With the season over in Philadelphia, there are many unanswered questions about what the Philadelphia Phillies will look like next season. The biggest one is ‘Will catcher Carlos Ruiz will be brought back for another year or two?’
A large amount of Philadelphia baseball fans would love to see fan favorite Carlos Ruiz back in Phillies pinstripes, but it may not be the best move for the club moving into the future. The Phillies have historically showed a hesitance to move on from what they consider the franchises golden age.
Phillies management have signed past cornerstones Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley to extensions that will most likely make them Phillies for life but these players are not close to what they were five or six years ago. Should the team really hold on to the past or is it going to prevent success in the future?
Carlos Ruiz is in a different position then the others that have re-signed lately. He was a key cog in the lineup that brought the Phillies only their second World Series Championship in franchise history but he was never a star on the level of Utley, Rollins and Howard.
Nonetheless, Carlos Ruiz is a fan favorite because of his lovable nature and the happy aura that surrounds him. On the field, he is an average performer until the last two seasons when his average and power numbers improved. Ruiz has always been one of the best defensive catchers in the National League, and if it were not for Yadier Molina, he would have a few Gold Gloves on his trophy shelf.
Still there are major changes going in Philadelphia and it may not be best for the Phillies to bring him back.
The Phillies had plans to bring along prospect, Tommy Joseph last season so that he would be ready to compete for the starting catcher’s job with the big club this season but a concussion suffered last season has delayed his progress drastically. This leaves the Phillies in a bit of a conundrum. They may be forced to bring Carlos Ruiz back for an extra year in order to let Joseph progress in a reasonable time frame. Chooch would without a doubt bring leadership to a pitching staff that may see a good amount of turnover this offseason especially since pitching coach, Rich Dubee has already been let go.
I truly believe that it is time to move on from the past for the Phillies or they may find themselves in last place in a division that is full of talent for the next decade. I will hate to see Carlos Ruiz go but it is essential for the good of the club. We had great times and the memories will last forever but much like former manager Charlie Manuel, many of the players on the Phillies today have ran their course.
Loyalty is a fine thing to have but when it gets to the point that it is negatively impacting the results for the future it is time to look in another direction.