Pitching coach Vern Ruhle is back with the ballclub:

Cancer treatments had noticeably taken some weight off pitching coach Vern Ruhle and hampered his endurance.

But back with the Reds on Friday for the first time since Spring Training, Ruhle couldn’t help feeling great.

“It’s been a fun day,” Ruhle said. “There’s been a lot of smiles and visiting with the different players. A few last year and some even this year that have known about what I’ve gone through have given big hugs and [said], ‘Great to see you,’ and so on.”

Last week, Ruhle had a check-up at Houston’s M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and was told he was showing solid improvement.

“‘I don’t need to see you until after the season is over,'” Ruhle said the doctor told him.

The 55-year-old wasted little time. He quickly called Reds manager Jerry Narron and asked if he could come back to work. Ruhle, who spent some of Friday’s pre-game time monitoring bullpen sessions and pitchers’ batting practice, will be with the club for the six-game homestand but not travel on the next road trip. Nothing else was planned beyond that.

“We’re just elated that he’s here,” Narron said.

“To see him in uniform and on the field is awesome,” reliever Todd Coffey said.

Indeed. Our thoughts remain with Ruhle and his family, and I hope we get to see him much more often now.