Results tagged ‘ Carlos Ruiz ’

Ruiz, Hamels, Papelbon Are NL All-Stars

Chooch made it.

Major League Baseball announced its All-Star Game rosters this afternoon and Carlos Ruiz made the National League team as a reserve.

It would have been a shock had Ruiz not made the roster. He entered Sunday leading baseball in batting average (.358). He also ranked third in on-base percentage (.423), eighth in slugging percentage (.585) and fourth in OPS (1.008).

It is a special moment for Ruiz, who is one of the most popular players in the Phillies clubhouse, because he made the All-Star team for the first time.

Cole Hamels and closer Jonathan Papelbon also made the team.

Hamels is 10-4 with a 3.08 ERA. He is tied for fourth in the Majors in wins. It is his third All-Star appearance. He also made the team in 2007 and 2011. Papelbon is 2-2 with a 3.03 ERA and 18 saves in 19 opportunities. He is tied for eighth in the Majors in saves. It is Papelbon’s fifth All-Star Game, and first with the Phillies. He made the American League All-Star team with the Boston Red Sox from 2006-09.

But Ruiz is the player Phillies fans wanted to see in Kansas City on July 10. He has been one of the very few bright spots for the Phillies this season, giving them a reason to cheer as the Phillies sit in last place in the National League East.

Pinch Me …

Carlos Ruiz emerged from a back room in the Phillies clubhouse late tonight with a smile on his face.

He came to a stop and leaned against the red countertop in the middle of the room, where a reporter informed him that he is “leading the world” in hitting after going 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs in tonight’s 5-4 victory over the Pirates at Citizens Bank Park. Ruiz is hitting .361, which leads the big leagues.

“Come on,” Ruiz said in disbelief.

“Yeah, you’re leading the world.”

“Let me see,” Ruiz said, trying to sneak a glance at the reporter’s notebook.

“You are. Trust me.”

Ruiz chuckled.

The reporter repeated that Ruiz is leading the big leagues in batting. He asked Ruiz if he pinches himself. Ruiz thought about it, pinched his left arm and smiled.

“That’s me,” he joked.

Ruiz is a distant third in All-Star voting for National League catchers, but he should earn his first trip to the All-Star Game. He left the ballpark Tuesday first in the league in batting average (.361), second in OPS (1.006), third in on-base percentage (.427) and fifth in slugging percentage (.579).

He singled to score Hunter Pence from third in the first inning to hand the Phillies a 1-0 lead. He singled and scored on Ty Wigginton’s two-run homer in the third to take a 4-1 lead. He then homered in the eighth inning on a 0-2 pitch from Juan Cruz to make it 5-3.

It was Ruiz’s 10th homer of the season, which is a career high.

Chooooch.

“When you feel good at home plate you can find out the way they’re going to pitch to you,” Ruiz said. “I feel great and that’s a big thing.”

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From Elias Sports Bureau: Ruiz went 3-for-4 with two hits on 0-2 pitches, including a home run. Ruiz had been 1-for-19 on 0-2 pitches this season. He hadn’t had two 0-2 hits in one game since May 31, 2011 and he hadn’t hit an 0-2 homer since last April 9.

Jimmy Rollin’

Jimmy Rollins had the green light in the fourth inning last night.

Why wouldn’t he?

He’s swinging one of the hottest bats in baseball. He took Jeff Karstens‘ 3-0 fastball and crushed it to right field for a two-run home run in last night’s 8-3 victory over the Pirates. Rollins is hitting .343 with 10 doubles, two triples, seven home runs, 18 RBIs, 21 runs scored and a 1.043 OPS in 25 games since May 28. He is 12th in the big leagues in hitting in that span. He is tied for third in doubles and runs scored, tied for eighth in homers, ninth in slugging percentage (.664), 11th in OPS and tied for 15th in RBIs.

Rollins was hitting .224 with a .282 on-base percentage and a .276 slugging percentage on May 28. I said at the time that Charlie Manuel would/should stick with Rollins as his leadoff hitter — less than two months of a six-month season is not enough time to cost somebody his job, especially somebody who has had that job for the past decade like Rollins — but I began to wonder if that move would be just around the corner. Rollins hadn’t looked like the same player to me. But now he looks better than he has looked in a long time. Now, it’s only been a month, but he’s showing he can still be a dangerous hitter, a guy capable of carrying a team for a stretch. I’m sure the front office needed that reassurance after signing him to a three-year, $33 million contract in the offseason.

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From Elias Sports Bureau: From Elias: Carlos Ruiz went 3-for-5, scored three runs and stole a base last night. Ruiz is the first Phillies catcher to score three times and record a stolen base since Bobby Estalella did it against the Mets on Sept. 29, 1996.

No Love for Chooch

MLB released its first All-Star voting update and Carlos Ruiz ranks fourth among NL catchers.

Fourth.

  1. Yadier Molina, Cardinals: 1,100,048
  2. Buster Posey, Giants: 1,072,464
  3. Brian McCann, Braves: 707,508
  4. Carlos Ruiz, Phillies: 562,021

Ruiz is hitting .368 with a .416 on-base percentage, .600 slugging percentage and a 1.016 OPS. Ruiz is just short of plate appearances to qualify, but if he had enough he would lead the majors in hitting, rank fifth in on-base percentage, sixth in slugging and fifth in OPS.

That’s among every player in baseball, not just NL catchers.

I’m guessing the Phillies’ disappointing start to the season has caused some apathy among the fan base. I’m not necessarily surprised Ruiz isn’t leading. I’m just surprised he’s getting crushed, nearly 450,000 votes behind Molina.

Where’s Chooch?

Something interesting happened today that you might have missed.

Carlos Ruiz is no longer among baseball’s leaders in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS. Ruiz did not start this week against the Mets because of a strained right hamstring, so he fell out of qualifying status for those categories. To qualify, a hitter needs to average 3.1 plate appearances per team game. The Phillies have played 52 games. So doing a little math …

52 x 3.1 = 161.2

Ruiz has 161 plate appearances.

So Ruiz fell out of the rankings by just .2 plate appearance.

It shows how difficult it can be for catchers to finish the season among the league leaders. It’s a grueling position. Hitters need 502 plate appearances at the end of the season to qualify for those categories. Ruiz has never had more than 472 in a season. I expect Ruiz back among the leaders as early as tomorrow, when he is expected to start against the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. For what it’s worth, if Ruiz had 162 plate appearances, which would make him a qualifier, he would rank third in the majors in batting (.371), fifth in on-base percentage (.422), sixth in slugging percentage (.615) and fourth in OPS (1.038). In the National League he would rank second, fourth, second and second, respectively.

Courtesy of Zoo With Roy.

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Looking for a Father’s Day Gift? Jim Salisbury and I are signing copies of The Rotation this Saturday from 3-4 p.m. on the Main Concourse at Citizens Bank Park.

Doc, Doctor

Roy Halladay is scheduled to see a doctor at some point somewhere today.

As soon as we hear anything we will let you know.

Like I said in my previous post, I would be surprised if Halladay is not placed on the DL. He has been struggling for a month, and it seems quite possible he has not felt right since spring training. He has soreness in his right shoulder, and shoulders are nothing to mess with. I suppose the best-case scenario is that it’s some inflammation that requires a little rest.

Worst-case scenario … well, we’re talking torn rotator cuff.

For what it’s worth, here’s what Cole Hamels said yesterday about Halladay’s injury: “He’s a battler. Shoot, he’s had more work than anybody in this game. If you can go out every season and pitch 250 innings, he’s the best. It’s just one of those things where I think the team is trying to be cautious. He works harder than anybody I’ve ever seen, so he’s going to get back out there as fast as he can to help the team. I don’t think it’s too serious, because I play catch with him every day.”

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Erik Kratz is headed to New York in case Carlos Ruiz (tightness in his right hamstring) needs to be placed on the DL, as Allentown’s Jeff Schuler first reported.

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Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here! Here are our upcoming book signings:

  • SATURDAY: Citizens Bank Park, 3–4 p.m.
  • June 16: Barnes & Noble, Wilmington, Del, 2 p.m.

Check out my Facebook page. Follow me on Twitter.

What Got Chooch Tossed?

So what exactly earned Carlos Ruiz an ejection last night?

Persistency, maybe.

Home plate umpire Gary Cederstrom ejected Ruiz in the top of the third inning of a 5-2 loss to the Nationals at Citizens Bank Park. Ruiz questioned a 0-1 pitch to Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa. Cederstrom called the pitch a ball, but Ruiz thought it was a strike.

“That’s a good pitch,” Ruiz said to Cederstrom.

“No, that’s a ball,” the umpire apparently shouted back.

“That’s a good pitch,” Ruiz repeated, turning his head to look at Cederstrom.

Ejected.

Cederstrom declined comment to reporters last night, referring questions to the Commissioner’s Office. Its understanding is Cederstrom warned Ruiz about arguing balls and strikes, but when Ruiz kept arguing the call he got tossed.

Ruiz said he uttered no obscenities.

“I didn’t say anything bad,” he said. “I didn’t say anything bad. That’s what surprised me. A lot of the umpires will say, ‘You know what, Ruiz? I think you were right.’ Or they will say, ‘I’ve got that pitch inside.’ OK.”

Not this time.

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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.

Check out my Facebook page. Follow me on Twitter.

Chooch Is Great, But …

Roy Halladay said something interesting last night when we asked about Carlos Ruiz‘s ejection in the top of the third inning.

“It’s unfortunate because he’s our best player,” he said.

He said it very matter-of-factly, like the Rangers were talking about Josh Hamilton or the Mets were talking about David Wright. Ruiz is tied for fourth in the National League in batting (.344), 10th in on-base percentage (.397) and seventh in slugging percentage (.576). His .973 OPS is 209 points higher than his career average. He is having an unbelievable season. He should be a National League All-Star for the first time. But even on a team without Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, it is too much to ask Ruiz to carry the offense when he has never had more than nine homers or 54 RBIs in a season.

Catching is a grind over six months. Ruiz has had hot starts before. He had a .945 OPS through June 7, 2009, but had a .710 OPS the rest of the way. He had a .969 OPS through May 10, 2010, but an .810 OPS the rest of the way.

Maybe Ruiz keeps up his torrid hitting through the end of the season, but the Phillies should not expect it. They need more than him.

(more…)

This Man Is Pumped

Jonathan Papelbon said he wanted bragging rights.

Or maybe Cinco Ocho said that.

Well, we know one of them picked up their National League-leading 12th save in tonight’s 6-4 victory over the Red Sox. Papelbon tried to downplay the fact he faced and beat his former team for the first time. Asked if the night felt any differently, he said, “There was a little extra buzz in the ballpark tonight, a weekend game. But other than that, no.” Asked later if he planned to send any text messages to his former teammates, he said, “No. We’ve got to win the series.”

(more…)

Chooch Playing Like All-Star

Carlos Ruiz continues to build his case to make his first National League All-Star team.

Consider:

- 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.

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Since Kyle Kendrick allowed six runs in seven innings in Toronto last July, he has a 2.96 ERA in 13 starts.

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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.

Check out my Facebook page. Follow me on Twitter.

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