Even though Philadelphia Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz is scheduled to return from the disabled list in approximately 10 days, the loss of Erik Kratz is still hurtful.
Kratz felt his knee pop on June 8, during a game against the Milwaukee Brewers. He had to leave after running out a ball in the ninth inning and was subsequently put on the 15-day disabled list.
‘Chooch’ initially started the season late (April 28), due to his 25-game banned substance ban. Then, he went on the disabled list May 21, due to a hamstring strain.
The absence and then loss of the Phillies’ number 1 catcher was easier to swallow because of Kratz’ presence on the roster. A revelation last season, the soon-to-be 33-year-old veteran backstop emerged (along with Kevin Frandsen) as a legitimate depth bench player in 2012.
After being signed as a free agent in November 2010, Kratz performed well enough in Triple-A to warrant a 2-game call-up in 2011.
The nine home runs that he hit in 50 games last season and the confidence that the pitching staff placed in him, easily allowed him to basically supplant Brian Schneider. That fine veteran receiver had clearly lost his swing two years ago.
Roster flexibility allowed Charlie Manuel to mix-and-match players through numerous injury issues last season, which enabled his squad to finish at a respectable .500 mark. Hopefully, Ruiz can return on schedule, because the dual disappearance of the number 1 and number 2 catcher might quickly exhibit itself in the Phillies’ loss column.