This week the Dodgers acquired former Philadelphia Phillie catcher, Carlos Ruiz in exchange for A.J Ellis and pitching prospect Tommy Bergjans, along with a player to be named later. With emotions still on high because of the departure of beloved Dodger, A.J Ellis, here is who the Dodgers are getting in return.
Carlos Ruiz, 37, signed as an amateur free agent with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1998, spending over ten years in the Phillies minor league system before making his Major League debut in 2006.
Ruiz was the Phillies primary catcher during their postseason runs from 2007-2011 and was a focal part in the Phillies 2008 World Series Championship team posting a .353 batting average in both World Series appearances.
Ruiz’s best statistical year came in 2012, when he was an all-star with a .325 average and 16 home runs. Although his best years are behind him, the Dodgers view Ruiz as a significant upgrade to back up Grandal, batting .260 with three home runs in 48 games and has a .830 on base plus slugging percentage versus left-handed pitching this season.
Andrew Friedman understands the intangible value Ellis brought to the Dodgers, however, Friedman feels that Ruiz brings needed production at catcher.
We felt like he fit our group really well, in terms of the ability to handle left-handed pitching, the quality of at-bat. The grinder-type approach in the batter’s box. We think he will help really lengthen our lineup.
In addition to his plate production, Ruiz holds the MLB record by becoming the first catcher to catch 4 no hitters. Ruiz was also named as the National League Wilson Defensive Player at his position in 2012 and again in 2013. In case Kershaw is skeptical of his new catcher, Ruiz’s former teammate Cole Hamels attributes Ruiz’s success in calling games to his exceptional game preparation:
I think he’s very aware of what the hitter is trying to do in each count. He gives you a good target. It’s almost like he understands what you’re thinking and he’s speaking to you without saying anything. … If a catcher can help you, it makes your job so much easier and he can do that so well.
Carlos Ruiz will be making his Dodger debut on Friday at Dodger Stadium against the Cubs at catcher. He is batting a respectable 6th in the lineup so hopefully he can show fans something good! Ruiz is now reunited with former Phillie teammate, Chase Utley, in hopes to bring World Series experience to a club that is seeking its first World Series Championship since 1988.