Philadelphia Phillies: Carlos Ruiz' Return Secures The Plate

By Sean O'Brien
Carlos Ruiz
Howard Smith-USA Today Sports

Last season Carlos Ruiz was a great hitter. This season, the Philadelphia Phillies will be happy if he can continue to manage their mound men through the fall.

Everyone is well aware that ‘Chooch’ was performing under the influence of a banned substance (Adderall) last season. The veteran catcher may, or may not, have actually needed that ADHD drug to live his life. However, the remainder of this season will help to show whether his use of that supplement fueled his past bat speed.

Ruiz has always been known as a sharp glove man throughout his career. But, he struggled at the plate until the 2010 season arrived. His .302 batting average and impressive .847 OPS seemed to indicate that past clutch postseason efforts foreshadowed an offensive awakening.

No one can determine exactly how much PED’s help any professional athletes to succeed. But, every player who makes that choice undoubtedly benefits from some type of short-term positive impact. As to the long-term consequences, each individual’s experience varies.

With however Adderall may have damaged Ruiz’ reputation, Phillies’ pitchers still trust him when he’s behind the plate. As long as ‘Chooch’ is here and healthy, it’s likely that the bulk of the pitching staff will feel more comfortable when he’s calling the game. That factor puts the Phillies in a better position to win more games.

We don’t know how Ruiz will swing without his supplement this season. But, he should continue to be one of the best defensive catchers in the game.

Follow Sean on Twitter @SeanyOB, Facebook, Google+ and read his blog Insight.

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