Of course, in what essentially serves as a representation of this season for the Phils, "Chooch" has spent time on the disabled list just like many other key contributors.
But Ruiz’s future with the Phillies is not as crystal clear as that of some other members.
For one, Ruiz has a $5 million option that the team must decide to exercise for next season, or pay a $500,000 buyout. After having a career season prior to suffering from plantar fasciitis, there’s little chance that the team would pass on exercising this option.
However, this option will only pay Ruiz through next season. What happens after 2013? What kind of contract would the Phillies offer to a then 35-year-old catcher whose injury history may or may not have been lengthened by that point? What kind of competition will the Phils have from other teams attempting to sign Ruiz? Would the Phillies even offer Ruiz another contract?
If Ruiz has another season next year like the one he did this year, the team could have few other choices than to try and sign him past next season.
But with internal options available in the form of minor league catchers who are rising through the ranks, and both high- and low-cost free agents potentially on the market at that point, the team will also have options should they decide to go in a different direction.
Here are five options for the Phillies if they don’t re-sign Ruiz after next season.