Aside from the free-swinging Hunter Pence, the only other constant within the Philadelphia Phillies' positional depth chart has been the catcher we all know as Chooch. Unfortunately, Carlos Ruiz may have to spend some time on the DL.
Ruiz strained his left oblique during Friday night's ball game versus the Toronto Blue Jays. Phillies skipper Charlie Manuel has declared that Ruiz will have to rest a few games. On the other hand, we will know the extent of the oblique strain today as the Phillies re-evaluate their slugging backstop. Following Saturday's re-evaluation will be a determination as to whether or not the organization will place Ruiz on the DL.
Meanwhile, the Phillies have already re-called catcher Erik Kratz from Triple-A Lehigh Valley and the full-time job has already been given to Brian Schneider while Ruiz is ailing.
Of course, a Ruiz injury will just follow suit to everything else that has happened to the Phillies since last October. Injuries to Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Roy Halladay, Jose Contreras, Freddy Galvis and so on have given the Phillies' roster more holes than a slice of Swiss cheese.
Sprinkle in an oblique strain for Ruiz and it is time for the Phillies to come out and say what everyone is thinking—it's time to sell.
Many folks have called this season a lost season. In a previous article, I discussed how the Phillies could save this season by preparing the roster for a return to a high level of competitiveness for 2013.
The loss of Ruiz, who is hitting .362 with eight home runs and 35 RBI, would be decimating.
What is more important is that Ruiz provided stability against left-handed pitchers, hitting .409 on the year with only five strike outs.
I don't even have to touch on the magic that Ruiz performs behind home plate, either. He is one of the top defensive backstops in all of baseball.
While nothing has been confirmed yet, a loss of Ruiz would definitively place the Phillies in a position where they must begin shopping the like's of Shane Victorino, Jim Thome, Joe Blanton, and (gulp) Cole Hamels.
Baseball is a business and the business environment of 2012 has been harsh for the Philadelphia Phillies. Now is the time to make the tough decisions and put the Phillies in a better place for 2013.