We all love Chooch, but he has not been hitting well so far. I know it’s early, but Ruiz does not have an RBI yet this year, and he’s hitting .204. I bring this up because he just signed a three year deal for $8.5 million a year. I hope I am wrong, but I, and many others, did not like this deal because Ruiz is just too old (especially for a catcher) for that long of a contract. Moreover, it seemed like the Phillies may have bid against themselves and gave him an extra year when they really didn’t need to. On top of all that, his success at the plate was in question due to the whole PED issue. It may not have affected him, but you just don’t know. The Phillie signed him to a three-year deal after their own pitching coach said he couldn’t catch more than 120 games a year due to his age. Again, I hope I am wrong, but it’s not looking good right now.
This is where Amaro’s “it’s my job to put a contender on the field every year” philosophy has hurt the team. Instead of going for a one-year fix (like even their backup, Nieves) and then going with their AAA catcher Rupp in 2015 to start turning the team over, the Phillies now have a catcher who stands a good chance of underperforming his contract for the next three years. I know with catchers, it’s defense first and that the pitching staff loves the guy, and that’s important, but they would also probably like to get some run support, too. Maybe the Phillies could afford to have a catcher hit .204 if it was the 2008-09 team, but not with this offense.
I did suggest they sign Saltalamacchia, but I do understand his being unable to hit left-handers was an issue (like Ryan Howard). However, having a starter hit .204 should be an issue, too. But hopefully Chooch can turn it around.