Phillies Notes: Phils face tough roster decision as Carlos Ruiz returns

Carlos Ruiz begins his rehab assignment playing for the Reading Phillies against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats Friday, April 24, 2013 in Reading, PA. (Bradley C Bower/Staff Photographer))
Carlos Ruiz begins his rehab assignment playing for the Reading Phillies against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats Friday, April 24, 2013 in Reading, PA. (Bradley C Bower/Staff Photographer))
Posted: April 29, 2013

NEW YORK - The easiest catching decision Charlie Manuel must make Sunday morning is writing Carlos Ruiz's name on his lineup card, probably batting fifth. Before that, the Phillies must decide whose roster spot Ruiz takes.

There are pros and cons to keeping either Erik Kratz or Humberto Quintero as Ruiz's backup. Assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said the team had not reached a verdict Saturday. Ruiz played once more at double-A Reading on Saturday night.

"Any decision you make like that is difficult," Manuel said. "Really. It is hard because both of them, I think, have done a good job for us."

The Phillies' 40-man roster is full and does not include Ruiz because he is on the restricted list. So a player must be removed from both the 25- and 40-man rosters.

That would make Quintero the most likely candidate. The 33-year-old veteran was solid in seven games with a .263 average and .668 OPS.

Kratz has an option remaining and can be sent to the minors without passing through waivers. The Phillies could make that move to keep all three catchers in the organization as insurance for a future injury. Or they could designate Quintero for assignment, hope he clears waivers and stash him at triple A if he is willing to go.

Kratz is hitting .191 with a .531 OPS in 21 games this season. The 32-year-old has petered out after a hot start in 2012 that made him one of the feel-good stories during a .500 season. But Kratz offers a better power threat than Quintero and has more familiarity with the pitching staff.

If the Phillies keep Kratz and lose Quintero through waivers, Steven Lerud becomes the third catcher. Lerud, who appeared in three games last September, is the backup to 21-year-old prospect Tommy Joseph at triple-A Lehigh Valley.

That lack of depth could influence the Kratz-Quintero decision.

Extra bases. The Phillies could skip Jonathan Pettibone's next turn because of an off day Monday. Pettibone described his five-inning outing as a struggle from the very first batter. "He's in our rotation right now," Manuel said. "He's young. We'll see. He deserves to pitch some more." . . . Delmon Young did not start Saturday for triple-A Lehigh Valley. His rehab assignment can last 13 more days. . . . Michael Young's last 18 hits are all singles. He is hitting .345 in 2013.


 


 

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