Phillies Trade Chips: Piece and Chooch

Jun 29, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Philadelphia Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz (right) and first baseman Ryan Howard (center) joke with Arizona Diamondbacks mascot Baxter at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 29, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Philadelphia Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz (right) and first baseman Ryan Howard (center) joke with Arizona Diamondbacks mascot Baxter at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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Aug 26, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Hamels (35) and catcher Ruiz (51) talk on the mound during the sixth inning of a game against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Nationals 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 26, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Hamels (35) and catcher Ruiz (51) talk on the mound during the sixth inning of a game against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Nationals 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

CHOOCH AND COLE REUNION IN AL

The Texas Rangers are leading the AL West Division with a 54-37 record, 4.5 games ahead of the surging Houston Astros.

A key to this deal might be a guy by the name of Cole Hamels, who just happens to now be the ace of the Rangers’ pitching rotation, and who certainly respects and would recommend Ruiz highly.

The current starting catcher in Texas is 32-year old Robinson Chirinos, who has a .197/.274/.474 slash line with just six homers and 12 RBI over 76 at-bats.

The Rangers have also given 112 at-bats to Bobby Wilson, 84 to Bryan Holaday, and 35 to Brett Nicholas at the catching position, all with little success.

Once again, this is a situation where Chooch could potentially step in and become the starting catcher for a legit contender.

Certainly as a part-timer at minimum who brings strong playoff experience, he would be an asset. You know Cole would love to see his former battery-mate in Arlington.

Maybe Matt Klentak could pry a decent arm such as 19-year old righty Israel Cruz from Texas in a deal. The Venezuelan native Cruz is struggling in his first US experience at Rookie ball after coming from the Dominican Summer League, and has growth potential still.

The Rangers would love to see the kind of result that Hamels and Ruiz teamed for here in his final Phillies start before last July’s trade between the two clubs…

Next: HOWARD TO THE SOUTH SIDE OF CHICAGO