Many fans have already erased Carlos Ruiz' name from a projected Philadelphia Phillies' 2014 roster. They've likely concluded that the affable catcher won't be able to rebuild trust with the front office before his current contract expires.
It's easy to conclude that 'Chooch' hasn't hit well for most of this season because he isn't using Adderall. However, the organization and all seasoned fans know that a variety of factors have affected the Phillies' long-time backstop this year.
Ruiz initially served a 25-game suspension to start the season. Then, upon his return, number 51 basically worked his way through a type of spring training until he suffered a hamstring injury, which forced him onto the disabled list from mid-May through mid-June.
Playing through stops and starts surely seems to have hampered Ruiz' plate production for much of this season. However, his defensive presence has endured and he's recently begun to demonstrate the same type of batting stroke that was seen in past campaigns.
Having been a starter since the 2007 season has taken a natural physical toll on the 34-year-old's body. But, it's reasonable to think that he could have a few more productive seasons left in his career.
By the end of September everyone will have a sharper view of whether Ruiz' name might actually be written in indelible Phillies' ink. Unless, of course, he's traded before (or by) the waiver trade deadline on August 31.