The Phillies are going to have to go with a different catcher for the first 25 games of next season. Why?
Carlos Ruiz, their All-Star catcher, tested positive Tuesday for amphetamine. Like I hinted at earlier, he’ll be suspended for next season’s first 25 games.
“I am sincerely regretful for my mistake in taking a prohibited stimulant,” Ruiz said in a statement issued by the Major League Baseball Players Association. “I apologize to my teammates, the Phillies organization and the Philadelphia fans. I will serve the imposed 25-game suspension to begin the season and I look forward to returning to the field and working toward bringing a championship back to Philadelphia in 2013.”
Ruiz will be eligible to participate in spring training, including exhibition games.
Erik Kratz will probably begin the next season as the Phillies’ starting catcher. Kratz has been a minor leaguer pretty much his entire career, but when Ruiz went down with a foot injury last season, he was a decent replacement. Kratz hit .248, but had nine home runs and 26 RBIs in 141 at-bats.