager Jerry Narron learned about Ruhle's cancer after the coach missed a workout with pitchers and catchers.
"The good thing was that they found it early," Narron said. "He didn't have any symptoms. He had knee surgery in November and was fine then. The doctors gave him a lot of hope that it would be put in remission."
Bullpen coach Tom Hume will fill in when Ruhle needs to be away getting treatment.
Ruhle pitched in the major leagues for Detroit, Houston, Cleveland and the California Angels from 1974-86, going 67-88 with a 3.73 ERA. He was a pitching coach with Houston, Philadelphia and the Mets before joining the Reds organization in 2004.