Carlos Ruiz's season in jeopardy
The Phillies are out of the pennant race, flirting with one of the worst record in the NL, they're trading off All-Stars and members of the 2008 World Series team, their catchers' legs are falling off...
OK, not quite.
But what looked like an unwatchable final two months of the season became that much more unwatchable this morning, when an MRI revealed that All-Star catcher Carlos Ruiz, one of (the only?) bright spot of the 2012 Phillies, would miss the next 4-to-6 weeks with a left foot injury.
Ruiz, who has been suffering with plantar fasciitis since mid-July, has a partial tear in his left foot and was placed on the 15-day DL. He will be re-evaluated in two weeks.
But if he's out for the longer end of that rehab (six weeks), he wouldn't return until mid-September. And by then, would it even make any sense for him to play out the final two weeks of the season? Probably not.
A few thoughts as I first digest the Chooch news:
-Ruiz, who is having the best offensive season of any major league catcher this season, will no longer qualify for the NL batting race. Major league players need 3.1 plate appearances per team game scheduled, which is roughly 500. Ruiz currently has 353 PAs. Ruiz, who is currently fourth in the NL with a .335 batting average, was a longshot anyway. Pittsburgh MVP candidate Andrew McCutchen leads all MLB players at .373. Still, it would have been fun to watch Ruiz play out what's been a career year.
-How tough is Chooch? Well, he's been playing with a tear in his left foot for three weeks (he said he first felt pain in Los Angeles after the All-Star break), and perhaps longer. Major league players play through injuries all the time, particularly catchers. But to crouch behind the plate with a tear in your left foot? Seriously. Chooch cares that much about his team.
-Who will catch the final 56 games of the season? Brian Schneider and Erik Kratz. Yes, the Phillies have two catching prospects in Sebastian Valle and recently acquired Tommy Joseph. But Valle just got promoted to Triple-A this week and Joseph is at Double-A Reading. Perhaps Valle gets a September call-up, but for August, it'll be Schneider and Kratz.