Posted by Alex Lee, Thu, April 11, 2013 03:17 PM Comments: 14
If their recent offensive surge is a sign of things to come for the Phillies, the team won’t need Carlos Ruiz to duplicate the other-worldly .934 OPS he posted in 2012 when he returns to the lineup.
That is the good news.
The bad news is that Ruiz’s absence has exposed the defensive shortcomings of catcher Erik Kratz. Despite undeniable pop at the plate, Kratz was essentially a minor league lifer until netting 141 at bats as Chooch’s 31-year-old backup last year. It took him a decade to reach the big leagues for a reason. Through his first seven starts, we may just be seeing it.
Easiest to identify are the communication difficulties between Kratz and Roy Halladay that landed him on the bench for Doc’s second start in favor of Humberto Quintero. All parties involved, except Kratz himself, downplayed the catcher’s role in the early-season struggles of the pitching staff. But if reading between the lines, Halladay’s words were hard to ignore. Here is what Kratz had to say on Monday, courtesy of Matt Gelb at the Inquirer:
“There’s one thing that’s consistent back there, and that’s me. So I have to look at myself and look at how we’re doing back there. If I can’t help the team improve, they put [Quintero] in there. I have to do a better job, for sure.”