Carlos Ruiz (baseball)
|Philadelphia Phillies – No. 51|
January 22, 1979 |
David, Chiriquí, Panama
|Bats: Right||Throws: Right|
|May 6, 2006 for the Philadelphia Phillies|
|Runs batted in||336|
|Career highlights and awards|
In 2004, Ruiz spent his entire season with the Double-A Reading Phillies, where his 17 home runs were second among catchers in the Eastern League. He also had a season-best 10-game hitting streak in July and hit .343 (23–67) over his final 17 games. He played in the developmental Arizona Fall League as well.
In 2005, Ruiz batted .300 in 100 games (347 AB) with 25 doubles, 30 walks, and 4 home runs. In 2006 before his callup, Ruiz was batting .385 with an on-base percentage of .448, including 5 doubles and 6 home runs in 91 at-bats. He also participated in the 2006 inaugural World Baseball Classic, playing for Panama.
Philadelphia Phillies (2006-present)
Ruiz was called up to the Phillies in May 2006, and played in 27 games that year.
The Phillies signed Rod Barajas before the 2007 season because they had some concerns about Ruiz' ability to catch, hit, and generally hold up over a full season at the major league level; however, those concerns were dispelled. Barajas' injury left an opening for backup Chris Coste on the Phillies' roster, but Ruiz played 115 games in 2007. After Barajas left for Toronto in 2008, Ruiz sat atop the depth chart at catcher and played in 117 games for the Phillies helping them win their second straight NL East title.
In 2007, Ruiz hit six home runs and compiled a .259 batting average. He had one of the highest fielding percentages in baseball among catchers with a .997, with only 2 errors in 744 chances. On June 26, 2007, Ruiz stole home on the front end of a double steal in an 11–4 home win over the Cincinnati Reds, becoming the first Phillie to steal home in 10 years and the first Phillies catcher to steal home in 25 years.
By 2008, Ruiz had taken over as the Phillies' starting catcher. On October 25, 2008, in Game 3 of the 2008 World Series, Ruiz hit his first postseason home run off Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Matt Garza at Citizens Bank Park. In the ninth inning, he recorded a walk-off single, sending Eric Bruntlett home from third, becoming the fourth National League player to hit a bases-loaded walk-off hit in World Series history, the first to deliver a walk-off infield hit, and the first walk-off of any kind by a Phillies player in the World Series.
In 2009, Ruiz had a fielding percentage of .996, while posting a .255 batting average with nine home runs. His nine homeruns traveled a total distance of 14,568 feet. His nickname is "James Bond".
In 2010, he became the only player of Panamanian descent to catch a perfect game, and raised his season batting average to a career-best .302.
Ruiz caught Roy Halladay's perfect game on May 29, 2010 against the Florida Marlins and Halladay's no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds in the first game of the National League Divisional Series on October 6, 2010. In so doing, he became the first man since the Chicago Cubs' Randy Hundley in 1972 to catch two no-hitters during the same season (Burt Hooton and Milt Pappas) and the first since Yogi Berra in 1951 to catch two no-hitters by the same pitcher during the same season (the New York Yankee caught both of Allie Reynolds' no-hitters). On August 12, 2010, when the Phillies were down 6–2 going into the 8th inning, they scored 4 runs in the 8th inning. The following inning, the bottom of the 9th, the Phillies were tied and Ruiz hit a walk off double to win the game, 10–9.
Ruiz returned for the Phillies' 2011 season as their everyday starting catcher. He posted a .283 batting average, 6 home runs, and 40 RBI. His batting average was second on the team trailing only Hunter Pence.
Ruiz hit the ground running in the 2012 season, and almost immediately became the one of the Phillies' best players. Through June 27, he led the Major Leagues with a .364 average. His stellar first half of the season earned him a spot as a reserve on the National League All-Star team, though some analysts, including ESPN's John Kruk, felt his numbers warranted a starting nod (which ultimately went to the San Francisco Giants' Buster Posey through the fan voting).
On November 27, 2012, Ruiz was suspended for 25 games without pay by the MLB for testing positive for an amphetamine. The suspension of Ruiz was effective at the start of the 2013 regular season. He made his 2013 season debut on April 28 against the New York Mets at Citi Field. On May 20, he was placed on the DL with a Grade 2 strained hamstring.
After the season, Ruiz became a free agent. He re-signed on November 21, 2013.
Also in 2010, Ruiz received the Pride of Philadelphia Award from the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame. Halladay has said Ruiz is the rock behind the plate, and presented him with a replica of his Cy Young Award in 2010.
In 2011, Ruiz was rated the most underrated catcher in baseball by Jayson Stark, of ESPN. One scout in the MLB quoted, "I think he's the best catcher in the game – other than [Joe] Mauer, who's on a different planet."
- Bowman, Mark (October 21, 2009). "'Chooch-tober' taking center stage in Philly". Phillies.MLB.com. Retrieved October 21, 2009.
- "Phillies 2011 Sortable Statistics". Philadelphia Phillies. MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
- "Rosters unveiled for 83rd All-Star Game". MLB.com. July 1, 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-01.
- "Josh Hamilton highlights AL starters". ESPN. July 1, 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-01.
- Shorr-Parks, Eliot (27 November 2012). "Phillies' Carlos Ruiz suspended 25 games for amphetamine use". The Star Ledger. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
- Greenberg, Jay (28 February 2013). "Ruiz reinstated for series finale vs. Mets". MLB.com. Retrieved 29 February 2013.
- Zolecki, Todd. "Chooch on DL, Could Miss 3-4 Weeks". mlblogs.com. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
- Zolecki, Todd (November 21, 2013). "Phillies bank on Ruiz's return to form". mlb.com. Retrieved November 21, 2013.
- "Topps announces the 49th annual Topps Major League Rookie All-Star Team". KansasCity.Royals.mlb.com. Major League Baseball. November 26, 2007. Retrieved November 26, 2007.
- Go to 2010 This Year in Baseball Awards and click on "X-Factor" for results and video. MLB Advanced Media, L.P. Retrieved 2011-09-05.
- Stark, Jayson (January 21, 2011). "Jayson Stark's All Underrated Team". ESPN.com. ESPN.com. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
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