Usually you don’t miss the playoffs because of games in April, however, it’s very possible the Philadelphia Phillies playoff chances could be affected by what happens in their first 25 games of the season. Those are the 25 games that Carlos Ruiz will be suspended for adderall use.
Ruiz is a key cog in their offense. Ruiz hit a career high .325 with 16 home runs and 62 RBI in 114 games – all of those numbers were career highs. Ruiz can hit sixth in the lineup, and he can make the lineup deeper. With Delmon Young‘s health and defense being major question marks in right field and left field being a platoon, production out of catcher is going to be needed for the Phillies to have any sustained success.
Ruiz also has a great rapport with the pitching staff. Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels need him behind the plate as well. Ruiz has played excellent defense behind the plate, and the rapport he’s built up with the pitchers is invaluable.
The NL East got tougher. The Atlanta Braves are better with their acquisition of the Upton brothers. The Washington Nationals got the lead-off hitter they needed in Denard Span, and added Dan Haren to help boost an already-strong rotation before finally topping things off by signing Rafael Soriano to close games.
Other teams across the National League improved too. The Phillies are going to have to find a way to hold the fort the first 25 games without Ruiz.