Welcome Back, Chooch

Carlos Ruiz has completed his 25-game suspension for violating MLB’s drug policy and will return to the Phillies’ lineup for this afternoon’s series finale against the Mets, uplifting news for the Phillies. As a response, Humberto Quintero has been designated for assignment.

You don’t need any in-depth analysis to know that Ruiz’s return will be a boon for the offense, which has struggled for the most part in the early going. Erik Kratz had the lion’s share of the playing time behind the dish, backed up by Quintero. Combined, the two posted the National League’s second-worst OPS among catchers at .567, ahead of only the Reds at .448. Their on-base percentage is dead last at .242.

Last year, Ruiz was the second-best-hitting catcher in baseball going by weighted on-base average at .398, behind only Buster Posey at .406. His on-base percentage ranked third (.394) and his isolated power ranked fifth (.215). Strangely, his walk rate dropped significantly from 10-13 percent in previous years to below seven percent. It is no big leap to assume he will regress — his career average wOBA is .340 — but even a 2009 or 2011 level of production is a welcome addition to the lineup.

The Phillies did go 11-14 in Ruiz’s absence. All things considered, that isn’t so bad. The month of May will have some challenges, though, that will make the Phillies very happy to have their star catcher back in the middle of the batting order. By the end of the month, the Phillies will have played the Giants, Diamondbacks, Reds, Nationals, and Red Sox.

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  1. Send Ben Revere Down Poll

    April 28, 2013 08:12 AM

    I would have rather seen them put Ben Revere on the 15 day disabled list (Hamstring, quad , back, brain fart…make something up). I know this would only leave them with 4 outfielders (I include Freddy as the 4th) but Ben belongs in AAA where hi no hit, no throw plays on the LHV roster.

  2. hk

    April 28, 2013 09:37 AM

    Why would they put Revere on the DL for 15 days? What would 15 days on the DL do for him? If he belongs in AAA, shouldn’t they have just sent him to AAA?

  3. hk

    April 28, 2013 09:46 AM

    At the beginning of the season, I thought the Phils would win 13 of the 25 games without Chooch, so they’re 2 games behind that pace. I agree that we should know a lot about this team after the Milwaukee series that ends June 2.

  4. Send Ben Revere Down Poll

    April 29, 2013 05:20 AM

    An out for RAJ, HK, you know the last thing he wants to admit is that he absolutely blew the read on BR. This let’s him off the hook for 15days and then if his savior, DY, isn’t ready he can use that as an excuse to keep BR on the roster. But really, I would have sent one of the two all field, no hit speed guys down so that you could actually use Kratz as a PH. If you use him now, you have no backup catcher. I mean, what use is it to have BR and the other guy on the roster. He’s hitting .093. How often does a PR really get used? I agree, I would send BR down immediately, let him see if he can show something at AAA, and cut my losses and then when DY is ready jettison the other guy.

  5. Bill Baer

    April 29, 2013 06:39 AM

    What would Revere learn at Triple-A?

    Also, I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure Ben Revere is out of options, so he’d have to be subjected to waivers before he could be demoted.

  6. hk

    April 29, 2013 07:06 AM

    Send Ben Down,

    You are entitled to your opinion and, if you think they should send Ben down, that’s fine. However, (1) a 15 day DL stint is not going to help him improve and (2) my real point is if they want to send him down and they can without exposing him to waivers, doing so should have nothing to do with Chooch returning. If they send him down, why would you want 3 catchers on the roster? There has to be a better PH than Kratz or Quintero to have as the 25th man.

  7. Ryan

    April 29, 2013 07:35 AM

    If he was old or had a bad injury, I might be worried, but he’s a young player who should still be ascending, so I’ll definitely chalk it up to a small sample size.

  8. Jonny5

    April 29, 2013 07:54 AM

    It will be a relief to get the black hole known as Kratz out of the everyday lineup.

    Sending Revere down is silly and kind of a knee jerk reaction imo. He’s got nowhere to go but up from here on out. In his past, he has never began a season playing with the big club, and wasn’t promoted until 20-30 games in.

    Lets take a look at him a little.

    His K rate is wayyy higher than his typical.

    His BABIP rate is wayyyy lower than the average.

    Actually if you look at everything he’s just playing well below his norm right now, and sending him down opens him up to waivers which would be a complete fail due to him being a pretty good player who may just be in a slump due to him pressing. He will be snatched up if he goes to waivers, without a doubt. So let the man snap out of it all you arm chair managers until you’re ready to let him go elsewhere and call the men we sent to get him a casualty. I say the Phillies play match ups with the extra OF when Young is ready and see what happens.

  9. Send Ben Revere Down Poll

    April 29, 2013 10:33 AM

    I’d be ok with waivers

  10. Send Ben Revere Down Poll

    April 29, 2013 11:09 AM

    Jonny, even when BR is playing above his normal, he is, at best a replacement level player. His BABIP is .258, low but not way lower. of course, if he could actually hit the ball with any authority, he’d have a better chance of getting it past the pitchers. Have you watched how close the 3B/1B are playing when he is at bat? They have absolutely no fear that he can sting the ball and this negates any opportunity for him to bunt. Sorry guys, I would rather have Eric Kratz has and HQ as Pinch Hitters than BR.
    GP AB R H 2b 3b HR RBI TB BB SO
    22 87 9 18 0 1 0 4 20 4 14
    21 68 7 13 2 0 2 7 21 3 16
    7 20 0 5 2 0 0 2 7 1 6

    Perhaps I have Black colored glasses seeing a waste of space on the bench and not much use in the outfield (a few plays does not make up for the bat and noodle arm) and you all have Rose colored glasses expecting him to regress to some norm that I do not see. If Vanimal or May give the Twins anything they fleeced us (although I think they fleeced us no matter what they get from the standpoint of other trades during the offseason) and, as it stands, we still gave up too much for the Twins #3 CF. DS cost Washington the (~)50 rated prospect straight up. We traded the (~)60 plus a Starting pitcher with 1 1/2 years, 18 wins, a 3.65 ERA, who at last look is starting to get his feel (7 in, 1 r @ +CHW and 5in, 2r, @TEX). At his best, he(BR) will never make this trade smell good.

  11. hk

    April 29, 2013 11:48 AM

    Send Ben Down,

    1. If last year was BR’s normal, he was worth 3.1 wins above replacement level. He may be a replacement level (or worse) hitter, but that glove and those wheels still provide a lot of value if his hitting returns to the level that he produced last year.

    2. After last season, Trevor May was no one’s idea of a top 100 prospect whereas Alex Meyer was ranked anywhere from #40 (Mayo on mlb.com) to #78 (Hulett on Fangraphs).

    I am far from an apologist for RAJ, but it seems foolish to me to give up on BR after 93 PA’s.

  12. Jonny5

    April 29, 2013 12:08 PM

    Send Brown down, While you make good points, I feel you are looking too deeply at his negatives and not enough at his positives. I for one would play him in RF due to his “noodle arm” only because John Mayberry is a decent to+ CF with a decent arm. Give the man another month before you freak out too bad. I’ll be with you if he continues at this abysmal rate with the bat, but I doubt we’ll be having this conversation then because he will be looking much better to most of us by then. I hope.

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