Saturday, April 27, 2013

Carlos Ruiz ready to rejoin Phillies on Sunday

By PATRICK GORDON | Managing Editor
@Philabaseball

Carlos Ruiz will rejoin the Phillies on Sunday after serving a 25-game suspension for testing positive for a banned substance.

"It was hard, being away from the team," Ruiz said Friday, prior to the first of two rehab games in Reading. "It certainly wasn't easy."

To make room on the roster the Phillies will likely demote Erik Kratz or Humberto Quintero

"We have not made a decision yet, but that's something we will discuss after the game on Saturday," assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said. 

The catching position has been a sore spot in a scuffling offense. Entering Saturday Kratz had played 21 games, hitting .191 with two home runs and seven RBIs, while Quintero was hitting .313 in six games. As a tandem, the two rank near the bottom of nearly every offensive category - 26th in average (.214), 29th in on base percentage (.247), and 28th in weighted runs created (55).

"There's no question we are struggling right now," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "More than anything else, [Ruiz] brings a lot of leadership to our club."

Ruiz is coming off an all-star season and his best year in seven major league seasons, hitting .325 with 16 home runs and 68 RBIs. He was suspended in November for testing positive for Adderall, a banned substance meant to treat attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

"I feel great right now," Ruiz said. "I feel good behind home plate and for me that's very important."

Kratz has options available, meaning the Phillies could send him to Triple-A without fear of losing him. Quintero, on the other hand, would have to clear waivers and it's likely another team would submit a claim, meaning the Phillies could lose him and valuable depth at the catching position.

"We will see what happens," Amaro said. "The one thing we do know is that Carlos will be back with us on Sunday and we are happy about that."

- Patrick Gordon is Managing Editor of the Philadelphia Baseball Review. Follow him on Twitter @Philabaseball or contact him at pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com. 

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