September 23, 2015 |
MIAMI - The last season in which Carlos Ruiz caught fewer innings than he will in this one was when he first broke into the lineup by filling in for an injured Mike Lieberthal. That was 2006, Lieberthal's final season with the Phillies, and the last year before this one in which Ruiz was not the team's primary catcher. In the seasons between, Ruiz won a World Series, played in an All-Star Game and handled one of the best starting staffs in modern baseball history. No one has caught more no-hitters than his four, and only three have caught more games in a Phillies uniform.
September 20, 2015 |
ATLANTA - Ryan Howard traveled with the Phillies to Atlanta on Thursday and occupied his normal corner stall in the Turner Field visitors clubhouse before Friday night's series opener against the Braves. The 35-year-old first baseman did not play for the third straight game, but he could return to the field soon. Barring a setback, interim general manager Scott Proefrock said Friday he thinks Howard, who sustained a left knee contusion on Monday, will play before the end of the team's nine-game road trip.
September 20, 2015 |
ATLANTA - The first year of the Phillies' rebuild featured a revitalization of the farm system at various positions. That was certainly the case at catcher, the position at which Jorge Alfaro joined the organization in the Cole Hamels trade, and Andrew Knapp broke out with a torrid final 12 weeks at double-A Reading. Neither Alfaro nor Knapp, however, will be major-league ready come the beginning of the next baseball season. And so when the Phillies break camp next April for season No. 2 of their transition, it is likely their catching arrangement will mirror what it has for the latter months of this year.
September 17, 2015 |
THE WASHINGTON Nationals have become baseball's most popular punch line this summer. They went from adding a $210 million pitcher to their already-rich stable of arms, onto a roster built to play deep into October, to playing meaningless games in September following a late-season swoon. It's been a welcome sight for Phillies fans, because, as you may have heard, misery enjoys company. But the Nats' misery is likely to be short-lived while the Phillies continue their own rebuilding project.
September 10, 2015 |
IT IS A funny and pleasant memory for Chooch: that day he got Chase Utley in New York. Lately, for Carlos Ruiz, it's mostly about the memories. The fifth wheel on the home-grown Phillies nucleus that won five NL East titles in a row, Ruiz was the least likely star. Cole Hamels and Chase Utley were first-round picks; Jimmy Rollins, a second-rounder but an obvious star from the outset; and Ryan Howard, a fifth-rounder but the biggest piece of the puzzle in every sense of the phrase.
September 7, 2015 |
BOSTON - Alec Asher stood behind home plate as the final act of his Saturday afternoon unraveled in the fourth inning. The Phillies rookie righthander yielded a bases-loaded double to Boston's Xander Bogaerts. Then Asher watched Bogaerts charge home and slide under the tag of catcher Carlos Ruiz to highlight Boston's 9-2 drubbing of the Phils at Fenway Park. Bogaerts had moved to third when Aaron Altherr was slow to throw the ball back to the infield. He dashed for home when the relay throw from Cesar Hernandez bounced away from Ruiz.
September 3, 2015 |
NEW YORK - About 3 1/2 hours before first pitch last night, Erik Kratz snuck up behind Carlos Ruiz and wrapped his arms around the 5-10 catcher's chest. The 6-4 Kratz lifted Ruiz off the ground before putting him back on his feet. Ruiz turned around and smiled before the teammates, reunited again, shook hands and hugged. "You get to play with guys, you appreciate them as players," Kratz said. "A fan, they appreciate them as players. But, as teammates, you get to see what kind of men people are. You get to see what kind of person somebody is, day in and day out. The real person shines.
September 2, 2015 |
NEW YORK - Cameron Rupp got to spend the last day of August in the MLB Network studio in New York City. He was joined by teammate Aaron Altherr on MLB Central with host Matt Vasgersian and analysts Mark DeRosa and Cliff Floyd. Rupp and Altherr talked about the young, rebuilding Phillies and their recent personal successes. Back at Citi Field, Rupp found his name penciled in the lineup card for the 17th time in August, six more starts than longtime catcher Carlos Ruiz received.
August 27, 2015 |
When Darin Ruf looked up to get ready for Hansel Robles' first pitch, it was already en route to home plate. Umpire Dan Bellino called timeout and ruled the pitch would not count, but the Phillies dugout was already incensed. Larry Bowa was at the heart of the benches-clearing commotion in the seventh inning of the Phillies' 6-5 loss to the first-place New York Mets on Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies bench coach was ejected by Bellino, who warned both teams. Robles, the Phillies thought, had done the same thing the night before on a two-strike pitch to Cameron Rupp.
August 25, 2015 |
MIAMI - For the second straight day, third time in four games in Miami, and fifth time in the last six games, Ryan Howard was held out of the starting lineup yesterday. Cole Hamels and Jimmy Rollins are gone. Chase Utley was traded away, too, last week. Of the 2008 World Series roster, only Howard and catcher Carlos Ruiz remain. Ruiz has been splitting time as the starting catcher with Cameron Rupp for the last three months. In the last week Howard has started just once as the rebuilding Phillies go full bore with their youth movement.