MLB Philadelphia Phillies

Suspension Will Hurt Backstop’s Offensive Production

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

One is told many times throughout their life to never test the law of the land.

Well, Carlos Ruiz tried to defy the previous statement twice throughout his career and twice he has been caught. As a result, Ruiz will be suspended 25 games for the use of adderall and will not be able to play in a MLB game until April 28th.

The suspension will likely hinder the possibility of Ruiz getting more money in the off-season. He becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2013 season. Despite being owed around $5 million this season, Ruiz will likely forfeit about $750,000 because of his suspension.

But the loss of money is not the biggest problem. The problem is that without Ruiz in the lineup from Opening Day, the Philadelphia Phillies could possibly lose a chance to win the division. Poor starts have plagued the Phillies in the past. But now without their everyday backstop sidelined for the first 25 games and with the likelihood that he will not be in mid-season form by his return date, the playoffs could be out of reach without one of the city’s favorite players.

Ruiz was, without a doubt, having the best season of his career until he got hurt in August. Ruiz played in 114 games for the Phillies and compiled a career-high 121 hits in 372 plate appearances. He also had career-highs in home runs (16), runs-batted-in (68), doubles (32), total bases (201), runs scores (56), and hit-by-pitches (16).

Without Ruiz is the lineup, the Phillies do not only lose a gold-glove-quality backstop, but also a leader in their clubhouse. If the Phillies are going to return to the postseason, then they will need to see production from all over the roster.

David A. Cattai is a featured journalist with Rant SportsFollow me on Twitter (@DCattaiSports), Facebook, and Google+ for sports updates.