The Phillies postseason run came to an unexpected end last night against the San Francisco Giants, ending their chances for another World Series bid. A quiet presence has lead the way to the yearly success of the Philadelphia Phillies and their productive pictching staff. Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels are probably the most thankful for theman behind the plate that we so rarely hear of in Carlos Ruiz. Ruiz has been the full-time catcher for the Phillies since 2007. Year in and year out he manges to put up nearly near perfect defensive numbers. Numbers that seemingly go unnoticed due the talented, bigger name catching core present in the National League.
Ruiz in 2007 posted a .997 fielding percentage, in 2008 a .993, 2009 a .996 fielding percentage and in 2010 a .993. Almost flawless numbers for the amount of opportunities presented at the catcher position. Receiving the ball more than any other position these are statistics that every team hopes their catchers are able to obtain. Playing catcher requires a tremendous amount of physical discipline as these players are run through the gauntlent 162 games a year. Ruiz is the epitomy of a reliable catcher making the Phillies a fortunate organization. Yadier Molina of the St. Louis Cardinals has led the way and become the most recognizable player at the position in the NL and possibly the entire league behind Joe Mauer. Molina has been the Gold Glove recipient in the National League for 2008 and 2009. Molina however does not possess a raw offensive talent comparable to his defensive plae. His lack of offensive “pop” allows his defensive play to flourish and counter his lack of offensive production. Ruiz also is not a power threat but produces better numbers than Molina. How is it that a player as talented as Ruiz is not being recognized for his play and being awarded the respective awards at his position?
Yadier Molina comes from a pedigree of catchers in MLB. He is the younger of two brothers that are both active in the major leagues. Jose of the Blue Jays and Benjie of the Texas Rangers have also made names for themselves as they have seemingly mastered the catching position defensively . Because the “Molina” name has been such an influence within the game of baseball it has deterred the chances of other players to flourish.
Ruiz has displayed no public displeasure for his lack of credibility. He continues to show up to the ball park daily and do his job. It’s very easy to give credit to the pitchers for going out and mowing down opposing batters. It’s also easy to forget the guys behind the plate that are helping pave the way to these performances. Carlos Ruiz plays the game like it’s supposed to be played, he also plays as the underdog. As long as Yadier Molina is catching in the National League Ruiz faces the daunting task of of overtaking him as the NL’s best overall catcher. The NL Gold Glove winners will be announced after the World Series. Will Carlos Ruiz finally be granted this prestigous honor?