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Without Ruiz, Phillies see limited production at catcher

CINCINNATI -- The Phillies are unofficially on Chooch watch.

Catcher Carlos Ruiz is still serving his 25-game suspension for using a banned stimulant, and he is eligible to rejoin the team April 28 against the Mets at Citi Field. But the Phillies could use him much earlier than that. Phillies catchers entered Tuesday's game against the Reds at Great American Ball Park with a .486 OPS percentage, which ranked 29th in baseball. Only Reds catchers (.326 OPS) have been worse.

Phillies catchers had an .861 OPS last season, which was the best in baseball. Ruiz has a career .781 OPS with a career-high .935 OPS last season.

Humberto Quintero was scheduled to catch Phillies right-hander Kyle Kendrick on Tuesday. He entered the night hitting .222 (2-for-9) with one double. Erik Kratz entered the night hitting .171 (7-for-41) with two doubles, one home run and three RBIs.

Asked if he might use these final 12 days to evaluate his catchers, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said, "They can count. When people start coming back, we're going to have to make some changes on our roster."

But Manuel added anytime any of his hitters feel like stringing together some hits, he will take it.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for
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