Results tagged ‘ Carlos Ruiz ’

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.

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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.”

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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.

New Faces, Mayberry and Chooch

Quite a bit of turnover this week, huh?

Gone from the roster are Michael Schwimer, Joe Savery, Brian Sanches and Erik Kratz. Laynce Nix landed on the DL, but we’ll throw him in there, too. Replacing them are Cliff LeeJake Diekman, Raul Valdes, Hector Luna and Mike Fontenot.

There are no major trades to be made in early May, so the Phillies front office tweaked a few things in hopes of improving the bullpen and providing a spark to the bench. Although it goes without saying Nix is the biggest loss of that bunch. He is hitting .326 with a .979 OPS.

The most intriguing name of the recent arrivals (not including Lee) is Diekman. The Phillies love his potential and he put up great numbers in Triple-A. If he can handle the promotion and the adjustment to big-league hitters, he could have an impact on the bullpen like Mike Stutes had last season.

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I’m off this weekend, but Paul Hagen is covering the series. Here’s his game story from last night’s victory over San Diego.

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John Mayberry Jr. was hitting .175 on April 22. He is hitting .314 (11-for-35) with two doubles, one home run and four RBIs since. It would be a tremendous lift for the lineup if he can get going.

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Carlos Ruiz is third among big-league catchers in home runs (six), first in RBIs (22), first in batting average (.340), third in on-base percentage (.381) and first in slugging (.606). If Ruiz keeps this up he could be headed to his first All-Star Game.

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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, 4801 Concord Pike, Wilmington, Del., 2:00 p.m.

Check out my Facebook page. Follow me on Twitter.

Cover Your Eyes

Freddy Galvis has no reason to hang his head. He has played brilliant defense, and is hitting .214 with four doubles, one home run and five RBIs through 17 games. Those five extra-base hits are tied with Carlos Ruiz for the team lead. Not bad for a guy that had just 121 at-bats above Double-A Reading before this season.

It’s the rest of the offense that has played terribly.

That is why the Phillies clung to the five runs they scored in the ninth inning in last night’s 9-5 loss to the Diamondbacks.

Charlie Manuel called it a morale booster.

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Chase Utley would not offer a timetable for his return, but I would not be surprised if he is back before June 1. He returned to action on May 23 last season, and Utley sure seemed pleased with his progress when we talked to him yesterday. We asked Charlie Manuel if Utley could play some first base upon his return, especially if Ryan Howard is still on the DL. Manuel would not rule out the possibility, but he did not say it was something he was considering, either.

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Wigginton Leads the Way

The Phillies mixed in three doubles and four walks and scored eight runs in yesterday’s victory over the Mets.

Can they keep it up against Tim Lincecum, Madison Bumgarner and Matt Cain this week in San Francisco?

Ty Wigginton hit a game-tying sacrifice fly in the seventh inning and a three-run double in the eighth inning yesterday. Elias Sports Bureau found that Wigginton, who made his big-league debut for the Mets in 2002, is the third ex-Met to record 4 or more RBIs in a Phillies uniform in a game against the Mets. Gregg Jefferies had four in 1995, and Ricky Otero had five in the last game of the 1996 season.

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Polanco Wins Gold Glove

Placido Polanco won a Gold Glove tonight.

Shane Victorino and Carlos Ruiz were finalists, but lost to Matt Kemp and Yadier Molina, respectively.

Polanco is just the second player in baseball history to win Gold Gloves at two different positions. He won twice as a second baseman with Detroit in 2007 and 2009 before winning as a third baseman this year with the Phillies. Darin Erstad won as an outfielder with the Angels in 2000 and 2002 before winning at first base in 2004.

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