The Phillies have a good set-up at catcher as they have a pair of excellent defenders behind the plate. 31-year old righty swinging Carlos Ruiz will likely get the most playing time. He played in 107 games last season for the Phillies and he was 82 for 322 (.255 avg, .780 OPS) with 32 runs scored, 9 homers and 43 RBIs. It’s hard to expect much more out of Ruiz as a hitter but the Phillies would be ecstatic with a repeat of his 2009 season. Ruiz only made 3 errors and he only had 1 passed ball in 107 games for the Phillies last season. He only threw out 20% of the runners trying to steal on him last season but Phillies’ pitchers had a 4.00 ERA with him behind the plate so they like throwing to him.
33-year old lefty swinging Brian Schneider will back-up Ruiz this season but it won’t likely be a platoon with Ruiz expected to play more. Schneider played in 59 games for the Mets last season and he was 37 for 170 (.218 avg, .627 OPS) with 11 runs scored, 3 homers and 24 RBIs. The Phillies hope that Schneider will hit more like his career norms of .251 with a .697 OPS. Schneider only made 1 error and he had only 1 passed ball in 57 games behind the plate last season. Schneider also threw out 32% of the runners trying to steal on him last season and Mets’ pitchers had a 4.63 with him behind the plate.
33-year old righty swinging Paul Hoover will likely start the season in AAA and get a call to the show if the Phillies need help. He played in 3 games for the Phillies last season and he was 3 for 4 (.750 avg, 1.500 OPS) with 1 RBI. He also played in 73 games in AAA-ball last season and he was 62 for 245 (.253 avg, .668 OPS) with 26 runs scored, 1 homers and 28 RBIs. Hoover didn’t make any errors or have any passed balls in 11 innings behind the plate for the Phillies last season. He was 0 for 2 throwing out base stealers last season and Phillies’ pitchers had a 6.55 ERA with him behind the plate.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE CATCHERS IN 2010: C+