Chooch Playing Like All-Star
- He leads big-league catchers in batting average (.343), slugging percentage (.610), OPS (.999) and game-winning RBIs (four).
- He is tied for first with A.J. Pierzynski with 24 RBIs.
- He is tied for first with Carlos Santana with six go-ahead RBIs.
- He is second in home runs (six). Only Matt Wieters (seven) has more.
- He ranks third in on-base percentage (.390).
And those are just his rankings when he is hitting as a catcher. His .990 OPS overall — it’s a bit lower than his catcher OPS because he is 1-for-3 as a pinch-hitter — ranks 12th in baseball. His .602 slugging percentage is 10th.
Simply put, Chooch is one of the best hitters in baseball right now.
I know a lot of people have been asking why Charlie Manuel does not hit Ruiz third. Good question. But much like Jimmy Rollins being more comfortable hitting leadoff (despite the fact he’s hitting just .247 since his return to the top spot) and Hunter Pence being more comfortable hitting anywhere but fourth (his career .711 OPS hitting cleanup is the lowest of any spot in the order) I think Manuel believes this: Ruiz is tearing the cover off the ball. He’s comfortable. So don’t move him into a spot where he might feel more pressure to produce.
Manuel has had Ruiz hit fifth four times and sixth four times since May 5. Before this stretch Ruiz had hit higher than seventh only 31 times in his career. I say keep hitting him fifth or sixth. The Phillies are hitting .276/.328/.438 since April 22 in San Diego. They are averaging 4.9 runs per game in that span, which ranks fourth in the National League. They are scoring runs more consistently, and Ruiz is producing where he is.
Don’t screw that up.
Since Kyle Kendrick allowed six runs in seven innings in Toronto last July, he has a 2.96 ERA in 13 starts.
Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here! Here are our upcoming book signings:
- June 2: Citizens Bank Park, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
- June 16: Barnes & Noble, Wilmington, Del, 2 p.m.