Is Carlos Ruiz Tipping Brad Lidge's Pitches?

William ZeltmanContributor ISeptember 16, 2009

NEW YORK - MAY 24:  Carlos Ruiz #51 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws to first against the New York Yankees on May 24, 2009 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Could Carlos Ruiz be part of Brad Lidge's problem in 2009? Some say yes.

After a discussion on MLB Network's MLB Tonight, the topic again was discussed on Sirius XM Homeplate's The Show today. Some speculate that one of Lidge's issues in closing out games in 2009 has been catcher Ruiz tipping his pitches to the opposing team.

According to the theory, when Ruiz calls for a slider he drops his leg to prepare for a ball in the dirt. He evidently is setting up too early, giving the hitter time to realize what pitch he is going to throw.

Rumor has it that in the Mets clubhouse this was a topic of conversation after Lidge's rocky performance on Saturday. Supposedly a batter that struck out was asked why he swung when he knew ahead of time that the pitch would be a slider in the dirt.

I reviewed tape of the game and from what I can see it does seem plausible that Ruiz is tipping pitches. While this doesn't have anything to do with the fact that Brad has no command over his fastball, it certainly could be part of why batters are not swinging at some of the fastballs that are out of the strike zone like they did last season.

The coaching staff needs to look at tape and ensure that Ruiz is not tipping pitches. If he is, correcting it could be the first step in getting Brad Lidge back.