Trade Value Down
On May 16, Ruiz was hitting a very respectable .300/.373/.500 in a part-time role with the only team he’s ever known.
The beloved ‘Chooch’ was healthy, and while not posting great defensive metrics, still had the confidence of the coaching staff to lead some of the younger arms as they matured at the big league level.
Since that date, Ruiz has hit to a paltry .079/.205/.079 slash line in 44 plate appearances. While this is a small sample size to be sure, there really is no doubt that he should only see the field once, maybe twice a week. His anemic bat simply isn’t worthy of a starting spot any longer.
I wrote earlier about the possibility that Ruiz could be a good addition to a contender as a backup for a playoff push. This would be especially valuable for a team like Kansas City or St. Louis, who ride their starters hard throughout the regular season, but might like to sit the regulars down in the stretch run once theoretical playoff spots were less in doubt.
Ruiz’ poor play of late has extinguished any hope that this might be possible, as he is more likely to get released at this point than he is to be traded.
Manager Pete Mackanin has recognized this, and has played Cameron Rupp more often than not lately. We fans now have to watch another hero of 2008 limp slowly into the sunset of their careers when they obviously deserved better.
Hopefully, the front office is ready to move on from these players as soon as a reasonable opportunity presents itself.
The Phillies are positioned to beat the market by no longer being in contention, possibly adding to the young core being built at AAA Lehigh Valley and AA Reading. That should be at the forefront of their collective agendas. Perhaps these players might bring a piece that enhances that core for the next Phillies winner.